Here's the tough interview question one CEO always asks job candidates



Reflect back on a time that you didn't handle a situation the way you should have.

The job interview is an opportunity to sell yourself to the employer. But that doesn't mean you should spend the entire time boasting and bragging about your accomplishments.

Sometimes the interviewer wants to hear about you failures and screw-ups - the times you didn't achieve a desired outcome.

In a recent interview, Adam Bryant of New York Times asked Stephen J. Immelt, CEO of international law firm Hogan Lovells: "How do you hire? What questions do you ask?"
One of his favorites, he said, is: "Tell me something you did that was really hard, and that you didn't handle as well as you wish you had."

He told Bryant he is "much more interested in listening to their narrative for how they dealt with failure rather than some kind of triumphalism."

Immelt also asks this question because he wants to get a sense of how self-aware a candidate is, and is always interested in hiring people who share his "passion for learning and for changing."

He explained that part of being a leader involves a willingness to step up and do things that may be difficult. "You don't always do that perfectly," he told the Times. "It's precisely because they're hard that they require some willingness to learn and get better."

Click here to read the full New York Times interview.

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