Criticism can be hard to deal with. No matter how constructive it is intended to be, it can be hurtful. However, sometimes there is merit to that criticism, especially in a work environment. Nobody is perfect, and we all have room for improvement in certain areas. This question is used to determine if you understand that everyone has room for improvement.
Everyone’s a Critic
No matter how fantastic of a worker you are, no manager wants to deal with an employee who thinks they are the perfect employee who knows everything. This question is asked to show how you take criticism. However, it is also intended to reveal any weak points in your repertoire, especially if they relate to the job you are interviewing for.
For this reason, ideally your answer would involve a criticism you’ve received that doesn’t relate to the job. This is a strong way to answer, but some strong willed interviewers may keep digging. If you really want to answer the question in the best possible way, think of a constant criticism you used to get, but one that you’ve conquered. If you’ve ever been motivated by criticism to improve, bring up that example. This answer doesn’t just show that you’ve improved your skills. It also shows you are willing to acknowledge and address your flaws. Ultimately, this is what they are trying to assess.
The Importance of Honesty
As with every interview question, it’s important to answer honestly. It can be challenging with a question such as this, which attempts to make you reveal flaws. As previously mentioned, areas you’ve improved yourself make for a great answer. Some interviewees believe they can answer by saying they haven’t ever received criticism. However, this is false no matter who says it. At some point in our life we have all been criticized. Realize this, and understand that even the interviewer has heard it at some point. Answer genuinely, and hope for the best!