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Did You Learn Anything?

One of the questions that isn't the easiest to answer on an interview is "... What did you learn? And what would you do differently?" On the surface it seems to be an innocent question, but how to do you answer it without throwing a teammate under the bus or worse sounding like you never are the "reason" a project fails. #I'mPerfect.

The best way to answer this question is to show your personal growth. If you haven't read ANY self-help books, watched an episode or Oprah Dr. Phil or Brené Brown, then you probably can't even fathom being that vulnerable on an interview with strangers. well, get over yourself. This might be the main reason you're not nailing the interview.

Showing you're able to look at yourself and your actions or skills in a critical way shows you are:

Realistic - they won't have to worry you'll have issues on a project and won't speak up until it's too late.

Open to growth - if you're able to give honest feedback about yourself then you will be open to feedback from a manager and even co-workers, which are all signs of a good teammate.

Objective eye - there are plenty of moments which require someone to take a step back from all stakeholders and personal investment and tell someone what is really the issue and what needs to be fixed; if you can do this for yourself then a million-dollar project is no issue.

Adjustment/Regroup - thinking through how you would do something differently shows you keep a database and when you see the signs which you've encountered before you can adjust your methods; change is hard, but admitting you're going in the wrong direction midway and making adjustments at time can be harder.

The next time you're asked "What did you learn? And what would you do differently?" look within. The worst project you had, regardless of your level of responsibility for it, still had the element of you in it, which means there had to be something you could learn about yourself. Know that it's ok to share this with the world, especially if the "world" is the doorway to a new leg of your career journey.

Grow & Learn.

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