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Interviewer asks about worst work experience

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in Hiring,Human Resources

Q. When interviewing for a job, I was asked, “What was the worst experience you’ve had with an employee and how did you handle it?” I didn’t want to talk too much about all the problems I had before. But I didn’t want to sound too rosy. What’s a good answer?

A. The question calls for a specific answer, so avoid complaining. Instead, isolate a problem you overcame. Play up a skill the interviewer needs. For instance, if you’re applying for a job that requires hand-holding of entry-level employees, say, “My worst experience was putting extra time into helping a new hire adjust, only to have that person quit. I was crushed, but I said ‘Good luck,’ and learned that I can coach people but can’t expect my investment to pay off every time.”

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