4 Tell me about something you did – or failed to do – that you now feel a little ashamed of

4 Tell me about something you did – or failed to do – that you now feel a little ashamed of

Human Answer


There are some questions your interviewer has no business asking, and this is one. But while you may feel like answering, “none of your business,” naturally you can’t. Some interviewers ask this question on the chance you admit to something, but if not, at least they’ll see how you think on your feet.

Some unprepared candidates, flustered by this question, unburden themselves of guilt from their personal life or career, perhaps expressing regrets regarding a parent, spouse, child, etc. All such answers can be disastrous.


As with faults and weaknesses, never confess a regret. But don’t seem as if you’re stonewalling either. Best strategy: Say you harbor no regrets, then add a principle or habit you practice regularly for healthy human relations.


Pause for reflection, as if the question never occurred to you. Then say, “You know, I really can’t think of anything.” (Pause again, then add): “I would add that as a general management principle, I’ve found that the best way to avoid regrets is to avoid causing them in the first place.

I practice one habit that helps me a great deal in this regard. At the end of each day, I mentally review the day’s events and conversations to take a second look at the people and developments I’m involved with and do a doublecheck of what they’re likely to be feeling.

Sometimes I’ll see things that do need more follow-up, whether a pat on the back, or maybe a five minute chat in someone’s office to make sure we’re clear on things…whatever.”

“I also like to make each person feel like a member of an elite team, like the Boston Celtics or LA Lakers in their prime.

I’ve found that if you let each team member know you expect excellence in their performance…if you work hard to set an example yourself…and if you let people know you appreciate and respect their feelings, you wind up with a highly motivated group, a team that’s having fun at work because they’re striving for excellence rather than brooding over slights or regrets.”

ChatGPT Answer

When answering the question "Tell me about something you did – or failed to do – that you now feel a little ashamed of" in an interview,

it's important to approach your answer with honesty and humility. The interviewer is trying to gauge your self-awareness and ability to learn from your mistakes. It's also a good idea to frame your answer in a way that highlights the lessons you learned and the steps you took to improve.

Here's an example: "There was a time when I was working on a team project, and I made a mistake that caused a delay in the project's deadline. I took on more responsibility than I could handle and I failed to communicate effectively with my team members. I was so focused on trying to prove myself that I didn't take the time to ask for help. It was a hard lesson to learn, but I realized that I needed to be more mindful of my limitations and better at working with others.

After that, I made a point to practice active listening, and I sought out feedback from my team members so that I could improve my communication skills. I also made a point to be more transparent about my progress and to ask for help when I needed it." Another example,

"I remember a time when I was not able to meet a deadline for a crucial project because I had not properly managed my time. I was not aware of how much time I was spending on less important tasks, and I did not prioritize my work correctly. This caused me to miss the deadline and let down my team. I learned from this experience that time management is essential, and I started using tools to help me prioritize my work and track my progress.

I also made a point to communicate more regularly with my team to ensure that we were all on the same page, and I adopted a more structured approach to my work. As a result, I was able to complete my next project ahead of schedule."

It's important to be honest and show that you have taken steps to correct the mistake and learn from it, also demonstrate that you are capable of taking responsibility for your actions and have the ability to improve.