“What is your biggest failure?”
I ask that question at every interview I’m involved in. The answer tells me so much about the person sat in front of me. How do they cope under pressure? How comfortable are they taking responsibility? What constitutes a failure in their eyes? Do they shrink into themselves or do their eyes light up as they recount how they turned things around?
If you never put yourself in a position where you can fail then I’d argue you aren’t pushing hard enough. I say exactly that when interviewees tell me they can’t think of a time they have failed.
It’s easy to be flippant about failure. It’s incredibly easy to say you are pushing hard and risking failure. It’s much harder to actually do it, and the hardest thing is stopping and admitting when you have failed.
Unfortunately I have to announce that we have failed and that we are cancelling our SearchLove conference in San Francisco due to lower than expected ticket sales.