Job Interview Question: What is the Worst Thing That You Have Gotten Away With?

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“What is the worst thing that you have gotten away with?” This is a rare interview question, but some employers ask it in order to get a better sense of your personality, and whether you would fit in with the company. An employer might ask this as a way to make sure you have not done anything that might be considered a red flag for the position.

This is one of those tricky interview questions. You don't want to say that you never did anything that you have gotten away with, because nobody is perfect.

On the other hand, you definitely don't want your "worst thing" to be something really bad, such as something illegal, unethical, or cruel.

Keep it Light

One way to answer is to keep it on the light side. For example, you might give an example of something small that you got away with that involves your parents or school (staying out late, pulling a prank, etc.).

You might also turn the question around and instead provide an example of the “best” thing you got away with. For example, you might explain that you did a good deed for a friend and he or she never found out it was you. However, you don’t want to sound perfect, so you might conclude with a quick, lighthearted example of something more mischievous that you got away with.

Take Your Time

The thing to remember with the tricky questions is that it's fine to take a moment or two to frame a response. Then be honest, relatively speaking, so you are answering the question, but not in a way that would make the interviewer not want to hire you.

Keep it positive as much as you can.

There isn't a right or wrong answer for these types of questions. Rather, the interview will consider how your respond.

Sample Answers

  • I’ve never been much of a troublemaker, even as a teenager. I suppose the biggest thing I ever got away with was a college prank I helped organize and arrange. We turned all of the desks upside-down in every classroom. I love to have fun, positive relationships with my colleagues, although I think my pranking days are over!
     
  • While this is actually a positive thing, the biggest thing I got away with was helping arranging a surprise vacation for a sick friend. We planned the whole thing without her finding out until we took her to the airport! Of course, I’ve gotten away with a couple less positive things too – I’m sure I stayed out past curfew a few times without my parents ever finding out!

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