What is the Biggest Criticism You Received From a Boss?

How to Answer Interview Questions About Criticism from Supervisors

Be prepared to answer interview questions about criticism at work. Thomas Barwick / Getty Images

Interviewers will ask different types of questions in an effort to determine if you have any weaknesses that would interfere with your ability to carry out the job at hand. One question you might be asked is, "What was the biggest criticism you received from your boss in your last job?"

How to Answer

A tough interviewer won't let you off the hook easily on this one. If you are in the unusual situation where your performance reviews have been flawless, then you can mention that fact and even offer to provide evidence of your stellar reviews.

However, in most cases, you should be ready to share an issue or two that has surfaced over time.  Pick a performance area that is not central to the job you're applying for. Try to select an issue that you have addressed and improved upon. 

For example, if in your past job, your supervisor critiqued your public speaking skills, leading you to take steps to enhance those skills, you might share that story. This approach would work best if excellent public speaking skills are not crucial in the new position.

Be careful about supplying cliché answers, such as mentioning a weakness that can be interpreted as a strength. Most interviewers will be turned off by statements like, "I'm a perfectionist and put too much pressure on myself." Employers will be looking for sincere answers and an indication that you are willing to recognize your weaknesses and to take steps to improve.

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