Discussing Mistakes in an Interview

Take a look at Success Through Failure. I really liked this:

Software development is difficult in the best of conditions. You should always be failing some of the time, and learning from those failures in an honest way. Otherwise, you’re cheating yourself out of the best professional development opportunities.

How do you ask about mistakes candidates have made? I discussed this a bit in Detecting How Candidates Have Learned and The One or (Two) Question Interview.

I don’t want to hire people who don’t know how to learn from their mistakes — they’re doomed to repeat them. And if I’m willing to coach a potential hire, I don’t want to restrict my search to only people who already know how to learn. They probably don’t know all the ways they don’t learn 🙂

But I do want people who are willing to take feedback in a variety of forms. So, what mistakes have you made? What have you learned from them?

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