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Photo: LightField Studios (Shutterstock) Most of have had to face the dreaded, “Tell me about a time you made a mistake” question while interviewing for a new job. And while the whole point of an interview is to put your best foot forward—and nobody relishes disclosing past work failures—with a little advanced preparation, your response can actually work in your favor. (The thing you don’t want to do is wing it.) So what’s the best way to answer this question in a way that can enhance your desirability as a candidate? Why employers ask the question First, it’s important to understand what the interviewer is really getting at, so you can best tailor your response. What they really want to know is how you approach challenges, what you learned from the experience, and how you constructively applied that knowledge to other situations. In addition to gleaning a sense of your weaknesses, they’re trying to assess your problem-solving skills and potential for growth. (They also want to see if you’re honest.) How to answer There are a few best practices and things to avoid when faced with this question during an interview: Pick a specific example of a true work experience (not personal) Make sure the mistake was minor, and one you successfully fixed Keep it brief, but be prepared to provide more details Take fully responsibility for your mistake Describe how you solved it, and a positive result Emphasize what you learned from it and how you applied that […]