Describe an Experience with Receiving Challenging Feedback and How It Was Managed

February 13, 2023

☕️ Support Us
Your support will help us to continue to provide quality content.👉 Buy Me a Coffee

Feedback is crucial to personal and team growth in the workplace. Behavioral interviews often include the question "Can you tell me about a feedback you received and how you responded to it?" This question helps the interviewer assess how you handle feedback and your willingness to improve.

Understanding the Question

To prepare for this question, it's important to understand what the interviewer is looking for. In the How to best showcase Leadership Principles article published by Amazon, they highlight several key characteristics they value in candidates, including:

  • Open-mindedness to feedback, not being overly opinionated
  • A willingness to admit mistakes and learn from them
  • Utilizing feedback to improve in similar situations in the future
  • Seeking feedback actively

Answering the Question

When answering this question, your goal is to showcase these qualities. You should focus on:

  • Sharing a specific feedback you received
  • Reflecting on the feedback and what you learned from it
  • Discussing actions you took to improve based on the feedback
  • Mentioning how you continued to use the feedback to grow and improve in the future
  • Showing that you actively seek feedback from others

Therefore, you can try to recall what feedback you have received in the past, and among these feedbacks, what examples have you taken specific actions to improve. If there are, they can be picked out and become stories.

Sample Answer

To help illustrate these points, you can refer to the example adapted from Amazon's "How to best showcase Leadership Principles" article:

"I recall a time when I was assigned to develop a new feature in Java, as I was relatively new to object-oriented design. I wanted to make a good impression on my team, so I dedicated a lot of time to studying object-oriented design and applied it to the development of the feature. Upon completion, I felt proud of my work, as the program was designed to be concise and extensible.

However, to be sure, I asked a colleague to review my work. After reading it, our team leader asked me to have a chat. I was told that my program was too complicated and difficult for others to understand and maintain. The team leader suggested that I could have simplified it and refactored my code, demonstrating a simpler way to implement the same function using only fifteen lines of code, which was easier to read and maintain.

This feedback was an eye-opener for me. I realized that I should prioritize simplicity in my programming and not overcomplicate things. I am grateful for the team leader who gave me the feedback and it has stayed with me throughout my programming career. Every time I write a program, I make sure to avoid overcomplication.

I have also applied this lesson to other aspects of my work, where I have a tendency to overcomplicate things. I am continuously working on improving this and actively seek feedback from others to ensure that I am on the right track."

By following this structure and sharing a specific feedback and how you responded to it, you can effectively demonstrate your ability to handle feedback, learn from it, and grow.

☕️ Support Us
Your support will help us to continue to provide quality content.👉 Buy Me a Coffee