Interview Questions and Answers: How do you deal with criticism?

In most jobs, the normal forms of criticism relate to:

  • Performance
  • Specific incidents
  • Self-management issues
  • Time management

Not coincidentally, these are all practical issues. They're also the main components of the 'How do you deal with criticism?' interview question.

Your response has to describe the form(s) of criticism to make sense. In some jobs you can have great performance and still get picked on about basics like time management. Your organization skills may be the target of criticism.

A sensitive interview question

Remember, criticism is also part of management's job. That's a very good reason for making it clear you understand the issues involved in this question. Some people can't take criticism in any form, and that tends to create problems with management. In highly demanding jobs, criticism is an essential quality control, and managers disapprove of those who won't listen to criticism. Make it clear you understand the need for criticism and its uses.

Example

Question - 'How do you deal with criticism?'

Answer - 'Criticism is necessary, in any job. Someone has to set standards, and make sure those standards are met. I consider criticism as part of the natural requirements of the job, and when criticized, I respond positively.

I make sure I understand it. If I get criticized by a manager or supervisor, I make a point of asking questions, if necessary, to be sure I know what's required of me.

I try to be conscientious in my work. I do worry about making mistakes, and if I'm doing anything wrong, I want to know. I welcome criticism because it leads to better performance and assurance that my job is being done correctly.'

Analysis

This interview answer is the correct approach to handling criticism.