how do you deal with feedback and criticism interview question

How to Smartly handle – How will you deal with Feedback And Criticism Answer

“How will you deal with Feedback and Criticism?” is a tough interview question that catches you off-guard!
Criticism of any kind hits your identity. It can make you defensive. The good news is, you don’t need to!

Learn how to respond to such questions masterfully!

Have you ever interviewed for a job and been asked how you handle criticism? It’s a challenging question, isn’t it? After all, most people don’t enjoy being criticized. It’s a question that often catches you off guard during interviews.

Do you remember how you felt the last time when someone criticized you? We all work hard to put our best foot forward, and when someone takes the time to point out what we’re doing wrong, it can be tough to take.

It activates your fight or flight response. You have a natural instinct to fight back against this seeming attack on you. But feedback and criticism are a necessary part of life – especially in the workplace. 

All of us have weaknesses and areas for improvement. So, learning to deal with feedback and criticism effectively makes are grow fast in our careers and life. This is why around 17% of employees feel that the feedback they receive is not detailed enough.

This is why employers want to know how you respond when things don’t go your way. Believe it or not, feedback and criticism are an inevitable part of any job.

In this post, we’ll explore why employers ask this question and give some tips on how to best answer it. So read on!

Why do interviewers ask, “How will you deal with Feedback and Criticism?” 

Let us see why interviewers are so interested in your ability to handle criticism and feedback.

9 reasons why interviewers ask how will you deal with Feedback and Criticism

  1. They want to get a sense of how you handle constructive criticism.
  2. To find out if you can take feedback on board and use it to improve your performance. It is a valuable skill in any workplace. 
  3. They want to test if you are coachable. No matter how smart any individual is, they need a certain amount of coaching.
  4. They may be interested in understanding how you relate to others when receiving criticism – do you react angrily or become defensive? Can you calmly listen and see the other person’s point of view?
  5. Interviewers also want a way to quickly understand your strengths and weaknesses. This way, they can rapidly understand how well you fit for the job.
  6. They want to check your ability to handle stress and pressure. They are keenly observing how you behave under pressure.
  7. They get a quick peek at your emotional quotient. It is well known that your EQ is way more important than your IQ in your career.
  8. Interviewers are curious if you have taken any steps after receiving your feedback. It shows how hungry you are to grow in your life.
  9. The kind of feedback and criticism you talk about, tells them what is important for you. It also shows them your understanding of yourself.

Criticism can be tough to cope with. But it’s important to remember that everyone receives it at some point in their career and life – even the most successful people.

“The only difference between ordinary people and the successful ones is,

Super successful people have failed way more … ”

Feedback often makes you feel that others are pointing out flaws in you. It is emotionally tough. This is when your emotional intelligence comes into play. How you respond decides how the feedback will work for you!

Remember that the content of the criticism is often less important to the interviewer than how you responded to it.

When provided constructively, criticism can be highly beneficial to improving employees’ performance.

How to intelligently answer, “How will you deal with Feedback and Criticism?” 

Answering this question with poise is important. Especially in today’s workplace feedback is such a valuable tool. Employers want to know how you handled stressful situations, feedback, and criticism. Your answers give them valuable insights into this.

5 Things to remember while answering – How do you handle Feedback and Criticism?

1. First and foremost, they’ll check how you tend to remain open to suggestions and corrections. It can be challenging to take criticism, but remember that feedback is meant to help you improve. If you can take it with the right attitude, you’ll be able to learn and grow from the experience.

2. Secondly, they measure whether you take criticism personally. Again, this can be tough, but try to step back and look at the situation objectively. The critic isn’t attacking who you are as a person; they’re simply pointing out areas where you need improvement.


Constructive criticism is an essential aspect of professional development.

So, responding wisely to the feedback is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate that you are open to improvement and working hard to do better.

Even though receiving criticism may be unpleasant, show the interviewer that you are eager to listen and accept advice.

4. Your response should emphasize that you would accept criticism when it is offered and thank the individual for their input. After considering all of the facts, you’d determine whether or not you’re making the correct decision.

5. Make sure that you give an example

When you’re interviewing for a job, it’s important to demonstrate that you can handle criticism well. This shows that you “will” take constructive feedback and use it to improve your performance.

A simple way to do this is to give an example of when you received criticism and how you responded to it.

For instance, maybe you were told by a previous boss that you needed to work on your communication skills. In response, you took a public speaking class and started practicing communicating more effectively with coworkers and clients.

By sharing an example of how you’ve handled criticism in the past, you can show the interviewer that you’re someone who is always looking to improve and grow professionally. 

10 Sample Answers for – How do you handle criticism?

Sample answers for Freshers on – How do you handle Criticism?

  1. As an engineering graduate, I constantly seek feedback and criticism to improve my skills. I am always looking for ways to improve upon my previous work, and feedback helps me do just that. Whether positive or negative, feedback provides valuable information that I can use to grow as an engineer. Additionally, I am always sure to thank the person who took the time to provide me with feedback. Even if it is something that I may not want to hear, I know that it is coming from a place of caring and wanting me to succeed. 

As a fresher graduate, you will likely face a lot of feedback and criticism. It can be tough to take, but it’s important to remember that feedback is a gift – it’s an opportunity to learn and improve.

Remain calm and constructive. It can be easy to get defensive when you’re faced with criticism, but try to listen objectively and look for ways that you can use the feedback to improve your work. If you’re able to have a calm discussion about the feedback, you’ll be more likely to find common ground and develop a plan for moving forward.

  1. As a business graduate, I am well-versed in handling constructive feedback. First, I would like to understand the specific nature of the feedback. Is it about my performance on a specific task? Or is it about my behavior in general? Once I understand the specifics, I can begin to address the issue.

Regarding my performance on a task, I would ask for clarification and examples. This way, I can determine where I went wrong and what needs improvement. I would then develop a plan to address the issue and prevent it from happening again.

  1. For example, one time, I gave a presentation, and my manager provided feedback afterward that it wasn’t as great as possible. One way I approached this situation was to thank him for the honest feedback and started asking for specific suggestions on how I could improve next time.
  1. My brilliant design for a client’s website wasn’t enough to please everyone, but when we made changes and improved the images on their site, it became much more popular. User surveys showed that our new selections were better aligned with what people wanted, which made all of us happy.
  1. When my manager told me we were out of boxes, I knew that was an issue because he expected our inventory to be sufficient. After reviewing historical sales data and looking at what has been selling well over the last few years, there were enough unused items in stock. This allowed us to sell 20% more than last year’s sale amount, making all those hours spent working on projects worthwhile.

Sample answers for Experienced on – How do you deal with feedback and criticism?

  1. I was thankful to meet with my supervisor and discuss how best we could work together. I expressed concern that she felt uncomfortable about where things were in our office, but after explaining myself more thoroughly, she understood why it happened this way for now, at least. We agreed on a system that would allow me to control paperwork management while also keeping an eye out for deadlines.
  1. As a software engineer, I am constantly dealing with feedback and criticism. Whether it is from my team members, colleagues, or customers, I always take it in stride and learn from it. After all, feedback is essential to improve our products and services. That said, not all feedback is created equal. Some of it can be helpful, while others can be downright destructive. The key is always to take a step back and evaluate the feedback objectively. If I think the criticism is constructive and will help me improve my work, then incorporate it into my process. 
  1. As a professional accountant with 2 years of experience, I’ve learned to take criticism and feedback in stride. I understand that it’s an essential part of the learning process and can help me improve my work. I once made an error in the client’s financials, which brought criticism from my manager. I always appreciate his constructive feedback, and I make it a point to listen to what he says and apply it to my work. However, if the criticism is unfounded or unhelpful, I’m not afraid to stand up for myself. 
  1. It’s essential to take feedback and criticism well, especially as a lawyer. You’re going to face it regularly from clients, opposing counsel, and judges. Here’s how I deal with it. First, I try to remember that feedback and criticism usually come from a place of constructive intent. Most people aren’t trying to tear you down when they give feedback or criticize you; they’re trying to help you improve. So I try to keep an open mind and listen carefully to what they’re saying. Second, I ask questions for clarification if needed. Sometimes people give feedback or criticism that isn’t entirely clear, and in those cases, it can be helpful to ask questions so that you understand their intent.
  1. When I first started my previous job, I was eager to make a good impression. I worked hard and put in a lot of extra effort, but it didn’t seem to be enough. My boss would criticize me for every little thing, and it felt like I could never do anything right. It was incredibly discouraging. But then I realized that maybe there was something to what he was saying. Maybe I could be doing better. So I decided to take his criticism to heart and use it as motivation to improve my performance. And you know what? It made a huge difference. My boss started noticing my efforts and my work quality improved dramatically. As a result, I got a big promotion and became one of the most valued members of the team. So, in the end, taking criticism can be a good thing – if you let it motivate you to do better.

5 Pro Tips for giving your Best Answer on handling Feedback and Criticism

1. Focus on “Demonstrating” how you took the criticism seriously and made a significant positive difference as a result

The importance of demonstrating how you took the criticism to make a significant difference in previous employment cannot be understated.

Criticism, whether negative or constructive, can be challenging to hear. But, if you’re able to take it in stride and show that you’re receptive to feedback. It can make a world of difference in your future opportunities. 

Employers want to see that their employees are coachable and willing to improve. Show that you’ve been able to take critical feedback and use it to your advantage in the past. That’s a strong indication that you’ll be able to do so in the future.

It shows that you’re open-minded and willing to change yourself for the better.

2. Use Smart and Relevant examples

Feedbacks and criticism often point to your weaknesses. It is important you smartly choose the weakness to refer, in the interview.

Carefully remember the job requirements and deliverables. Ensure that the feedback or criticism refer to the weaknesses that interviewers won’t worry too much about!


Refer: How to Smartly Answer Questions on Weakness in the interview


It will be dangerous to mention critical feedback on poor communication skills if the job entails them to be strong!

3. If true, show the ability to take criticism as a strength

For example, you can say,

“I was often praised for my ability to take criticism well in my previous job. I would listen carefully to what my colleagues had to say and then use that feedback to make changes that would improve our workflow. As a result of this, we achieved some great results!”

You can see how it can play out well for you!

4. Implement the STAR Method to answer this question

The STAR method is a great way to structure your answer when asked how you deal with criticism. It can help you to provide specific and actionable examples of how you’ve handled difficult feedback in the past. Here’s how it works:

Situation: Describe the situation in which the criticism occurred. This could be a project at work, a situation with a friend or family member, or any other scenario where you were given feedback that wasn’t what you wanted to hear.

Task: Describe the task or goal you were working towards when the criticism was given. This could be anything from developing a new product to completing a job interview.

Action: Describe the actions that you took in response to the criticism. This could involve anything from taking a moment to calm down to having an honest conversation with the person who gave you the feedback.

Result: Describe the result of your actions. This could be anything from diffusing a tense situation to learning from your mistake and making sure not to repeat it next time.

5. Be sincere, it can be impressive

No one likes facing criticism. Feedbacks are daunting, to say the least. Interviewers know this.

The best way to talk about it is to be sincere and honest in your response. Be open and honest about your areas of improvement.

Tell how you thanked your boss for their feedback, and then explain how you plan to improve or address the issue. It makes you look genuine.

Lastly, stay positive and confident – interviewers will respect you more if you can handle criticism gracefully. 

7 Major Mistakes to Avoid while talking about handling criticism

There are 7 big mistakes to avoid while answering questions about how to deal with criticism:

  • Don’t give an example of how you took criticisms personally. 
  • Avoid saying that you get defensive or you argue with the person who critiqued you. 
  • Don’t justify your actions and blame the feedback giver.
  • Avoid making excuses: It’s not helpful to try and explain why you did something a certain way or why you didn’t meet someone’s expectations.
  • Do not speak about major weaknesses or shortcomings that can hamper your chances for the given role.
  • Remember that it will be a disaster if you do not have any feedback or mistake to talk about! it is a sign of ignorance.
  • Avoid a lengthy answer that can turn off the interviewer or get his attention in an unwanted direction.

The Takeaway

You want to show that you are honest and dedicated to self-improvement. This will make you a more interesting and valuable candidate.

Remember, employers ask this question because they want to know whether you can assess yourself and accept feedback from others. So don’t be afraid to expose your vulnerabilities.

Showing that you are constantly striving to improve yourself will set you apart from other candidates!

Check out the “Fresher Interview Questions” section to thoroughly prepare for your next interview!

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