How do you react to criticism

Application question: "How do you deal with criticism?"

You may be asked how you deal with criticism during the interview. Why is your interlocutor interested in it?

Your future boss is sure not to hire someone who doesn't let himself be told. On the other hand, you shouldn't give in too quickly when criticized. Because not every criticism is justified. Anyone who takes a stand for his work and defends it shows courage.

Therefore, you should pay close attention to the application question about your critical ability and prepare accordingly. In the interview, you should make it clear that you deal confidently with criticism can. This means that you can use justified criticism as feedback to improve your work. In the event of unjustified criticism, however, you will take the defense.

Example answer:

"So at first I am not particularly happy about criticism. After all, it means that you did something wrong or could have done something better. Nonetheless, criticism can be very instructive and helpful and this helps avoid future mistakesprovided the criticism is justified. And therefore one should use the word "Criticism" maybe against "Feedback" change."

An answer with "I am always happy to receive criticism" is not very credible in a job interview. Because criticism always has an unpleasant side. Ultimately, however, we can grow and get better from it.

Dealing with criticism in everyday working life

Only those who deal properly with criticism in their everyday work can convey this in a credible way in the job interview. Therefore, you will find a few tips below on how you can respond to criticism and even use it for yourself.

How to deal with justified criticism:

  • First, listen carefully to the criticism.

  • Reconsider the criticism. Is it justified?

  • React or answer correctly.
Justified criticism is feedback on your activities. Someone has thought about your work and shows you the potential for improvement. Realize your mistakes, learn from them and improve them.

How to respond to unjustified criticism:
  • Answer factually and don't get upset.

  • Act promptly.

  • Don't take it personally right away.

  • Don't blame others.
If the criticism is really unjustified, you should definitely comment on it. Because sometimes no answer is also an answer that can be regarded as a concession. However, do not fall into the style and tone of language of your counterpart. Don't be offensive. Instead, ask counter questions and possibly get a third opinion.


If you are confronted with criticism unexpectedly, you could explain to yourself - if possible - that you have an important task to finish at the moment and that you would then take the time to talk. During this time you can relax yourself, reflect on the criticism, and come up with a constructive response.

Author: Janina Kotzam

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