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What Has Been the Greatest Disappointment in Your Life?

This question is posed by the interviewer in order to establish how you judge what is disappointing, or how easily you get disappointed. The best kinds of examples to give in these circumstances are personal examples where you can allow yourself to give a very emotive answer without conveying how that would affect you in the workplace. You shouldn’t really use work examples unless these are disappointments not directly linked TO YOUR JOB (EG failed aspirations etc.) Try and show how your dealt with the disappointment. I will give some examples here to show how you can do this.

greatest disappointment question

Example Answers for "What Has Been the Greatest Disappointment in Your Life?" Interview Question


“The greatest disappointment in my life was when the employer I worked for passed away and as a result the business came to an end. His family didn’t want to continue running the bar business so they sold it. I was really very disappointed as I had enjoyed working there very much, both because of the venue and the gentleman who owned it. I was out of work for a few months until the business was bought and then I was re-employed as the manager, so it worked out in the end”


“The greatest disappointment in my life was when I had a holiday booked to the United States of America and on the date of departure the weather turned and all flights were grounded. My travel agent eventually decided to cancel the holiday. I was extremely disappointed as I had so looked forward to it, and was unable to take the holiday at a later date as I had used my holiday allocation for those dates. We ended up having a short break in a local spa resort instead, so it wasn’t a total waste, but I still would rather have gone to the USA!”


“The greatest disappointment of my life was the passing of my father before my first child was born. He has been so involved in the pregnancy, and was so looking forward to becoming a grandfather. He passed away suddenly without warning only a few weeks before I gave birth, I was very upset and deeply disappointed that my father didn’t get to meet his first grandchild. I named my son after my father in his honour.”


“The greatest disappointment in my life so far has to be when I had my laptop stolen during university. I had almost finished my dissertation, when it was taken from my halls of residence. I had to work very hard for the next 5 days to re do all my work, but I managed to get it done and handed in on time. I learned to back up my work to an external disk so it wasn’t all bad I suppose!”

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