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How to React Positively to Critical Feedback At Work

how to react positively to critical feedback at work

What response would you give to this teacher interview question? “Describe a time when you received critical feedback? How did this feedback change your actions, performance or teaching style?

Tips on Answering this Interview Question

Interviewers ask this question to determine how well you respond to critical feedback, and if you can adopt suggestions to improve your performance and grow from your supervisor’s constructive feedback.

How to Respond to this Interview Question

When answering this question during the interview, try to use an example that does not paint you in a negative light, or may make a potential employer think you are ill-equipped to perform your duties as a teacher.

Describe a time when you received critical feedback and your response. #interviewquestions Click To Tweet

Express the Positives of Receiving Feedback

Critical feedback is often purely negative versus constructive feedback which provides you with both positive and negative aspects of your performance, making critical feedback much harder to receive.

Giving and receiving productive performance feedback is the key to growing as a professional – if the input is negative, you need to think about the learning opportunities you can gain by implementing changes.

Learn all you can about how teachers use self-reflection and evaluation for growing as a person and in the classroom. 

Interviewers want to see that you receive critical feedback without being combative, argumentative or defensive regardless of whether or not it is justified. To not come across negatively, choose an instance where the feedback was indeed warranted and in which you adopted the feedback to improve your performance.

Use a Student Teaching Example of Receiving Feedback

I would recommend using an example from your student teaching, as this is a time when you receive lots of feedback and when you are still learning and perfecting your teaching skills.

For instance, if your cooperating teacher has given you critical feedback regarding your classroom management skills, describe for your interviewer what happened, what your cooperating teacher said to you about how you handled the situation, and how this feedback helped you improve your skills in this area.

An Example Response to this Interview Question:

While I was student teaching in a fourth-grade classroom, I received negative feedback from my cooperating teacher regarding classroom management. She told me that my classroom management strategy was lacking. Upon receiving this feedback, I asked her to explain what she meant and what areas specifically I needed to improve.  She then told me that I was struggling with some students because I failed to communicate my classroom rules and guidelines to my students. She said the students didn’t know what was expected of them, and therefore they wanted to test the boundaries continuously.

Once I gained a full understanding of what my cooperating teacher was telling me in her feedback, I was then able to implement her suggestions and change my approach to classroom management. I worked with my class to come up with classroom rules and expectations that we all agreed upon. I then posted the list up in the classroom for everyone to see. As a result, the students were clear about my expectations, if they did misbehave, they understood the consequence.