Having the ability to effectively manage criticism is a skill set that Job Bank USA refers to as part of diplomacy skills. Feedback is common to employees in leadership roles and team-oriented work environments. Employees in any job, though, need to have some ability to hear constructive criticism and respond in a positive, productive manner. When interviewing for jobs in which criticism is common, the interviewer is likely to ask questions about criticism.

Handling Criticism

"How do you handle criticism?" is a standard interview question. Your response should demonstrate that you have the ability to hear criticism without reacting negatively or getting upset, according to the Changing Minds website. An explanation on why you see criticism as an opportunity as opposed to a personal attack is another effective way to respond to this question.


Changing Minds suggests an interviewer might also ask you to tell him about a time you were criticized. The site advises you to select an example where you were criticized for doing something wrong. Show that you listened to the criticism without getting angry. Then explain how you accepted the feedback and used it to generate positive results or to correct the action targeted by the critic.

False Criticism

In her Career FAQs article "Job interview question and answer: How do you handle criticism?" Helen Isbister points out that sometimes criticism is false or invalid. She says that sometimes jealousy and envy inspire criticism from colleagues. In an interview, convey your willingness to patiently hear criticism from colleagues while discerning whether it is valid. It is OK to have confidence in your abilities, says Isbister.

Customer Criticism

Dealing with customer feedback is often part of a service or sales job. Effectively handling customer criticism of your company and its products is a separate skill set. Isbister notes that employers want to see that you have the ability to perform "damage control." Employers need to see that you have the capacity to deal with critical customers and avoid damaging the company's reputation in the marketplace.