How to Answer: Tell Me About a Time You Misjudged Someone

One of the common behavioral types of flight attendant interview questions is “Tell me about a time you misjudged a person.” This question is designed to evaluate your ability to handle challenging situations, assess people’s character, and admit your wrongdoings. While this question may initially seem like you are showing weakness, it’s good to convert the experience into a strength on how you’ve developed personal growth from the situation.

Also Read: How to Answer: Tell me About a Time You Took a Leadership Role

The airline industry is thriving, making it a lucrative sector for many job seekers. However, getting a job as a flight attendant can be challenging. The interview process is rigorous, and you must stand out to be considered for the position.

To properly answer this question, it is important to provide an honest example in which you misjudged someone or a situation. Be sure to emphasize your growth and learning from the experience as this will help you become a good flight attendant.

tell me about a time you misjudged someone

Why is the airline company recruiter is asking the question?

This is a behavioral type of interview question. It is designed to evaluate your ability to handle challenging situations, assess people’s character, and admit your wrongdoings.

The interviewer is asking for an example of a time when you made assumptions about someone and your assumptions turned out to be wrong. This question is meant to evaluate your qualities such as emotional intelligence and ability to recognize your biases, assess your understanding of people, and how you handle misunderstandings.

The interviewer is asking this because as a flight attendant, you will interact with diverse people from different backgrounds, cultures, and personalities. It is essential for you to understand how to handle and relate to different people professionally.

Also Read: How to Answer: Tell me About a Time You Took a Leadership Role

Other Variations to the Question

Here are other variations to this question

  • Can you tell me about a time when your assumptions were wrong?
  • Describe a situation in which you wrongly judged someone’s character.
  • Share an example of a misjudgment on your part in regard to another person’s attitude or behavior.
  • How do you handle times when your initial impression was inaccurate?
  • Talk about a moment that required self-reflection and reconsideration of opinion about another person or group of people.
  • Tell me how you’ve learned from the experience of being wrong with an assumption regarding someone else’s intentions, actions, or beliefs.
  • Give an example that shows what lessons have been taken away from misreading another individual’s character.
  • What is one instance where had to admit that they were incorrect in their assessment of someone else?
  • Discuss a past scenario where there have been misunderstandings due to faulty first impressions.
  • Explain how assessing people accurately can be improved upon over time through practice and experience.?

Step-by-Step Procedure for Answering the Question

You should provide an honest example when answering this question. Here are some helpful step-by-step guidelines:

  1. Start with a brief introduction of the situation and the person you misjudged.
  2. Explain why you misjudged them and what happened next.
  3. Describe how you corrected your mistake and what you learned from the experience.
  4. Conclude with the outcome and what you would do differently next time.

Sample Answers to the Question about A Situation Where You Made a Wrong Judgment about a Person’s Character

Here are some sample answers to help you get started. Please check out how detailed while not being too long these answers are:

  • “During my previous job as a receptionist, there was a colleague who was always lazy and unproductive. I misjudged her as being incompetent. Later on, I found out that she was having some personal problems at the time. I apologized to her and offered my support. It taught me to be less judgmental and more compassionate.”
  • “I once served a customer who appeared arrogant and unapproachable. I misjudged him as being rude and sarcastic. Later on, I found out that he was a manager at a renowned company and always acted in that tone. I acknowledged my mistake and served him with professional courtesy. It taught me that people have different personalities and backgrounds, and I should treat them with respect.”
  • “I once had a passenger who seemed agitated and unfriendly due to the delay on our flight. I misunderstood him as being rude and disrespectful. Later on, I found out that his wife had gone through a severe accident, and he was worried about her. I quickly apologized and offered him support. It taught me to always pay attention to people’s demeanor without judging them.”
  • “While working as a bartender, I once misjudged a customer who had been frequently coming to our bar without having the ability to order from the drink menu. I misjudged him as illiterate or uneducated. Later on, I found out that he had been experiencing concussions and had memory problems but still came to the bar to socialize. I felt ashamed of my initial assumptions and made it easier for him to order drinks.”
  • “During my internship, I worked in a team with a colleague who always looked tired and disinterested in work. I misjudged her as being unprofessional and not motivated. Later on, I discovered that she was going through a tough time in her personal life, and her behavior was due to that. I apologized to her and offered her a listening ear. It taught me to be empathetic and more understanding towards others.
  • “While volunteering at a homeless shelter, I judged a man who often came to the shelter as being violent and dangerous. Later on, I learned that he had been a victim of a traumatic event in his life, and his actions were due to that. I apologized to him and helped him get counseling. It taught me to be less judgmental and more empathetic to people’s life situations.”
  • “During a business meeting, I misjudged a participant who was always cutting me off when talking. I assumed he didn’t value my input. Later on, I found out that he was hard of hearing, which made him talk louder to hear what was being said. I apologized to him and gave him equal attention. It taught me to avoid making assumptions and learning more about others’ situations.”
  • I once misjudged a colleague at my previous job. I thought that he was disrespectful after hearing him speak in an abrasive manner. After talking with him further, I realized that his behavior was simply the result of being under a lot of stress due to his workload – something I related to as well. From then on, I tried to be more understanding when it came to judging others and worked hard to be less judgmental overall. This experience taught me the importance of truly getting to know someone before forming an opinion about them.

Tips about how to answer the question

If you need to answer this question, there are some tips you can keep in mind to make sure your answer is both accurate and effective. Check them out below:

  1. Be honest and transparent in your response.
  2. Focus on what you learned from the experience.
  3. Be concise but detailed enough to show your abilities.
  4. Avoid blaming others or justifying your actions.
  5. Highlight the steps you took to correct the mistake.
  6. Use a positive tone while describing your experience.

Also Read: How to Answer: Why Do You Want to Work for our Airline?

Questions to Ask Yourself

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to spark ideas for your response:

  • What experience did I have of misjudging someone?
  • How did my initial assumptions affect the situation?
  • What was the result of that misunderstanding?
  • What lesson did I learn after reflecting on this experience?
  • How have I changed or grown as a person since then?
  • What steps did I take to rectify the situation?
  • How can I use this experience to help me in the future?
  • How did my actions affect the person/people involved?
  • What actions did I take to correct my mistake?

Examples of Bad Answers

Before you offer up your own personal example, it’s important to know what not to do. Here are some examples of bad answers that should be avoided in answering this question:

  • “I have never misjudged anyone in my life.”
  • “That’s a tough question, and I can’t think of any instances off the top of my head.”
  • “I misjudged someone once, but it was entirely their fault.”
  • “I’m not comfortable discussing my mistakes.”
  • “I didn’t misjudge someone even if I didn’t like them or even if they just annoyed me.”

Don’t deny any experiences you may have had of misjudging someone, and don’t make excuses or shift blame onto the other person. Instead, focus on being honest about what happened and what you learned from that experience.

Video: Describe A Time When You Misjudged Someone And What Was The Outcome – How to Answer

Check out this video clip by sparkhire on YouTube talking about the steps you can take in answering this question:

While the video may not provide examples, it does share similar steps we’ve mentioned above in order to help you structure your response. This video also shows the importance of being honest and transparent, while also emphasizing the lessons learned from any misjudgments made.

Key Takeaways and Reminders

Knowing how to answer the question, “Tell me about a time you misjudged a person,” can be critical in landing your dream job as a flight attendant.

  • Remember, this interview question is not designed to make you look bad; instead, it is an opportunity for you to showcase your emotional intelligence and problem-solving skills.
  • Always make sure to remain calm and focus on what you learned from the experience.
  • Start by understanding the context of the situation, explaining why you misjudged the person, how you corrected the mistake, what you learned, and what you would do differently next time.
  • Misjudging someone is a common mistake and it can be hard to admit. However, by taking the time to reflect on what happened and understanding why you made the mistake in the first place, you can learn from your mistakes and ensure that similar situations don’t occur again.
  • Being open-minded when getting to know others will help prevent such misunderstandings from happening in future interactions as well. If we all take this approach towards forming opinions about people, we’ll create more positive relationships with those around us.


In conclusion, this flight attendant interview question is not one that you should be afraid of or try to avoid. You can use this opportunity to show the interviewer that you have the emotional intelligence and problem-solving skills whenever conflicts arise on the job.

Focus on what you learned from the experience, and talk about how your outlook has since changed. With preparation and practice, you can confidently answer any questions related to a time when you misjudged someone.