I recently had an interview where I was asked "how did you respond to harsh feedback from your boss?"
Problem is, I have never received negative feedback from a manager so I did not know what to say. I'm 5 years into my career as a developer and not once has any boss had a negative thing to say to me. I've learned to manage up.
In my family, whether my parents liked me was a function of my successes minus my failures, so since I was about 10 I have learned to be a people pleaser who has a laser focus on the objectives of whoever has power over me. I am also very good at hiding problems until they could be corrected.
It means I don't commit to anything I am not 100% sure I can do. However, as most needs can be anticipated, I can go figure out how to do it beforehand and when the boss asks, commit to it. The business analyst is also quite happy to give me a preview of what needs to be done in the upcoming sprint.
It also means that I build in time to react to unknowns. I have managed to be ahead of each sprint by about half a sprint (by discussing with the business analyst beforehand to ensure I am assigned certain stuff and using spare time for that and just not reporting it) just in case a task is sized improperly. I hope to always go into a sprint having at least one task done already.
I also pre-vet everything. If I am the one up for presenting stuff in the sprint review, I have a meeting with the project owner and the business analyst beforehand for my components. They always pass the public meeting as they were already signed off on by the person who does that.
It hasn't happened in this job, but there was one case where I was behind as a sprint was ending. I just booked meetings through stand up for two days so I did not need to report and worked late to finish it.
This isn't meant as a humble brag. I fail at things. I just make sure to do it in such a way that my boss never learns about it. Failures may happen in virtual machines. Anyone not me can see it if it is a success.
If I have an idea which might fail or be interpreted as silly, I do it with a different executive or different department and don't let my boss know I am meeting with that person/group.
Same with speaking opportunities, external awards, conferences, etc. I funnel those through other managers. My boss might know on my LinkedIn if I won and otherwise, I read a book that weekend.
I couldn't come up with a good answer for the question because such an outcome would indicate a massive failure on my part. I think I would quit a job where I got any since that would mean I screwed up badly and I don't think that is a good answer. I also don't think explaining that I build information silos and pre-empt meetings with pre-meetings is a good answer.
I was told by the recruiter that they might try this question again. What should be my answer?