Failure vs. Success – CPE Speaking Questions

I recommend learning new phrases by using them in sentences. This way, not only will you learn the meaning of the phrase itself, but you’ll also see it in context, which will help you better understand and remember it.

  1. Have you ever experienced a moment when you thought you might go to pieces? What happened?
  2. Can you recall a time when you witnessed someone take off in their career or a particular endeavour? What were the key factors behind their success?
  3. Tell me about a situation where you felt out of your depth. How did you handle it, and what did you learn from the experience?
  4. Have you ever witnessed a performance or presentation that went down a storm? What do you think made it so successful?
  5. Describe a personal breakthrough moment in your life. How did it impact you?
  6. Can you share a situation in which someone you know missed the boat in terms of a significant opportunity? What could they have done differently?
  7. Have you ever had to cut your losses in a particular project or investment? What led to that decision, and how did it turn out?
  8. Share a story about a time when you or someone you know experienced a lapse in judgment or memory. What were the consequences?
  9. Tell me about a time when you or someone you know went under in a financial or personal sense. How did they recover, if at all?
  10. Can you recall a situation where someone blew it in a critical moment? What could they have done differently to avoid the mistake?
  11. Describe a moment when you felt buoyant and full of optimism. What contributed to that feeling?
  12. Have you ever witnessed a project or idea come unstuck? What were the main reasons for its failure?
  13. Share a story about an event or product that was initially considered a flop. Did it eventually find success, or did it remain unsuccessful?
  14. Tell me about a time when you or someone you know sailed through a challenging task or situation. What were the keys to their success?
  15. Do you know of any individuals who are resting on their laurels after achieving a significant accomplishment? How might this affect their future endeavours?
  16. Have you ever bombed in a job interview or a test? What did you learn from that experience, and how did you bounce back?
  17. Can you think of a personal or professional relationship that is currently on the rocks? What steps could be taken to improve it?