Why You Should Test Candidates Conflict Management Skills
Employees with conflict management skills work through arguments, complaints and differences of opinion constructively. These employees are able to:
- Resolve issues that arise among team members quickly
- Handle complaints from customers
- Raise objections in a professional manner
Its essential to test candidates conflict-resolution skills, particularly for:
- senior-level positions, where your future hires will manage teams
- sales positions, where your future hires will contact customers on a daily basis
Here are some sample conflict management interview questions to ask candidates during your hiring process:
Have You Ever Handled Conflict At Work Provide An Example
Your employers may want to hear about an experience you had resolving conflict at work. The question allows you to explain how you utilised your conflict resolution skills and helps employers assess the steps you take when resolving conflict at work and your teamwork skills. You can answer this question by providing an example of a conflict between you and your teammate. You can consider using the situation, task, action and result method to answer this question:
Situation: Here, you describe the conflict or challenge.
Task: Explain your role in the issue.
Action: Discuss the contributions you made to resolve the conflict.
Result: Describe the outcome of your contributions.
Example:’During collaborative work on a team project, I noticed that one of the team members had a habit of challenging every solution I presented concerning the project. He also interrupted other members while they spoke and would only express his own ideas without appreciating the input of others. We ended up arguing because I wasn’t pleased with the way he interrupted others. Our respective managers had to intervene and counselled us on our behaviour. As a result, I resolved to change the way I handled this kind of situation.
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Can You Tell Me About A Time You Disagreed With Your Boss
This question tests your ability to handle conflict and your respect for authority. All organizations are protective about their authority structures, so it’s important you don’t suggest any confrontational or disrespectful approach. Similarly, avoid badmouthing your previous employer when answering this question.
Example:”While I believe in respecting authority, I also consider it necessary to speak up if my boss does anything to hinder my productivity. For example, I once had to speak to my boss about their criticism, which I considered unfair. After a brief meeting, my boss expressed surprise that their actions had such an impact on me and promised to be more positive in the future.”
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Ensure You Answer The Question
Avoid the temptation of saying you’ve never encountered any conflict. This is why it’s necessary to prepare because you have enough time to think about and remember the conflicts and how you managed them. Also, avoid mentioning conflict you didn’t handle well as the information serves no purpose either to you or the interviewer. They only want to know how well you can work with people, handle disagreements and find a way to resolve issues and work together again productively.
Interview Questions And Answers About Conflict Resolution
Conflict interview questions are meant to evaluate how you respond to and resolve workplace conflict. Employers ask these questions to get a sense of how effectively you operate under pressure and handle stress, as well as your ability to resolve disputes with people professionally and politely.
An interviewer could ask the following five questions on conflict and conflict resolution skills :
- How do you deal with disagreements?
- Describe when you had a workplace issue and how you handled it.
- When working in a group, how do you resolve conflicts? Give a specific example.
- Explain when you had a conflict with your supervisor and how you handled the matter.
- Explain how you addressed a scenario in which you disagreed with a rule or policy.
- Briefly describe a prior disagreement you had on a team project.
- Explain the last time you were involved in resolving conflicts between team members.
- How do you ensure that future disagreements don’t arise again?
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Explain A Situation In Which You Disagreed With Your Manager And How You Handled It
Just as you could experience a conflict with team members, you may have also disagreed with a manager in the past. This question could determine how you respond to disagreements when it is with an authority figure and how it could impact your ability to perform assigned tasks.
Your response can show your ability to follow instructions and how you approach a disagreement with your manager or supervisor. When answering this question, provide an honest example of when you disagreed with a supervisor and how you were able to resolve that conflict.
Example: When preparing data about the success of past projects to request funding for a new project in our department, a supervisor asked me to delete data records for projects that were less successful. I knew that deleting these records would skew the results and representation of our past performance. I expressed this concern to my supervisor, but she insisted that I remove the data.
After careful consideration, I decided to discuss the issue with the next level of management, which dismissed my concerns and supported the decision to remove the data. Ultimately, I removed data as directed, but I also changed the language in the report to clearly communicate that the reported data represented successful projects to ensure I accurately represented the information. I also documented the situation, including data records removed from reported results, in the event of questioning or an audit.
How To Successfully Answer The Conflict Question
As a Product Manager, having an effective strategy for how you handle conflict is critical. But answering this question successfully is not necessarily about telling the interviewer your amazing, magic solution to conflict! On the job as a Product Manager, your day to day operation will be all about making sure you have all the information and understand all the variables before you make a decision. The same mentality should be brought to conflict resolution. Even if you have had experience with a particular strategy previously, what worked at another company might not necessarily be effective in this new environment.
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Understanding Interview Questions Like ‘how Do You Deal With Conflict
During an interview, an employer may ask behavioral interview questions like ‘How do you deal with conflict?’ to learn how well you handle challenging workplace situations. To gain a better understanding of your personality, problem-solving skills, and professionalism in the workplace, some of these questions could be related to your conflict-resolution skills. Learn more about how to answer the question, ‘How do you deal with conflict?’ and review examples of strong conflict-related interview questions and answers.
Question : How Do You Deal With Conflict
People aren’t going to get along with each other all the time. It’s just a fact. Employers want to know that you can respond to conflict diplomatically. If you’re a my-way-or-the-highway type of personality, you’re not going to get very far in the interview.
Start off by emphasizing communication and respectfulness as a means to conflict resolution. For example, “I always take the person aside and discuss the issue privately. I listen actively to make sure I understand the other person’s point of view, and I work with the person to develop a solution together.” Stress that even if you both don’t completely agree on the end result, you tried to at least meet each other halfway.
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Example For Supply Chain Roles
Question: Give me an example of a conflict you had with a supplier and how did you resolve it?
Answer: Once I got a shipment from a vendor containing some electronics with the wrong specifications.
When I reached out to the vendor, he got a bit angry and told me that the mistake was on our end. I was sure that the order requests were correct, but did not continue the argument. I told him that I would check and report back to him.
The next day, when I showed him the order specifications, which were accurate, he agreed to trace back the issue with their supply chain. When they found out that it was a wrong shipment, they happily agreed to exchange it. They also offered to bear the shipping costs on both sides.
Conflict In The Workplace
No matter what kind of job you work in, whether it be a fast food job, government work, or in a corporation, there is always conflict in the workplace. On most interviews you will be asked how you have resolved a situation where there has been conflict between you and another person. This question demonstrates a lot, as it will indicate how you reason, how you handle tense situations, and how you got out of those situations.
There are multiple types of conflict that can be used to answer this question, which depends on how the question is asked. This article will cover the multiple ways you can be asked this question and how you should answer.
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Example For A Manager
Question: What would you do if you did not like a new work policy?
Answer: People got really angry when the paid-time-off policy was changed where I used to work. The organization announced that the paid time off would be decreased to only 10 days instead of 15 per year.
Seeing the overall discontentment among the employees, I decided to take the matter up with our CEO. I wanted to show him how demoralizing the situation was for the staff.
I also created a report showing that most of the employees did not even utilize all 15 days of PTO, but it was clear that having those days gave them psychological assurance.
Realizing the importance of the issue, the CEO agreed to keep the policy unchanged for now and the employees were very happy about it.
How Do You Deal With Disagreements
Working with others is a requirement of most employment, and variations in personalities, views, and beliefs can lead to conflict. Employers want to see whether you can handle these situations professionally and responsibly. Be honest about how you handle these circumstances while answering this question. If you have a problem with conflict, accept it and describe how you’re striving to improve your conflict resolution skills.
“In most circumstances, I’m a good handler of disagreement.” I embrace variety and recognize that various individuals hold different viewpoints, leading to disagreements. When confronted with a problem, I try to work with others to find a good solution to all parties involved. When I try to communicate myself, I might feel defensive at times. I’m working on strategies to control this habit, such as pausing to take a deep breath and thinking about what I’m saying before replying.”
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Have You Ever Disagreed With A Work Policy
Having conflicts related to work policies are not easy to resolve. Policies usually involve the whole organization, and opposing a conflict can mean getting into conflict with the company itself.
You have to be very careful while answering this question and choose an example thats not too complicated.
Here are a few sample answers regarding conflict with a work policy.
Example Answers To Tell Me About A Challenge Or Conflict Youve Faced At Work
Time to put all our advice into action with some sample answers. Pay attention to how each answer uses the STAR method to deliver a perfectly coherent response to this behavioral interview question.
At my last job in sales, we had an issue with a client who was extremely unhappy with the specifics of our arragenemnt.
As her primary point of contact in the company, it was my job to defuse the situation and help him come to a new deal that worked for both our company and his.
First, I spoke to him about the specifics he was upset with, namely delivery costs and trouble he was having using our software. We rehashed sticking points to the point where he was satisfied with the new arrangement. Additionally, we assigned him a permanent customer success representative to ensure he could take full advantage of our products.
While at the start, he was close to ending our relationship, by the end he was a happy customer. He later subscribed to our full service package and became one of our top five clients the following year.
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How To Answer Conflict Resolution Interview Questions
Conflict happens in all areas of life, and when you’re applying for a position, the company wants to understand your conflict resolution skills. Confidently answering interview questions about conflict resolution can show your ability to work with others, handle stress, and problem-solve effectively. In this article, we discuss the definition of conflict resolution, why interviewers ask questions about your ability to handle conflict in the workplace, and the most common conflict resolution interview questions with sample responses and tips for handling conflict in a work environment.
Conflict With Your Supervisors
Conflict with your supervisor will demonstrate how you handle tense situations with those above you and if you can follow orders when necessary. Stories like this can be few, but can give your interviewers key insight on how you work with supervisors. Answer this question with the following tips in mind:
- Don’t make any negative remarks about your supervisor. Even if you were the correct person in the conflict, don’t state that you knew your supervisor was wrong. Instead, explain the situation and how it was resolved to the satisfaction of all of those involved.
- Explain why you felt you were correct in the conflict. This isn’t the same as making negative remarks. Just don’t simply state your supervisor wasn’t following policy. Explain what you felt the ramifications were and why you felt the need to bring it up.
- If your supervisor ordered you to do something, even if it was incorrect, explain the situation fully. This will demonstrate you will follow orders even if you knew your supervisor was incorrect. If you went to someone above your supervisor, explain that as well to show you took the necessary steps to ensure the task was done correctly.
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Have You Ever Disagreed With Your Manager
Now, this one is among the trickiest conflict resolution interview questions as it deals directly with conflicts with your superiors.
Naturally, you would want to answer it very carefully as the question deals with power dynamics in the workplace.
Here are a few examples that you can use as inspiration.
How Do You Resolve An Unethical Situation That Could Pose Dangerous Threats To The Companys Reputation
This question would test your ability to think on your feet, as well as your knowledge and experience in dealing with HR regulations. Elaborate on a specific incident that what concrete action you took against it.
A sexual harassment case happened in one of my previous companies. We do not tolerate behaviours causing harm to our companys workforce and reputation. Firstly, I had to be fair and hear cases from both sides to better understand the situation.
After it was verified, weve made the necessary actions to resolve it employee counselling, terminating the employee to hold him accountable, as well as reinforcing consequences for unethical behaviour in the workplace throughout all levels of the organisation.
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How Would You Handle A Team That Witnesses Many Internal Conflicts
The panel wants to knowmore about your role as a mediator and your impartialness.
Tip 1: Explain thatlistening and understanding both the perspective are important.
Tip 2: Both the partiesare supposed to meet halfway and they both should agree to do what is best forthe project at hand.
Conflicts of interest or approach arean inevitable part of any project progress. If more than one person works on aproject, there will be disagreement. As a project Manager, it is my job toensure that this conflict is resolved in the smoothest possible way. So, tosort such issues out, I will ask both the parties involved to sit together anddiscuss the points where the issues are arising. Now, both the people in frontof me are sitting in that chair, holding that job because they are good attheir work. This means their conflict is backed by strong reasoning. It will bemy work to hear them both out and help them come to a term where neither isbenefitting at the loss of other and the overall interest of the project isensured.
However, that is not the end of myhandling the conflict strategy. I believe these clashes are not resolved whena superior gives directions on what to do. Its solved when both the partiesagree that the solution they have come to is good and they leave the roomsatisfied with the outcome. Thats when the conflict is actually resolved.
Tips For Dealing With Conflict In The Workplace
Because companies highly value the skill of conflict resolution, you can work toward developing and improving your skills with these simple tips:
Build professional relationships with your colleagues founded on mutual respect.
Practice the skill of actively listening to provide your complete focus and attention to the speaker to eliminate misunderstanding.
Use respectful communication to express your ideas and opinions so that everyone feels comfortable in the situation.
React objectively in the workplace and focus on a person’s actions if there is a problem, instead of attacking the person themselves.
Identify recurring situations of conflict and find ways to solve the underlying issue to prevent future challenges.
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