Wednesday, February 14, 2024

How To Deal With Conflict Interview Question

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Can You Recall A Time Of Conflict With A Coworker


Behavioral questions require you to describe how you acted in a real-life situation. Prospective employers ask this type of question to learn more about your personality. Past behavior often indicates how you would react in comparable future situations, so be sure to provide an example you are proud of or to explain the lessons you took away from the experience. It is important to emphasize the resolution that took place, as opposed to dwelling on the conflict itself.

The STAR approach may prove helpful when answering this type of question. This acronym stands for:

  • Situation: Briefly explain the issue you were dealing with in a positive, constructive way.
  • Task: Describe your role in the situation.
  • Action: Discuss what you did to resolve or address the situation.
  • Result: Emphasize what you learned and how your actions had a positive outcome.

Example: I was working as a project manager on an IT project, and one technician was constantly late finishing tasks. When I approached him about it, he reacted defensively. I kept calm and acknowledged that the deadlines were challenging and asked how I could assist him in improving his performance. He calmed down and told me that he was involved in another project where he had to do tasks that were not in his job description. After a meeting with the other project manager, we came to a resolution that alleviated the technicians workload. For the remainder of the project, the technician delivered great work.

How Do You Handle Conflict At Work

The interviewer wants to know how you react to conflict and how you manage it. Try to focus your job interview answer on the behavioral process that you use to resolve the conflict.

Don’t direct your answer at how difficult you boss or co-workers are and how hard it is to work with them. This portrays you as someone who does not get on easily with other people and employers want someone who gets on well with others.

Use your interview answer to highlight your interpersonal skills, your maturity and your ability to stay calm in the face of difficulty.

Sample interview answer:

“Everyone has to deal with conflict at some point. I have found that when there is conflict it helps to try and put yourself in the other person’s shoes and understand their perspective.

It is important to ask questions and listen to their point of view. If you know what their interpretation of the situation is, then it is easier to work out a solution. For example…. .”

Emphasize the techniques you use to diffuse conflict such as:

  • understanding the other person’s position
  • asking questions to find out the cause of the conflict
  • not conveying blame
  • not becoming too emotional

Demonstrate your ability to work collaboratively to reach an acceptable resolution.

Here is another of those standard interview questions that is exploring a number of different aspects at once.

Why Is This Answer Unlikely To Get You The Graduate Job You Want

There isnât a person alive who has never encountered conflict so, at worst, this answer comes across as being dishonest, or, more likely, as from the mouth of someone who buries their head in sand and pretends conflict never happens, and ignores it when it does.

Sometimes letting problems blow away is a sound policy but it can also be the worst thing you can do, as unresolved issues often return in worse forms. Also, in the answer above, âI guess I would handle it constructivelyâ sounds as if youâre trying hard to say the right thing but are not too sure about it.

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S For Dealing With Conflict Situations

Employers are increasingly prioritizing applicants with emotional intelligence because employees with strong soft skills and interpersonal ability are more likely to work well as part of a team. It is advisable to remember the following emotionally intelligent habits when answering conflict interview questions:

Read more: Four Common Types of Team Conflict and How to Resolve Them

What Are Your Conflict Resolution Skills

Conflict Resolution Interview Questions And Answers ...

There are several conflict resolution skills that you can integrate into your answers. Some of them you might think of right away and some you might already have used in the past. Its important that you provide the interviewer with a clear answer on how you approach conflict situations. Below we discuss the most important conflict resolution skills.

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Follow The Steps Above And Youll Have A Great Answer For Interview Questions About Workplace Conflicts

If you prepare a specific story for how you handle conflict, and prepare to talk about your general approach to conflicts, youll be ready to give an impressive answer to this interview question.

Remember to always show the hiring manager that you are:

  • Calm under pressure
  • A logical and reasonable person
  • Ego-free and focused on whats best for the company
  • Good at communicating, listening, and compromising when necessary

And show that you learned from the experience and used it to improve.

If you use the steps outlined above, youll impress the hiring manager and be more likely to get hired in your job interview!

Conflict Resolution Interview Questions And Answers

How to Answer Conflict Resolution Questions

  • ST – Situation/Task
  • A – Approach/Action
  • R – Resolution/Results

situationapproachresolutionSample Answer – “Tell me about a time you had a conflict with your boss”S/T Example Situation/TaskA Example ApproachR Example ResultsOther Conflict Resolution Tips and Examples1. How do you cope with conflict in the workplace?2. Are there any times where you had a conflict with a superior? If yes, how did you handle it and resolve it?3. Give an instance where you had to settle a conflict between two individuals.

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How Do You Handle Conflict Within Your Team

Good leaders know how to handle any conflict that might arise within their teams. You’re able to listen, negotiate and reach compromises with all the individuals in your team. Use this question to showcase how you de-escalate and resolve problems within the workplace. This question can also highlight your communication and interpersonal skills.

Example:‘When two of my team members disagree or a conflict arises within my team, I like to get everyone in a room so we can discuss the problem out in the open. In my last role, two of my team members disagreed over working methods. I had each side sit down and discuss their problems face to face, and I encouraged a thoughtful and positive tone to the conversation.

After each side outlined their ideas, I helped them conceive and outline a compromise that appealed to everyone. This process allowed the two team members to work together towards a solution and to remember that they were both working for the same team, towards the same goals’.

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Red Flags For The Interviewer

How to deal with conflict (Interview question)
  • If you cannot provide the interviewer with an example situation in which you resolved a conflict situation, this is considered a red flag. Your resume only offers a glimpse into your work history, but this is only a starting point for an in-depth conversation about your background. If the job that youre applying for requires you to deal with conflict situations, you should prepare example situations before the interview.
  • Whats also considered a red flag is if you cannot provide the interviewer with learning experiences you had in your previous work experience. Asking what you learned from a specific situation is a very common follow-up question if you have not already provided a learning experience in your answer yourself. Being able to reflect on situations and discussing what youve learned is a big factor for interviewers if they want to assess whether or not you have grown over time and learned from your experiences.
  • Focusing too much on the conflict and not enough on the actual resolution or just dodging the question is considered a red flag.
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    Agree On A Plan For Resolution

    Ideally, at this point, each person should know how they contributed to the situation and be processing what they can do to make it better. Before ending the conversation, aim to create a plan for resolution that involves steps for each person involved. The resolution plan might include apologies and changes in behavior to prevent the same conflict from arising again. For example, if an employee feels like their ideas are not being valued by their manager, the plan for resolution may include the manager setting aside time in 1:1s to listen to ideas the employee has written down throughout the week.

    Question : How Do You Deal With Differences Of Opinion When Working On A Team

    Conflict resolution is often a team effort. It’s not always easy to see eye to eye with co-workers, but that’s not a good reason to discount their contributions. No surprise many employers seek job candidates who demonstrate strong teamwork skills.

    Hiring managers want to hear that you value diversity of opinion and understand how different points of view can contribute to a better solution than if everyone just immediately agreed with each other.

    As such, your response to this question should point out that you welcome alternate perspectives: “I always appreciate different viewpoints from my own. When someone expresses a different opinion, I listen carefully to what the person says and utilize that feedback.”

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    Tell Me About A Time You Dealt With An Angry Customer

    One of the most common sources of conflict in the workplace occurs between employees and clients. Organizations consider their clients very important and expect their employees to do the same. To answer this question properly, it’s essential you emphasize respect for the client and focus on the most effective resolution.

    Example:“I worked as a receptionist where I once encountered a furious client. The client came in yelling and visibly angry. After some time, I managed to calm them down and asked what was wrong. While the client’s responses were rude, I focused on their complaints. I eventually discovered one of our consultants had kept them waiting too long. I immediately apologized on behalf of the company, offered them some water, and connected them with another consultant. The client then approached me after to apologize for their behaviour.”

    Examples Of Conflict Management Interview Questions

    How to Answer Conflict
    • Tell me about a time you disagreed with a coworkers idea on a project you were both working on together. How did you express your opposition and what happened?
    • What would you do if your manager gave you negative feedback on the way you approached a problem?
    • How do you handle conflicts within your team?
    • How do you deal with angry customers who complain about your products/services?
    • Have you ever had a team member who kept raising objections on projects? How did you manage them?
    • How would you advise a team member who complained about a coworkers behavior?
    • Have you ever faced a conflict of interest during a cross-departmental project? What did you do?
    • Youve noticed that a team member is aggressive or arrogant toward the rest of the team. How would you approach this person?
    • How would you react if a coworker blamed you for something that wasnt entirely your fault during a meeting?

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    Conflict Management Interview Questions

    • Describe a time you disagreed with your coworkerâs project idea. How did you show you didnât approve and what happened?
    • How would you deal with negative feedback on the way you approached a problem?
    • How do you deal with disagreements in your team?
    • How do you deal with angry customers?
    • Have you ever had a disagreeable team member? How did you manage them?
    • How would you mediate between two team members who didnât get on?
    • What would you do if you had a conflict of interest during a cross-departmental project?
    • How would you approach an aggressive or arrogant team member?
    • How would you cope if you were accused publicly of doing something wrong?

    Tips To Assess Candidates Conflict Management Skills In Interviews

    • Ask candidates to explain in detail how theyve dealt with disagreements in the past. Hire people who think conflicts through before confronting a coworker.
    • Empathy and listening skills are indicators of an individual who handles conflicts professionally. These people are valuable team members, as they manage to keep their coworkers calm.
    • Good conflict management skills go hand-in-hand with solid communication abilities. Candidates who clearly express themselves and keep a pleasant discussion during interviews are more likely to resolve issues that arise at work.
    • Use behavioral questions that demonstrate how candidates interact in team environments. Opt for people who prioritize collaboration and maintain the teams balance.
    • If the role requires communication with clients, consider adding a role-playing activity to your interview process. Youll be able to simulate job duties and test candidates abilities to resolve issues.
    • Even if candidates describe negative experiences, its important to see what lessons theyve learned. Look for people who dont take things personally and understand the importance of being patient.

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    Tell Me About A Time You Disagreed With A Company Policy Or Rule And How You Handled The Situation

    A hiring manager wants to know that you can accept the company’s policies and procedures while also be independent thinking and having good judgement. An interviewer asks this question to determine your ability to follow directions that make sense in unique situations. But your response also allows you to expand on your critical thinking skills and explain why an outdated or impractical rule may need to be rethought by company leadership.

    Example:“In my previous position, the company had a strict no cellphone policy while working. I dealt with a client who was on the go and specifically requested that all communication with them be through text message. My supervisor was absent the day I worked with this customer, so I let my colleagues know what was happening and why I was using my cellphone during business hours. The next day, I informed my supervisor of the client’s request and what I had done. They appreciated my honesty and also my willingness to provide the bestcustomer serviceI could. The company soon after implemented a computer-based texting program for us to communicate with clients via text message.”

    How Do You Deal With Conflict

    How Do You Handle Conflict? Interview Questions And Answers

    Interviewers ask this question to assess your general attitude towards conflict at work. When answering this question, it’s important you emphasize your communication and interpersonal skills. You can use this opportunity to mention any special techniques you have for resolving conflict.

    Example:“When I experience conflict with a colleague, my first response is to check my temper and ensure I’m not defensive. Usually, I request that the colleague and I speak privately to avoid interference. Then I try to listen to their views, discuss mine, and work together on a compromise.”

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    How Your Handle Conflict With Customers

    If youre in any type of role in which you deal with clients or customers, maintaining good relations and not engaging in back-and-forth debate is essential to the companys reputation. Respond to this question in a way that shows that while you arent a pushover, you always remain a calm and collected professional.


    I recognize that by the time a customer reaches me, theyve already exhausted their options with customer service reps, and are probably angry. I always listen without interrupting, sympathize with their frustrations and then calmly lay out the various ways in which we can help solve their problem.

    Heres A Simple Way To Answer How Do You Handle Conflict

    When faced with a conflict, I like to ask questions and understand my coworkers perspective. This helps keep the situation calm, helps them feel like theyre being heard, and after this, Ive found its much easier to come to an agreement or compromise while both staying a lot calmer.

    Note: Its still okay to share a specific story after this if you want.

    To do this, youd start with the sample answer above, but youd go on to say, For example, in my last job and then tell them about a time you used the tactics you described to resolve a conflict.

    Even though this is a bit more than they asked for, it can help reinforce the point that youre trying to make. Some hiring managers will appreciate this, and its a good way to set yourself apart in your answer.

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    Be Prepared With Examples

    As an interviewee, the best way to be prepared for common interview questions and answers is to come up with compelling stories. Show your strengths, dont tell them.

    What you definitely dont want to do is spend a lot of time focusing on the problem and not enough time discussing what you did to solve it. This can make you look like a whiner, and one of the focuses of interviewers is to figure out what youll be like to work with.

    And if it seems like youre better at identifying problems and talking about them rather than fixing them, then it doesnt speak well for you. So as part of your interview preparation, think of an example of a conflict and make sure that it speaks to how you solve problems.

    Do you avoid conflict or face it? Do you think it through, or are you impulsive? Do you use constructive techniques to resolve the situation?

    How To Answer The Interview Question Tell Me About A Challenge Or Conflict Youve Faced At Work

    Danny GhitisHigh Performance Coach

    Its important to be solutions-focused, especially for a question about conflicts youve faced. This is a great opportunity to highlight how you used your strengths to overcome an obstacle. Think of some go-to examples ahead of time and outline them using the STAR method . Tell a compelling story, not just a bunch of bullet pointscreating an emotional response to a narrative will get the interviewer invested!

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