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:
Why The Interviewer Asks This Question
Understanding how to resolve conflicts professionally is an important skill in any industry. In the nonprofit world, conflicts involving volunteers are especially challenging because individuals are donating their time to advance the cause of your organization. Red Cross has over 20,000 dedicated volunteers and needs to know that volunteer management reflects the high standards of the organization.
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.
You May Like: Mailscoop Io
Be Honest About Your Limitations
Talking as if you have been on the job for six months already is not necessarily a good thing in this situation! The reality is that you will not know the specifics of your prospective company culture, and without knowing all the details you wont be able to come up with the perfect response. Dont be afraid to acknowledge as much speak honestly about the limitations of your answer without the experience and context that a real life conflict provides. This is also a great way to force the interviewer to engage with you and really pay attention to what you are saying.
Now that you understand some of the key factors to include and some red flags to avoid, you can start to build an outline of your response that can flex as needed and appropriately build fail safes into your answer. Start by asking questions and gathering information, and really listen to the information you receive. Save the confident bravado and absolute statements for another time. Instead, opt for a conversational tone that is confident but grounded. A successful response will be thoughtful and engaged in the context of your prospective employer, and it will clearly communicate the flexible nature of your answer depending on the situation.
Explain A Situation Where You Handled Disagreements When Working As Part Of A Team
Conflict can arise when working with different people in a team. Every team member brings their own working styles to the project, which may differ considerably from yours, resulting in conflict. Answer this question by explaining how you work with different people to accomplish team goals amidst arguments and disagreements. You can also use the STAR method to break down the resolution step by step.
Example:’I remember an experience I had when working with a group to prepare a leadership presentation. We were responsible for conceptualising the presentation and developing action plans to implement it.
Two team members suggested that we hold daily meetings to discuss the program and monitor progress during the project. But the other team members and I didn’t think it necessary since we already had a log to report and track task progress and completion. We felt that since every team member understood their own contribution, it would be more effective to spend time completing the project than attending unnecessary meetings. After much deliberation, we decided to hold the daily meetings, but limit them to fifteen minutes. ‘
Also Check: System Design Interview Prep
Questions The Interviewer Wants Answers To
During a job interview, the interviewer is trying to assess how you respond to conflict situations. These type of interview questions are frequently asked during interviews because all employers want to hire good team players. Often interviewers ask you about your team experiences in previous jobs and follow-up with specifically asking about situations that involved a conflict situation or a difficult/complicated person. So, how do you think you handle conflicts?
- Are you a person that tries to avoid conflicts at all costs?
- Or are you a person who pretends there is no conflict and just ignores the situation?
- Are you a person who just goes with the flow and is more accommodating?
- Or are you a person that sees conflict as an opportunity to compromise and collaborate?
The interviewer is interested in your specific approach to conflict situations and how you handled them in the past. Through these interview questions, they want to find out how you react in certain work situations. Think of questions such as:
- Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss.
- Do you prefer to work as part of a team or alone? Can you explain why?
Behavioral job interview questions usually start with:
- Tell me about a time when you
- Describe situations where
- Give me an example of
- What do you do when
- Have you ever
What Are Your Conflict Resolution Skills
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.
Read Also: Questions To Ask Cfo During Interview
Sample Answers To Discuss Conflict Resolution Questions
Below you can find some examples of answers to conflict-resolution interview questions. Some of these questions require you to provide the job experience you had in a previous job. These behavioral interview questions are already written in STAR format so that you see how you can structure your answer.
Q2 Tell Us About A Time Situation When You Handled A Conflict With A Coworker
This is a common behavioral interview question asked at technical interviews. The best way to answer this question is by employing the STAR format. The STAR method serves as an effective way to answer commonly asked behavioral interview questions.
STAR stands for –
A – Action
R – Result
Letâs look at how you can answer this conflict interview question using the STAR method.
When working on an important project in my previous company, there was a coworker who frequently challenged my solutions. This coworker also had a tendency to speak out of turn and interrupt others before completely hearing their opinions or inputs on the project. My patience was tested, and at times I got annoyed and infuriated.
I realized that dialogue is the way forward. I also realized that the pressure was pretty steep, and a lot of us were stressed because of the workload. Changing myself in this situation was key. I decided to switch gears and become more patient and empathetic. This changed the environment a lot, given that I was a senior on the team. We were able to correspond healthily after that. Dialogue is a brilliant way to resolve conflicts and understand each other.
Don’t Miss: How To Prepare System Design Interview
How To Answer The Question
There are two ways to answer this question. The first thing you could do is answer the question with another question. This is an open-ended question so you may not be sure whether the interviewer wants to hear how you deal with conflict on a specific work related project or how you handle conflict with another person. Dont be afraid to ask them this. After you ask the interviewer to narrow down the question, he/she will specify which scenario he/she wants to hear you respond to. In some cases, he/she will let you choose. Once it has been decided on what type of conflict you will be discussing, it is important to remember that this is a behavioral interview question, which means you must answer in the STAR format:
- Situation/Task – What was the situation or task in which conflict occurred
- Action – When the conflict did occur, what action did you take in order to resolve that conflict
- Result – After you took action what was the result, was it positive or negative?
It is important to use this behavioral based formatfor all questions dealing with a subject that is situational, in this case it would be conflict.
This answer pertains to conflict with a team member. As you can see, this is a specific example from a particular work context. Lets break down how I used the STAR Format in this particular behavioral based interview question.
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.
Don’t Miss: Questions To Ask The Cfo In An Interview
How To Not Answer The Question
One way you can answer this question wrong is by stating that you dont handle conflict well. An answer like this is like walking into the interview with a root suit on . Another wrong way to answer this question is by giving the interviewer a very general answer, telling them how you would handle conflict on a overall scale.
What Is The Best Way To Resolve Conflict Between Employees
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.
Also Check: System Design Interview Preparation
Get Specific About Your Actions For Conflict Resolution
- The most memorable and compelling stories include enough detail to paint a picture. Show why this conflict was important and that you handled it capably.
- However, you must make an effort to keep the story concise. Its very easy to go off on tangents . Keep it focused.
- Stick to bullet points. Dont try to memorize a script.
How Do You Handle Conflict
Most jobs require working with other people, and differences in personalities, perspectives and opinions may lead to conflict. Employers want to assess your ability to respond to these situations respectfully and professionally. When answering this question, be honest about how you handle these situations. If you struggle with conflict, admit to it and explain how you are working to improve ways you manage it.
Sample Answer: In most cases, I handle conflict well. I value diversity and understand that different people have different opinions, which may lead to conflict. When faced with conflict, I work to collaborate with others to resolve the issue in a way that is mutually beneficial for everyone involved. Sometimes, I can become defensive when trying to express my opinion. I am practicing tactics to manage this behavior, such as pausing to take a deep breath and carefully considering my words before responding.
Read Also: Best Interview Clothes For A Woman
Star Interview Technique For Conflict Resolution Questions
The best way to answer conflict-resolution interview questions is by providing the interviewer with an example situation. By doing so, you provide the interviewer what theyre looking for an example of you using the skills that you claim to possess. Its also an opportunity to provide a to the point answer about how you resolved conflict situations in the past. STAR in more detail:
What Is The Conflict Resolution Question In An Interview
Conflict resolution questions are behavioral questions typically reserved for individuals being considered for management or advanced-level positions, but any serious job-seeker should be prepared for these types of questions.
Here is the best information and knowledge on the topic of “What is the conflict resolution question in an interview?” compiled and synthesized by the lautruyen.com team:
You May Like: Design Interview Preparation
How Do Employers Assess Your Conflict Resolution Skills
This question provides an example that allows employers to assess your conflict resolution skills based on an actual event in your experience. It helps them assess how you respond to conflict with coworkers and how you work on a team. It also gives you the opportunity to explain how youve actually responded to conflict in the past.
How Would You Manage A Team Member Who Kept Raising Objections On Projects Do You Have An Example Of Such An Interaction
Not every co workeris a delight to work with. With this question the interviewers want to know howyoud handle a confrontational coworker.
Tip 1: Do notdisregard the co worker as confrontational and hispoints as invalid.
Tip 2: Healthycommunication is still the key.
In a workplace, disagreements areinevitable and everyone working there is good at their jobs. This meansmanaging such a person starts with understanding that if they are raisingobjection then they have a reason to do so. To start with, talking to themwould be a good idea. This will enable all parties concerned to see where theybelieve a problem might arise. The person in question may present the pointswhere he believes the problem lies and what exactly could go wrong by followingthat particular plan.
Subsequently, other people involvedcan either discover a view they never considered or if it is something they didgo over, then they can present their case on how that issue can be tackled forthe overall betterment of the project.
In any such case, the bottom line isto know that there is a reason behind every action a team member is taking andmore often than not, it is, according to them, for the benefit of the project.
Also Check: Top 10 Behavioral Questions
What Are The Steps In Conflict Management
These steps will help you identify conflict and gain some clarity about the situation:
- Identify the root of the conflict.
- Identify what is at stake for you. Assess the risk youre taking through your choice of addressing or not addressing the issue.
- Identify what is at stake for the other person.
- Assess how you are currently handling the situation.
How Do You Handle Conflict With Others
The avoiding style. The problem-solving style. The bargaining style. The smoothing style. 2. When you experience conflict with someone else, you should always remember to compromise. 3. Assertively but diplomatically state your perspective. Brainstorm possible solutions to the problem. Slap some sense into them. Listen to their perspective. 4.
Don’t Miss: Interview Attire Women
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.
Different Ways An Interviewer Can Ask You About Conflict Resolution
- Tell me about a time you had to handle conflict on a team project.
- How do you deal with conflict?
- Tell me about a time when you had an issue with a colleague.
- Do you ever get into arguments with others in the workplace?
- How do you deal with different opinions when working on a team?
- Tell me about a time you had to respond to an unhappy client or customer.
- How do you handle situations when you need to do something that you dont want to do?
The questions listed above focus on how exactly you handled these work situations in the past. The way you respond to questions about conflict resolution tell the interviewer more about your work values and ability to disagree with others professionally.
In this article, we go in-depth on why the interviewer asks you about how you handle conflicts, questions you can expect during a job interview, and how you should approach them. Furthermore, read more about frequently asked job interview questions here and check our job interview preparation checklist.
You May Like: Questions To Ask A Cfo