If you're in transition and interviewing for jobs, you'll want to check out these 50 Important Job Interview Questions, Why they are Asked and How You Should Answer.
A few years ago I remember asking a question, "Everyone encounters difficult people when working in a job. Can you tell me about a situation where you had to deal with a difficult person and how you handled it?" to a potential employee. The candidate really blasted her co-worker for about 5 minutes. She just ranted about the person. And without realizing it, she blew the interview.
My question wasn't to find out about wrong the coworker was, but how well the candidate handled the situation and could get work done while getting along with people in a work environment. Believe me, dealing with abrasive personalities is not how the supervisor wants to or needs to be spending their day.
Question 23: Give us an example of a situation where you faced conflict or difficult communication problems.
This is not the time to tell the interviewer how much you hate your current boss or colleagues!
It’s also not the point to launch into a tirade about how difficult people in your office are to work with and how many arguments you have.
So what are they looking for? They’re looking for someone who can rise above conflict and diffuse the emotions, finding a win-win solution.
Basically, recruiters want to employ people who will get on well with others, whilst still delivering the company’s objectives.
This type of question is your chance to demonstrate your interpersonal and team-working skills.
The interviewer will be looking for maturity and the ability to be able to keep your calm, whilst others around you are losing theirs. Don’t feel you have to provide an answer that gives you full credit for the solution – it can often be more powerful (if it’s true) to demonstrate how you worked with others to find a fix.
Practice your answer to this question. It can have many guises, but is almost guaranteed to be asked in some form.
Check out the other 49 questions, discussions and sample answers here.