At an interview, you want to respond to questions as positively as possible so that you will come across as someone who would be great to work with. But in addition to answering general questions such as “tell me about yourself”, you must also learn how to address challenging interview questions from an interviewer while maintaining your positive composure. Some of these questions may include:
● “How have you handled a difficult situation?” (this can relate to conflicts, difficult people, customers, or supervisors)
● “Tell me about a time you made a mistake and how you corrected it?”
● “How do you handle failure?”
● “What are your weaknesses?”
These types of questions can throw you off in an interview if you are not prepared to answer them, so we offer some suggestions in this article for how to address challenging interview questions.
Since the interviewer is likely to look at your social media presence, make sure you’re representing yourself professionally in all social profiles. Grab our tune-up for social media profiles here:
Questions About Handling Conflicts
They way you answer questions about conflict in an interview helps an interviewer to assess how well you will work together with co-workers and customers. According to a poll in an article about conflict by ToughNickel.com, approximately 50% of conflicts are with co-workers, 43% with supervisors, and 7% with subordinates.
You will be expected to have an answer for the conflict question so avoid saying that you have never had a conflict or difficult situation that you were faced with. Without placing any blame, explain a conflict situation, how it was resolved, and what was learned from it.
Good Communication is Key
Many times, conflicts are caused by simple communication mistakes, such as not providing enough information or unclear communication, which can result in misunderstandings. This is true both with co-worker and customer communication. Let the interviewer know how you’ve learned from your communication challenges and how they’ve contributed to you developing your excellent communication skills.
Questions About Making Mistakes
Although we all make mistakes from time to time, answering questions about mistakes at a job interview can be challenging because you don’t want to come across as someone who will make big mistakes, but you also want to show that you can resolve mistakes effectively. So it’s best to mention a relatively small mistake and how you learned from it. You might also mention what you did to prevent the mistake from occurring again, such as setting up a system to prevent future errors.
Also, since the time that the mistake happened, what caused the mistake may actually be one of your strengths now. For example, you may have made a mistake in the past from not being organized enough, yet now, organization is one of your top skills. For more interview tips, check out or blog article on “5 Candidate Strategies for Successful Interviews.”
After you have tackled all the questions in the interview and your meeting is complete, don’t forget to say “thank you”. Stand-out as an exceptional candidate by sending an exceptional interview thank-you letter. Here are our tips:
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