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Q9: Tell Me About A Difficult Situation You Have Faced...

Jobs : Successful Job Search Questions At Interview

This question looks to see how you cope with a conflict situation, and may tease this out explicitly, like the following competency based question:

"Tell me about a difficult situation that you have faced. Perhaps it was a situation where you were in an argument or confrontation with a colleague. How did you deal with it?"

This is another one of those awkward questions, resembling one of those on the employers application form, for instance.

Why are they asking this question? This is always a good thing to ask with every question that you are asked, especially if it is one that you are not prepared for, as this one may be?

Remember that you are perfectly entitled to request a moment to think about a question like this. In that time think what they might be looking for here - perhaps your ability to work as a team again - to resolve a problem - so-called 'conflict resolution' can be very important by means of reaching compromise.

If you can't think of anything major, then say "whilst I try to avoid conflict, sometimes it is perhaps inevitable. And one situation where this occurred was when I..." then use the example that comes to mind the quickest.

If the difficult situation does involve a colleague, don't name them or put them in a bad light. Rather say, for instance "I was recently asked to give a presentation about the company with a colleague.

We are both quite strong minded characters, and decided to go away individually to prepare our answer, with a view to pooling our ideas. however, we found that when we pooled our ideas, we both had taken a different approach to the speech; I had given a witty light-hearted presentation, my colleague a very dry, fact based one. Therefore we couldn't really combine them, as in order to do this we had talked about completely different areas of the business.

Therefore through careful discussion, concession and talking through the matter, we reached a compromise where we chose a topic which would allow us to combine the two approaches, whilst still being relevant to the required theme for the presentation and presenting the company in an excellent light"

As long as you show that you stay calm in any sort of difficult situation, and are prepared to act as necessary to resolve it in as fruitful a manner as possible, you will have no problem with this question.

But it is the sort where it helps to have a skeletal example in the back of your mind at least.

By: Job Expert

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