When you’re applying for a position, the hiring manager may ask you something along the lines of “Tell me how you handled a difficult situation,” or “What have you done in the past when faced with a problem”
For this question, the interviewer wants to know what you do in a situation that doesn’t have a clear answer. This will help the interviewer know how you respond to unforeseen challenges.
Points to Emphasize
When you answer this question, you’ll want to focus on aspects related to your reasoning, integrity or initiative, or your ability to reach out to superiors when you don’t know the answer.
For this question, you want to highlight your ability to work through a problem that arises in the workplace.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
If you haven’t thought this question through ahead of time, there’s a good chance that you may not be able to think of something off the top of your head. Here are some things to avoid when answering this question.
Your potential employer wants to know that you can effectively work through a situation, so be sure to avoid a self-deprecating attitude.
A great example of a possible answer to this question would be:
“During a summer session I had a student who was writing offensive notes on student papers during peer grading assignments. I let my manager know and she had the student meet with us and his mother in order to address the situation.”
The interviewer wants to see your initiative in solving problems and your willingness to reach out for help when needed.