In an interview, a hiring manager will want to know how you deal with hard situations. Work isn’t always easy and can often become stressful and difficult when dealing with deadlines and upset customers. This is your opportunity to convince the hiring manager that you can effectively handle any situation thrown at you.
Points to Emphasize
When you formulate a response, be sure to stay positive and be brief. The hiring manager doesn’t need to hear about all the stressful situations you have encountered. Mention one specific example and keep a positive tone as you discuss the essential details.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Interview questions like this one can be tricky if you aren’t prepared. The most important thing to remember is that you stay positive and don’t dwell on the negative. Keep your response professional and accurate, without elaborating too much. Here are a few things to avoid in your response:
A sample response to an interview question that asks “what major problem have you encountered and how did you deal with it” might look something like this:
In my current position I fulfill customer orders over the phone and complete the order in the company’s computer system. One day the entire system unexpectedly crashed and we were left with a call volume exceeding 100 customers on hold, waiting to place their order. It was a difficult situation, since I initially felt there was little I could do to help the problem. But I soon realized there was a lot I could do to help fix the problem. I could talk to our customers and assure them we were doing everything we could to help them.
I answered as many calls as I possibly could to alleviate the hold volume. I spoke sincerely and confidently with each customer and assured them our secure system was not in any trouble, but that it might take a few minutes to have it properly working again. Our customers expressed their gratitude for my honesty, and my manager praised me for taking initiative in a messy situation. I look forward to the opportunity to work with the customers at your company and assure them in the same manner, should a system encounter failure or another problem arise.