When you’re in the middle of an interview, you’ll always get a question or two that really stumps you, like “what would you say to your boss if he is crazy about an idea, but you think it stinks”
Even though you might think that the interviewer wants to know exactly what you said to your boss at the time of the disagreement, they’re really looking for your level of composure and sensibility when faced with contention.
Points to Emphasize
When you respond to this question, rather than simply stating how you conducted yourself, take into account the following points to highlight:
- Try to focus your answer on how your communication skills allow you to handle conflict effectively.
- Keep your response light and with a positive tone.
- Emphasize your ability to compromise, even when in an uncomfortable situation.
- Discuss what you learned from the experience and how it will help in your future positions.
Remember that when you answer a question such as this, that you answer openly and honestly. Interviewers appreciate seeing a healthy level of confidence in the way that you took care of difficult circumstances.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
With every tough interview question, it’s easy to slip-up and make a mistake with your response. Stay on top of your interview game by avoiding these common pitfalls:
- Do not talk badly about your previous supervisors and coworkers.
- Do not present yourself as a blind follower by stating that you’ve “never had a difference in opinion with a superior before.”
- Don’t let the subject of a disagreement send you into a personal rant about a previous problem.
- Try not to leave this question with a vague and rehearsed answer.
As with any interview question response, make sure to answer clearly and concisely to show your professionalism.
Get an idea of what a great response to this question might look like with this example answer below:
While I’ve generally agreed with most of the decisions that my former boss and I have had to make, there are a couple of circumstances that come to mind. In both cases, I chose to assess why it was that I disagreed with my superior and tried to come up with a different plan of action that we both might approve of. From each of these experiences, I was able to learn how to compromise while boosting my communication skills and deepening my relationships with fellow coworkers.
Don’t forget that this question is just another chance for your interviewer learn more about you.