When you get asked a question like “If you were at a business lunch and ordered a rare steak and they brought it to you well done, what would you do” the hiring manager probably doesn’t care about your opinion of rare steak versus well done. What they’re really trying to figure out is how you would react to tough circumstances on the job. Are you going to accept this subpar work Can you handle the situation in a way that you get what you want without being rude
Points to Emphasize
When answering this question, or one similar to it, you want to bring up character qualities and experiences that would help you handle this situation like a pro.
- Talk about how it’s important to focus on the bigger picture. The quality of your steak may not be as important as the quality of the meeting you’re at, especially if you’re meeting with prospective clients.
- Explain that you would check that everyone else’s orders were acceptable before talking with the waiter. This shows that you want to take care of everyone’s needs.
- Mention that you would calmly point out that your order was not done how you specified. This shows that you want high quality work from those around you.
- Bring up previous experience where you did something wrong, but once your mistake was pointed out to you, you were able to do a better job in the future.
Keeping the conversation positive is very important.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
When you answer this question there are some things you do not want to do.
- Don’t yell at the waiter. This shows impatience, and a leader needs patience.
- Don’t simply complain about it to the table. This shows that you may not go to the source of the problem.
- Do not down play the mistake.
- Also, do not make the mistake a bigger deal than necessary.
Make sure you answer honestly.
It can be tough to answer what-if questions like this, but here is a sample answer:
If that happened to me during a lunch meeting, I wouldn’t be that upset. However, I would want to bring the mistake to the attention of the waiter so that he or she could better themselves. I remember when I was young and made mistakes, and the only way I improved was by being shown those mistakes.
The interviewer is trying to get a sense of who you are, and how you answer this will show them.