Certain interview questions are meant to assess whether or not you will be able to handle stressful situations, so be prepared to respond to something like: “Tell me about a time where you had to deal with conflict on the job.”
Conflict is a natural part of the workplace, and a prospective employer will want to know that you are capable of remaining level-headed and handle it efficiently. The important thing to note about this inquiry is that you should not go into excessive detail about the conflict itself. Instead, you should focus on how you handled it and what you learned through the process.
Points to Emphasize
When asked about conflict resolution in the workplace, there are certain things to keep in mind.
- Remain positive and confident
- Focus on a time where you dealt with conflict constructively
- Talk about a time where there was a win-win situation for everyone involved
- Discuss what you learned through the experience
No matter what type of industry you are going into, conflicts and disagreements are to be expected. Being able to handle those situations effectively will show that you will help the company instead of holding it back.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
There are some very common mistakes that are made whenever job applicants talk about conflict resolution.
- Don’t speak negatively of anyone whether it’s a customer or co-worker
- Avoid talking about a time where you got in a fight
- Don’t talk about a time where someone was unhappy with the outcome
- Avoid saying that you have never dealt with conflict
You do not have to hide the fact that you have experienced conflict at a previous job. Prospective employers are looking to see whether or not you break down when conflict comes up.
A response to a conflict resolution question should go something like this:
One time we had a customer come into the store who was upset that a television he bought wasn’t working properly. He yelled at me for what seemed like a minute and once I heard everything, I calmly told him the store policy that we couldn’t issue a refund, but we could give him store credit for the amount of the T.V. He still seemed pretty upset, so I asked my manager to come in and talked to him and she told him the same thing. That seemed to placate things a bit more, and the customer enjoyed a nice chunk of store credit while I learned how to handle stressful situations.
You can give any example you want as long as you were able to handle it in a way where everyone ended up happy.