The most difficult interview questions (and answers)

You need a plan to prepare an effective response when faced with behavioral interview questions like this one. The best strategy is to use a difficult but challenging experience to demonstrate your emotional intelligence and professional experience.

This is a fantastic chance to make a good impression on the hiring manager and demonstrate why you’re the best candidate.

Describe a difficult situation you encountered in a previous job, and how you resolved it.” “Tell me about a problem you had to solve in a previous position.” “Describe a difficult task, and how you handled it.” “Can you provide an example of a time when you (made a mistake at work, under-performed on a task, etc.)

INTERVIEW QUESTION: Tell Me About A Time You Handled A Difficult Situation? (The BEST Answer!)

Key takeaways:

Employers also ask challenging interview questions to understand your thought processes. The employer is not looking for a specific answer here, but rather asking to see if you can think quickly and support your answer with some logic or explanation. As an illustration, they might ask you an unexpected and abstract question like, “If you were a tree, what type of tree would you be?” The employer is not looking for a specific answer here, but rather asking to see if you can think quickly and support your answer with some logic or explanation

Last but not least, employers may ask challenging interview questions to assess your level of experience and comfort handling challenging tasks. Technical positions like computer programming or accounting tend to use this more frequently. You should do your best to respond to these questions. Seek out examples of test questions from friends or colleagues in your industry.

What critical feedback do you most often receive?

For instance, “In the past, people have said that I frequently talk over other people in meetings.” While I enjoy working with others and getting excited about the projects I’m working on, I also fully appreciate the value of active listening and utilizing the variety of ideas present in the room. I’ve made it a point to actively listen by taking notes, and I always wait until the very end to speak when others are sharing. ”.

Why do you want to work here?

Employers frequently ask this question to ensure that you’ve given the decision to apply for a position at their company some thought and consideration. If you’re switching industries or job roles, this inquiry might be especially significant.

Example: “When I started looking for a new job, I deliberately looked for organizations that are dedicated to integrity, philanthropy, and innovation, and your company ranks at the top of the list. I’m looking for a job where I can use my enthusiasm for excellent UX, as your company has always been forward-thinking and used technology to help improve the customer experience. ”.

Example 1

Here is an example response from a candidate who dealt with a dissatisfied client:

“I was a team leader at a supermarket in my previous position.” Online and in print advertisements in our stores, we promoted weekly sales. Sports drinks from one particular brand were on sale for “buy one, get one free,” and they were quickly consumed. The entire stock in our store had been depleted by the middle of the sales week.

One client came up to me and voiced their displeasure with the scarcity of stock. I expressed my regret to them, informed them that my grocery clerks had ordered additional inventory, and assured them that the drinks would arrive the following day. I handled the situation coolly and provided a justification for the events. I also discovered that I should stock up on more of this brand for the subsequent sale. “.

Example 3

Here is an illustration of a response from a candidate who was denied access to their manager:

“I was working a Friday afternoon at my previous job as a secretary at a construction company. Due to a personal emergency, my manager had to leave the office early and wouldn’t be back until Monday morning. A client called and asked about the progress of their project and whether they could make any last-minute changes. I told the client that while I wasn’t in charge of making important decisions like that, I could provide them with updates on their project.

I told the client that no work would be done until they could speak with my manager on Monday morning, and I had the construction team postpone any work they had planned to complete over the weekend. I explained the situation in detail to my manager before I left the office for the weekend and asked that they call the client back as soon as possible. The changes were significant enough to necessitate a brief halt in the construction work, and when my manager returned to the office, they were extremely appreciative of my initiative. “.

Why employers ask “Tell me how you handled a difficult situation”

In order to gauge how well candidates will handle challenges in their future positions, employers ask candidates to describe challenging situations they have handled in the past. Employers can determine whether a candidate will be a valuable asset to their organization based on their response. Employers can learn more about a candidate’s character, ability to communicate effectively, initiative, leadership, and capacity for flexibility from their response.

You can consider how to approach the situation positively as you consider your response to this interview question. Instead of criticizing former coworkers, workers, or supervisors, emphasize what you did to make things right. Use a scenario from your place of employment as another factor to take into account when formulating your response. An answer that focuses on your professional life may be appreciated by a potential employer. You can describe a recent event in your personal life if you don’t have any relevant work experience.

Why employers ask this question

This is a productive way for a hiring manager to find out a lot about an applicant during a behavioral-based interview without asking numerous questions. Additionally, it assists in determining your emotional intelligence, which is a deciding factor for many businesses today.

An interviewer can gain insight into many important qualities by asking this question, such as:

  • How well you listen
  • How you prioritize
  • Your initiative
  • Your communication skills
  • Whether you own up to your mistakes
  • Whether you can avoid creating drama
  • The ways you deal with conflict, deadlines, and other work pressures
  • The strength of your leadership skills
  • Your instincts to ask for help when needed
  • Your ability to think on your feet
  • People who already possess these behavioral characteristics are desirable candidates, especially for high-level positions because they can handle any unexpected challenges that may arise on the job right away. Thats why its critical to answer this question effectively.

    Note that the interviewer may choose to ask about a specific scenario rather than letting you decide. If so, you can admit that you haven’t dealt with that specific problem and offer to explain how you would approach it. Do your best to respond to the question rather than attempting to use a different example because you might be asked about that specific scenario for a reason.

    How to respond to “Tell me how you handled a difficult situation”

    Use the STAR method to prepare a great response beforehand because this is most likely going to be part of a behavioral interview so you can respond confidently during the interview.

    Situation, Task, Action, and Result, or STAR, are the four topics you should address when responding to this kind of question:

  • Situation: Explain the event/situation in a few concise sentences.
  • Task: Briefly describe the task/situation you handled, giving relevant details as needed.
  • Action: Explain the actions you used to complete your task or solve your issue. This is the place to be very detailed and specific so take your time providing this information.
  • Result: Present the specific results you achieved. If applicable, provide statistics or other quantifiable information used to achieve your results.
  • By using the STAR technique, you can ensure that your response demonstrates to the interviewer that you meet all of their requirements for a qualified candidate.

    What is your greatest weakness?

    Strengths-and-weaknesses interview questions are a given. When selecting your response for the section asking about your greatest weakness, exercise caution. According to Brenda Abdilla, a career and leadership coach based in Denver, “so many articles say that you should make your biggest weakness a positive attribute, which is not something I recommend doing.” “This is not an opportunity to humblebrag. ”.

    At the same time, Kathy Caprino, a career coach based in Connecticut and author of the book The Most Powerful You: 7 Bravery-Boosting Paths to Career Bliss, advises, “you want to be real and truthful about an area of development you truly need, but you want to avoid sharing something that’s serious and going to raise a red flag that you’re not a suitable candidate.”

    Whatever response you give, be sure to convince the hiring manager that you’re making improvements.

    Bad answers:

  • “I’m late all the time.”
  • “I’ve been fired before.”
  • “I find it hard to work with really opinionated people.”
  • Great answers:

  • “My analytical skills are very strong and I’m extremely comfortable with numbers, but I’m working on enhancing my writing skills.”
  • “In the past, I’ve taken on a bit more than I can chew, so I’m honing my ability to manage my time better and making sure I understand what’s involved in extra tasks I say ‘yes’ to.”
  • FAQ

    How do you handle difficult situations interview question?

    Detail your job and responsibility to overcome the challenge. Detail the steps you took to rectify the issue. Talk about the “action” you took to overcome the situation. Describe in as much detail as you can how you came to the decisions you made.

    What are examples of difficult situations?

    Here are some examples of common difficult situations in the workplace:
    • Not getting on with a colleague.
    • unable to speak out about something you believe to be wrong
    • Your team doesn’t pull together.
    • Dealing with a disciplinary issue.
    • Someone has made an insensitive comment.

    What is the most difficult situation you’ve faced sample answer?

    The hardest thing for me was building a strong relationship with my supervisor. We didn’t have the same “blood group,” we disagreed on a lot of crucial issues, and this led to regular conflicts at work. Now, I don’t want to hold them or even myself accountable for the circumstance.

    How would you handle a difficult situation?

    1. Be realistic and acknowledge that improvement comes gradually.
    2. Stay cordial and ease into the trickier subjects; refrain from making unfavorable remarks.
    3. Be positive and focus on the person’s positive traits; avoid generalizing criticisms (do not use the words “always” or “never”).

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