You are finally done writing your resume and cover letter to match the position you are pursuing, but your preparation is not quite over yet. Now you need to start practicing for your first face-to-face meeting with the potential employer. This interview is a vital part of landing a job because you need to make a good first impression if you want to stand out from your peers.
What skills do you need to resolve conflicts?
Typical skills needed for resolving conflicts include:
- Excellent problem-solving skills
- Rock-solid communication skills
- The ability to think through stressful situations in a clear-headed manner
- Follow-through skills (to make sure the resolution that's agreed upon is carried out)
You should look at general interview questions and basic best practices to start getting an idea of how to form your answers and act during an interview. However, you cannot stop there if you really want to shine. You need to review commonly asked conflict resolution specialist interview questions to give yourself a clear view of the industry and gain the confidence needed to answer difficult questions with ease.
7 Conflict Resolution Specialist Interview Questions & Answers
How do you deal with conflict at work?
When answering this interview question, talk about your talents with resolving conflicts in a manner that suits all parties involved. Also discuss your abilities with staying cool, calm, collected in the face of tense situations, and how you always handle conflict in a mature manner.
Sample response: First, I get to the bottom of the issue by having private conversations with everyone involved. Then I sit down to work on the problem directly. I remind upset parties that it's important to be professional to stay the course.
How do you deal with a difficult customer?
When answering this interview question, you must first and foremost discuss your abilities with staying cool in the face of stress; also touch on how important it is to resolve the difficult customer's problem or issue in a way that positively impacts the business (i.e., leaves the customer with no hard feelings towards the business).
Sample response: When dealing with a difficult customer, I identify the bigger picture and I communicate thoroughly. No matter what the difficult customer says, I stay calm. If their behavior escalates, then I set a firm boundary. I close by reminding them that I am here to help. I also make sure that their particular problem has been fully resolved.
How would you describe your customer service skills?
When answering this interview question, describe your customer service skills in a manner that emphatically communicates this: you always provide great customer service, to customers of all types (pleasant ones, and difficult ones too). And note that you always do it in a timely, easy-going, and polite manner.
Sample response: My customer service skills are strong, thanks my experience in the customer service industry for the past seven years. I always put the customer first, but I also set boundaries to protect the reputation of my employer. I build relationships with customers to ensure brand loyalty.
Can you talk about a conflict you have resolved?
Sample answer: With my past as a human resources officer, I was responsible for solving conflicts between team members who lost the ability to work together effectively. Because I wasn't a conflict resolution specialist at the time, I didn't really get many cases. There was one set of employees, however, who got to the point where their conflict was affecting the productivity of their entire team, so it was time someone step in. My first step was to separate the two and have a one-on-one discussion with them about what was going on in an effort to understand the situation and calm everyone down. Once I had a grasp on what was going on, I felt comfortable meeting with the two of them together in an effort to resolve the issue. Of course, in a heated situation like that, tempers were high, so I had to remind them that this was a professional setting and it was their responsibility to be reasonable and understanding. Once they started seeing things from a different perspective, it was easy to reach a resolution. This was my first foray with conflict resolution, and it was what got me started on my new professional path.
What is your preferred method of conflict resolution?
Sample answer: In my experience, the parties respond to a resolution in the best way if it is consensual. When a judge or mediator has to tell them what their compromises are, at least one party is unhappy and the conflict may not be completely resolved. If, however, the parties are willing to have a mediated discussion, I find that the results are a little more positive. Of course, a consensual process is not always possible because it depends on the dispute and the parties involved, but this is what I always try to do as a conflict resolution specialist.
Why do you think you are qualified for this conflict resolution specialist position?
Sample answer: As you can tell from my resume, I have a technical understanding of finance and conflict resolution due to my bachelor's degrees in finance and conflict management and my designation as a Certified Public Accountant. My experience as a CPA and then as a resolution specialist has given me the hands-on experience in both fields to really understand what is going on. Beyond my experience and education, I am qualified for this position because of my decision-making, critical-thinking and interpersonal skills.
Have you done anything recently to improve yourself professionally?
Sample answer: As a professional conflict resolution specialist, I think it is important to continually try to improve my methods and interpersonal skills. To that end, I attend seminars and workshops on a semi-regular basis. Most recently I attended a workshop designed to help conflict specialists gain new mediation tools aimed at helping resolve conflicts between family members.
Reviewing these and other common conflict resolution specialist interview questions is a great way to gain the confidence you need to highlight the skills and experience that make you a clear candidate for the open position.