Published On : December 06, 2016
Interview questions are a hiring manager's way of learning multiple aspects about their job candidates. One very common question you may hear on your next interview is "how do you deal with conflict?" This question might be asked in various ways- including "how do you handle problems?" and "what actions do you take when conflicts arise?" While the question seems fairly straightforward- hiring managers use it to learn some other qualities about you. They want to get to know more about your problem-solving skills and the process by which you come up with solutions to issues. They additionally want to learn about your people skills and how well you work with others. This is because it is essential that employees are effectively able to cooperate with coworkers- especially in team settings.
Because this question delves a little deeper than just what you do when problems arise- it is important to prepare a good response in advance that covers all the aspects of the inquiry. Preparing yourself is good so that you don't seem surprised when the question is asked. If you do not have a well-prepared answer- hiring managers may think you lack in the conflict resolution and problem-solving area.
How to Answer the 'How Do You Deal With Conflict' Interview Question
Bring up Your Problem-Solving Abilities: If you are a great problem solver- now is your time to highlight your excellent skill. Interview questions such as this one have the goal of learning about how good you are at coming up with solutions in all types of situations- not just serious ones like fights. The important thing to keep in mind here is to not just simply state you are a good problem solver. That basically tells the hiring manager nothing. You must go into detail about why you are great at problem-solving and how your relevant skills have helped you throughout other jobs and life situations.
Use Examples: When telling a hiring manger that you are great at resolving conflicts- examples are wonderful things to use. They can really solidify what you are saying you are capable of- and they show a hiring manager that you have experience with conflict resolution. If you don't have any specific examples to talk about due to lack of job experience- do not say that you don't have problem-solving experience. Instead- focus on your people skills and how you have the ability to properly communicate with others to effectively avoid conflicts. Also- in any examples used- only discuss conflicts where the end result was your successful resolution. Absolutely do not go off topic and talk about how bad others are at solving problems.
Emphasize Your Professionalism: Because hiring managers are trying to learn about your character and how you deal with people on a daily basis- it is essential to emphasize how you professionally handle conflicts. They want to ensure you don't have a tendency to act irrationally when problems come about. Everyone knows that disagreements happen. They are natural- but how you go about handling them is what really matters. Emphasize the point that no matter what the circumstances are- you handle conflicts with professionalism and respect. Whether the issues are between you and a manager- coworker or customer- you always act respectfully and you avoid instigation. By telling interviewers about how you react well to conflict- you will be showing them that you have the ability to remain calm under pressure and in all types of potential workplace situations.
Sample 'How Do You Deal With Conflict' Interview Answers
1. Throughout my years of employment- I have really developed outstanding problem-solving skills. These skills have allowed me to successfully deal with a variety of issues that have arose in my previous places of work. I have extensive experience in customer service- and I have had to face numerous conflicts with individuals. In each of the situations- I utilized my ability to remain calm and communicate. In my experience- I have found that finding the main cause of a problem is extremely effective in finding a proper solution- leading to successful resolution.
2. When conflicts arise- I find that the best solution is to remain calm- speak in a reasonable tone and not get worked up. My experience with problem solving has taught me to step back and take a look at the problem as a whole rather than focusing on little issues. I often ask myself- why did this conflict arise in the first place? I find it best to communicate with the other party and suggest that we both consider fair solutions- thoroughly listening to his or her point of view. In my previous job- a conflict between me and a coworker was resolved through effective communication and problem-solving abilities.
When it comes to difficult interview questions- preparation is a key component. With this information- you should be well-prepared to answer when hiring managers ask you how you deal with conflict.