Provide Me With a Time When You Had to Persuade a Co-worker

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An interview is a hiring manager’s opportunity to feel out each candidate and determine which applicant would be a right fit for the company. Many hiring managers have come to realize that asking the traditional questions can help in understanding a candidate- but they tend to leave some aspects unaddressed. Therefore they have turned to incorporating behavioral interview questions such as ‘Provide me with a time when you had to persuade a co-worker’ in the interviewing process. These types of questions give the interviewer greater insight into an applicant’s way of handling certain situations. For example- with this question about persuading a co-worker- the hiring manager is trying to evaluate your problem-solving and communication skills. If you fully understand this- you can provide an answer that not only addresses those aspects but also helps to highlight your relevant skills and abilities.

Coming up with a proper answer to these types of questions is not always easy; however- with the proper thought processes and strategies you can formulate excellent answers in preparation for your interview. The STAR method is a great choice for creating well-comprised answers to interview questions. Take a look at the following tips and an example answer implementing the method.

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How to Answer the ‘Provide Me With a Time When You Had to Persuade a Co-worker’ Behavioral Interview Question

Do Not Harp on the Issue. Some interviewees may make the mistake of putting too much time and energy into expressing the issue that they had with previous co-workers. Remember- the goal of this question and every question during your interview is to highlight your own actions and skills. Take time to clearly state the issue- but spend more time talking about your solution and implementation.

Incorporate Your Skills. As previously stated- this question is meant to evaluate how you handle conflict and communicate. Though you do not want to ramble and you should keep your answer concise- you also want to utilize this opportunity to highlight your strengths. Therefore you should make sure that in your answer you express what problem solving technique you chose and why- along with the way in which you communicated it to your co-worker.

Use the STAR Method. This method of formulating answers to behavioral interview questions is comprised of three parts:

  • 1. ST- Situation or task that must be addressed
  • 2. A- Action that you choose to take and why
  • 3. R- Results of you taking the stated action

By taking the time to break your answer down into these three parts- you will be sure to compose a complete and concise answer.

Keep It Professional. Considering the amount of time that you spend at work- it is normal for you to develop friendships with your co-workers- and it is also quite common to have issues with your friends. Even if it is the most recent event that you have had- try to keep your answer completely focused on work and away from personal issues with this and any other behavioral interview questions. If you get too personal during your interview- the hiring manager may become uncomfortable or may view you as unprofessional. It is best to steer clear of personal examples and keep your answers focused on work-based issues.

Make Sure There Is a Resolution. One of the key differences between being persuasive and confrontational is a resolution. Persuading someone involves getting them to change an action- while confrontation simply addresses an issue and may not bring about change. Take time to truly think about your answer and make sure that your result brought about a true resolution that provided measurable benefits. Otherwise it may appear that your conflict resolution or problem solving skills are not very strong- which could give the interviewer room to question whether you would truly be a good fit for the position.

Sample ‘Provide Me With a Time When You Had to Persuade a Co-worker’ STAR Interview Answer

In my last position I had a co-worker who would procrastinate with completing her work- which was negatively affecting the entire team. I recognized that she was a reward-driven type of worker- so I stated that upon the next project- the individual who completed their portion of the project first would receive a free lunch on me. My co-worker loved this idea and got into the competitive spirit. She not only finished her work first- but she also helped our other team members in completing their tasks. As promised I treated her to lunch- and while we were enjoying our meal I expressed how great it was that she was able to exceed everyone else in completing the project. I also asked her why she felt that she had not performed the same way in the past. We reflected on the past projects and she expressed how she knew that she could and should stop procrastinating and get her work done to aid the team. Since then she has significantly decreased her procrastination- and we have been more productive as a team.

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