Posted by: BM | 2009/04/29


I went to several interviews but there' s always this question which tricks me and I think that' ' s where I loose points.

The question is ' ' Were yuo ever in a conflict situation and how did yuo handle it" ' . The problem is I was never in conflicting situation.

Please assist as I am going for another inteview tomorrow.

Thanking yuo in advance.

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Our expert says:
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Well, you could answer that even if it sounds odd, you don't think you have yet been in a serious conflict situation ( are you sure you know what they mean by a conflict situation ? ) but then answer how you hope you would handle it if it did arise. And as Philna says, they don't mean such a situation only in your work life. Have you truly NEVER had a conflict --- a strong disagreement -- with any friend, family member, etc ? Never had a problem with a co-worker not doing their work and leaving you with increased workload, never ( as Liza's xcellent comments suggest, too ) had a conflict in having to make a choice between two or more alternaives you found equally appealing ( or equally unpleasant ) ? If not, you have lived a chamed life.
There are no absolutely right answers to such interview questions --- they want to see whether you can recognize twhen such a problem situation arises, and whether you have a reasonable way o dealing with it when it does.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Liza | 2009/04/29

NEVER been in a conflict situation? I think that there is something wrong with your perception of what a conflict situation is. There are two types of conflict - internal and external. Ever had a situation where you' re not sure whether to buy the black jacket, or the grey one? That' s an example of internal conflict. Ever been at loggerheads with a parent about not wanting to eat that green veggies? - External conflict. Conflict does not need to be a rip-roaring fight about something.

You will have to provide your own example of conflict in your life and how you handled it. And different conflict situations will require completely different ways of handling. It could be listing the pro' s and con' s between two conflict choices and then making your decision based on the most advantageous choice (like with internal conflict). With external conflict you could try to step back from the situation and try to see things from the opposing point of view.

Good Luck with the interview.


Reply to Liza
Posted by: Philna | 2009/04/29

Surely in your life you have been in a conflicting situation . The question is not limited to working situation , you can even use a personal example. All they want to find out is how you dealt with it and what was the outcome . The main issue is the process followed . Its based on the assumption that how you handled issues in the past is the indication of how you would handle issues in the future. Surely you might have had a conflict with your sister , mother, brother, colleague , boss, direct subordinate etc . It can be something petty ( ie choosing veniue for end of year function , requested to work overtime , being given too much that you can handle , clleague not pulling their weight , conflict with a customer / client ) These are some of the exapmples you could use to think around this question . But one thing for sure "  surely you had dealt with conflict somehow in your life . Good luck

Reply to Philna

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