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The question, "How do you or did you handle a challenge? On the other hand, there are multiple ways to handle a challenge. One company might prefer an employee who takes a measured, methodological, and planned approach, whereas another organization might prefer individuals who dive in and do all they can to meet the challenge, without necessarily thinking of the bigger picture. Every employee will face challenges from time to time. With this question, interviewers want to get a sense of your approach.
Depending on the office culture, some approaches will make more sense than others. Step 1: Recall a challenge that was significant, but one that you consider a success. You also want to be able to define how you met the challenge successfully. Use specifics to describe what you did to contribute to the solution. Employers want to hire individuals who can turn challenges into opportunities.
When brainstorming an answer, think about ways to emphasize how you made the most of a difficult time. It is possible to learn from your hardships, and then apply what you learned to future challenges. During a difficult financial period, I was able to satisfactorily negotiate repayment schedules with multiple vendors. From this experience, I learned the importance of thinking outside the box while solving a problem.
I also learned the importance of developing and maintaining good relationships with vendors. Why It Works: This response clearly lays out how the candidate was able to meet this challenge. Plus, this response also highlights new abilities and know-how gained in response to this challenge. We were able to successfully troubleshoot the issues and solve the problems, within a very short period of time, and without completely burning out our team.
Why It Works: This answer highlights two qualities that are often very important to employers: staying on schedule, and motivating employees. If this response had stopped at the first sentence, it would be vague—those extra details on the "how" of tackling this challenge make such a difference in this answer's power. A long-term client was about to take their business to a competitor. I met with the customer and was able to change how we handled the account on a day-to-day basis, in order to keep the business.
From this situation, I learned the importance of being mindful of client relations and operations, not just after issues arise, but for the duration of the relationship. As a result, other account managers have adopted my check-in and management processes, and have also seen improved results with their accounts.
Why It Works: Not only did this candidate learn a meaningful strategy, but the person also shared the information widely rather than hoarding it. This answer makes it clear how valuable the employee would be to his or her team. Our company newsletter was frequently sent late—and worse, sometimes had errors or typos. It was a bad look for the marketing department. I reviewed this newsletter workflow with the team, which revealed several issues: There was no deadline for newsletter submissions and no one person had ownership of the project.
Our marketing coordinator had recently requested more responsibility, so I asked her to oversee the process.When an interviewer asks you, describe to me a challenge you overcame or describe a challenge you faced and how you overcame it — you want to be sure that you have a well prepared, heartfelt and meaningful story to tell the interviewer. This can be a hard and tough ask for a lot of interviewees. As well as providing a few boilerplate examples that you can use for your upcoming interview.
These questions are those that require us to describe situations either at home or in the workplace and how our actions created results. This is different than regular interview questions that are testing you on a variety of skills and knowledge requirements.
How to Answer ‘Tell Me About an Obstacle You Overcame’
With this behavioral interview question in general, the interviewer wants to know more about you. You have two choices, tell a personal story or tell a work story.How Did You Handle A Difficult Situation - TOP Interview Question Answer
Both are absolutely okay. But they need to be indicative of both the question that was asked and unique to who you are. With this question, in particular, it is best to stay away from answers that tell stories about your personal past without much meaning behind it for the interviewer. For example, talking about how your swim coach was always asking you and your team to do better.
And how that was a challenge. If it lacks empathy towards the listener, the impact will be diminished by result. Either a path of telling a personal story or a path of telling a work story. Both are okay as long as they meet our criteria. But one horrible day I received a phone call that one of my family members had passed away.
This is the type of phone call none of us wish to get. It occurred with a family member who I felt was young. Not much older than me. We dealt with the situation at hand. But afterward, it made me really put into perspective how I was living my life.Everyone has had to deal with a difficult situation at work—when you talk about yours in an interview, you show a vulnerable, human side of yourself. Just be sure that the story you tell has an ending in which you overcome the difficult situation, and learn an important lesson about yourself which you should of course let your interviewer know about.
If you have thought about the difficult situation interview question ahead of time and prepared a response, know this: smart interviewers have a simple trick that they can use to catch you off guard by qualifying the question further. For example: Tell me how you handled a difficult situation where.
For best results, the angle an interviewer puts on the question should be related to any issues of concern they may have about you. For example, Tell me how you handled a difficult situation. For example:. Here are some things to avoid speaking about when answering this question.
Your potential employer wants to know that you can effectively work through a difficult situation on the job, so be sure to avoid a self-deprecating attitude.
Take the question seriously, and answer it seriously. I arranged a meeting with the student, and had my principal attend too, as a witness. From there, the three of us had a fruitful discussion on the types of comments that work best on student papers. In the end, the student walked away with a solid understanding of how to provide constructive, non-offensive feedback to other students. My boss usually handles all client contact directly, but he had already left for the weekend.
I explained the situation to the client, and said that although I might not know the exact answer to the question, that I was also working on the project and might be able to help. I also left a note for my boss about the call, so that he could check with the client on his return on Monday morning. Put our resume builder or resume examples to use and craft a top-notch resume in no time at all. Interview Questions. When asked properly, the question can surprise candidates, as opposed to other questions which are easier to anticipate and prepare answers for.
And for You, the Candidate. They allow you to flex your storytelling muscles. Smart Interviewers Take It a Step Forward If you have thought about the difficult situation interview question ahead of time and prepared a response, know this: smart interviewers have a simple trick that they can use to catch you off guard by qualifying the question further.
How to Get the Best Results For best results, the angle an interviewer puts on the question should be related to any issues of concern they may have about you.These challenges might be academic or personal—there is a wide gamut of situations you might choose to share.
Perhaps you were faced with completing an important team project, but your teammates bailed at the last minute. Maybe you were an officer in an extracurricular or service organization tasked with organizing a major fundraising project.
Or, like many students today, you might have struggled to balance your classwork with the demands of a necessary part-time or full-time job. This question is a way for interviewers to get a sense of how you tackle problems and adversity. They are also interested in your level of self-motivation.
Are you an individual who actively seeks new challenges in order to develop your skills and gain knowledge and experience? Or are you someone who passively avoids difficult situations until they arise, and you are forced to cope? Be honest. Everyone has flaws and areas for improvement.
College Interview Tips: "Tell Me About a Challenge You Overcame"
Neither makes a good impression. By the same token, now is not the time to present yourself in an unflattering light. Instead, look for examples that show how you faced a challenge and overcame it. So, for instance, if you used to feel stressed out before presentations, talk about how you solved the problem by taking a public speaking course and creating a schedule that allowed you to prepare ahead of time.
For example, if the job listing specifies that the employer is seeking someone with good time management skills, you might talk about how you developed a system to help you juggle a challenging course load and a part-time job. Here are sample interview answers that you can edit to fit your personal experiences and background.
Notice how these responses all demonstrate desirable soft skills that employers hope to find in their new hires. My biggest challenge as a student was being the student! Sitting through the conventional lectures was sometimes difficult. My mind and body were always going, and I couldn't wait to get out of my seat, move around, share my thoughts, and interact with my peers. I handled it by focusing all my energy into my listening and note-taking.
It helped keep my mind busy and my body moving, and I also left with some great notes. Better still, he demonstrated that he could successfully recognize and adapt to what was, for him, a less-than-ideal classroom environment.
Desirable soft skills : Interpersonal communications, teamwork, adaptability, flexibility, and active problem-solving.When answering this question, start by giving context for the situation and then showing how you worked out a solution to the problem. Try to keep your answer short and focused. If you need help structuring your answer, remember this acronym: S. It stands for situationtaskactionand result. First, articulate to your interviewer the situation you were in so that they have context.
What was the problem and how did it come up? In one or two sentences, create a clear picture so that hiring manager is able to visualize the challenge. If possible, keep things professional by focusing only on problems that have come up in class or at a previous job. Talk about the task at hand and tell your interviewer what each person was responsible for doing, so that they get a sense of how you fit into the team.
After hours of work, I asked to take the lead on putting together a new deck. This was challenging because it was my first time putting a deck together and also our one chance to make the client happy again.
Talk about your thought process and the steps you took to solve the problem. Again, one or two sentences is all you need to convey this. Quantify your results if possible. We organized a late-night brainstorm that evening. The client was ultimately thrilled with the fresh plan, and all of the new ideas we included! Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How to Find an Internship as an Underclassman and find answers to common interview questions such as How Would Your Friends Describe You?
How to Negotiate a Job Offer. Tags: interview questionsinterview tipsinterviewjob interviewculture fit interview questionsunderclassmanpostgradsenior. Must Reads. Brand Ambassador Multiple Locations.
Paid vs. Unpaid Internships: How to Decide. Please fill out this form. We've got you on our list!Job interviews are one of the most challenging and nerve-wracking experiences we have to go through in our adult life.
They can be stressful and uncomfortable, yet are necessary in order to secure a job and keep your head above water. You have tough questions flying at you left, right and center and can find yourself stumbling, trying to answer them. The key to smashing an interview and coming across cool and collected is all in the preparation. This question is designed to help the interviewer discover what type of problem solver you are.
They want to know that they are hiring someone who has the ability to think on their feet and can demonstrate resilience in the face of a challenge. There are several approaches to successfully answering this question, but some key things to remember are:. Hiring managers can see straight through BS. Make sure that you have a real-life situation in mind and be truthful about the difficulty of the conflict that you faced, but ensure you finish off with how you actually triumphed and overcame the obstacle.
Interviewers like to see that a candidate is genuine and humble. From a skills perspective, a manager wants to hear proof that you can face adversity and still achieve your targets.
Another important quality to show when answering this question is that you remained positive when overcoming a hurdle at work. Constructive problem solving is important in keeping a positive company cultureand employers want to make sure each candidate is a fit.
An easy way to remember how to answer this question is to use the STAR approach.
You must first explain the situation that you were in and how the task was challenging. Then, explain the approach you took and the positive result it had. An important quality to show is how you work well under pressure.
At the risk of stating the obvious, pick an example relevant to the position that you are aiming for. If it is an individual position, then talk about a situation where you had to complete a task that was difficult alone. The below examples can give you some inspiration on how to successfully answer this behavioral question:. Mistakes do happen on a daily basis but in an interview, you definitely want to avoid making any kind of mistake; after all, one slip-up could cost you the entire job.
In order for you to be fully prepared, here are some answers that you should definitely avoid :. At some point in our career, we face difficult situations that need to be resolved in some shape or form, and if you haven't got any examples to draw on, then it shows that you are happy to coast. Focusing on a Personal Achievement Rather Than a Professional One: Having survived through tough times is certainly something to be proud of.
However, these hard times should be a situation at work that relates to your current or former role. Unless it fits the job, leave that example for outside the interview room. Employers want to see how you can think on your feet and resolve arising issues. Remember, overcoming an obstacle' doesn't have to mean that you turned an entire department around and made the company a million dollars; it can be something relatively small and simple, as long as it shows that you were able to think on your feet and turn a negative into a positive.
Have you ever been asked how you overcame an obstacle in an interview? How did you answer the question?A college admissions officer wants to know how you'll handle adversity because your college career will invariably be filled with challenges that you'll need to overcome.
The question isn't a hard one as long as you've put a bit of thought into your answer before your interview. Realize that you can draw from many different kinds of challenges when you answer this question.
You don't need to have lived a life of adversity or oppression to have a meaningful challenge to discuss. Your first step is to figure out which challenge you want to share with your interviewer. It's wise to shy away from anything that's too personal—you don't want your interviewer to feel uncomfortable.
But an appropriate challenge can come in many forms.
Other academic challenges include the demands of balancing schoolwork with a demanding role as the lead in a play or captain of the basketball team. An academic challenge is one of the more predictable responses to this question, but it is perfectly appropriate.
After all, dealing with academic challenges will be relevant when you are in college. The way you deal with difficult people says a lot about you and gives your interviewer a glimpse into your ability to deal with an annoying roommate or a demanding professor. If you've had a challenging experience with a boss or customer at work, you might consider discussing how you persevered through this situation with your interviewer. Make sure your answer here presents you in a good light—pouring hot coffee in an annoying customer's lap or telling off your boss isn't the type of response that an admissions officer will look upon favorably.
If you're an athlete, you likely had to work hard to improve your skills and succeed in your sport. Was there an aspect of your sport that didn't come easily to you? Did you overcome a physical problem to excel in your sport? These are great topics to discuss during your interview. Alternatively, you could talk about a specific competition that was especially challenging.
Just frame your answer to reveal your problem-solving abilities. You don't want to come across as bragging about your athletic accomplishments. Many challenges are personal. If you have lost someone close to you or had problems due to an accident, you've likely suffered from the distraction. If you decide to discuss this topic with your interviewer, try to center the conversation on the steps you took to eventually move on and grow from the painful experience.
Did you set a goal for yourself that was tough to accomplish?
How to Answer: Tell Me About a Challenge You Had to Overcome in the Workplace
Whether you pushed yourself to run a six-minute mile or write 50, words for National Novel Writing Month, this can serve as a good response to the challenge-you-overcame question. Explain to your interviewer why you set your particular goal and how you went about reaching it.
An ethical dilemma is a situation in which you must decide between two options, neither of which is clearly the greater moral choice. If you have been in a position where none of your options were attractive, you might consider discussing this situation with your interviewer.
By providing background information, sharing how you handled the situation, and detailing the factors you considered in finding a solution, you can showcase your problem-solving abilities and moral compass to your interviewer. Realize that your solution to the challenge does not need to be heroic or absolute.
Many challenges have solutions that aren't percent ideal for all parties involved, and there is nothing wrong with discussing this reality with your interviewer. In fact, revealing that you understand the complexity of certain issues could play well during your interview as it may highlight your maturity and thoughtfulness.
When describing the challenge in your interview, begin with a brief summary of the challenge itself.