Answering Tough Situational Interview Questions

Interviews are exciting challenges. Whether you are expecting higher pay, or you are looking forward to a new career path that aligns with your goals, we will not let tough situational questions stop you from achieving your desires.

On arriving at a strange office in some part of the country for a job interview, your hopes of getting the job is hitting a record high, having successfully answering the regular questions you have thoroughly prepared for.

Halfway through the interview, the interviewer drops a question about that co-worker you never liked working with at your last job. Now you have to answer that, without hurting your people management skill score and sounding incompetent.

Situational questions are asked to determine creative solutions the applicant has proffered at his former jobs and assess the ability to think on your feet and manage tough, temperamental situations. It is also an opportunity to display a slew of positive qualities in practice.

Ahead, we have 3 situational questions and how to best answer.

Q: You're working on a project with a difficult co-worker, and the project does not go as planned. How would you communicate with your boss during the project briefing on what went wrong and how future projects can be successful?

This, definitely, is not the time to talk about how your co-worker refused to cooperate on the project or how the funding couldn’t cover the project.

Instead, explain your diplomacy and how you effectively communicate with people who you are not on good terms with. You also need to show that you prioritize tasks and keep multiple teams informed on project status. Explain how you had to fall back on intuitive on-the-spot solutions to salvage the project and got the best result possible from an otherwise failing project. Then, give details on your understanding of the role you are currently being interviewed for by highlighting the relevant skills needed to gain success in the position, the challenges and how you can surmount them.   

Q: What do you do when you know your boss is wrong?

Never say this never happened. Instead, say it rarely happened and when it did, you spoke to your boss in private. Be particular about negative impact of the error on the company. Give an example of a similar experience carefully breaking down you answer using the STAR principle, an acronym for Situation, Task, Action and Results.

Q: How do you handle Workload problems at work?

The interviewer is looking for an effective reaction to an increase in workload, without drama or a shabby handling of the situation. There’s no need to accuse co-workers or bosses, or even yourself.

The cause of the heavy workload should be stated in such a way that you aren't blaming somebody else for incompetence. If the heavy workload was due to some positive achievement on you or the team’s part, include that information.

Explaining how you thought out a plan of action and worked together with others to ensure all contingencies were addressed is a good way to answer this question. The interviewer will want to know how much of the plan was your idea.

Answering Tough Situational Interview Questions
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