Conflict is a universally accepted reality of the workplace, according to the website Mind Tools. When people work closely together, they are going to experience job and personality conflicts. The key, according to the site, is to use effective conflict resolution skills to product a successful result. Effectively resolved conflict typically produces personal and professional growth and benefits the organization. Most employers want to learn whether you have good conflict-resolution skills in your job interview.
"Tell me about a time you didn't understand a task ... what did you do?" is a good starter question from Job Bank USA. It broaches the conflict resolution skill set and establishes your willingness to engage in potential conflict when necessary. Avoidance is an effective approach to conflict when you face a no-win situation. However, the general practice of avoiding potentially tough situations is not good for you as the employee or for your employer. You must be comfortable presenting your concerns and need for clarification when necessary.
Quintessential Careers suggests "explain a stressful experience and how you coped with it" as a good behavior scenario. An employer, especially one who leads a high-stress environment, wants to understand that you have the mental and emotional tools to deal with stress in a healthful way. Describe a situation in which you were stressed by a customer or an uncontrollable dilemma. Explain how you exercised calm and approached the situation with a successful problem-resolution strategy.
In its "Ten Tough Interview Questions and Ten Great Answers" overview, the College Grad site presents the challenging question "How have you resolved a conflict with a supervisor?" Saying you have not experienced conflict with a boss is not advisable as it can come across as being dishonest. Realize that conflict is productive and explain a time where you were met with a challenge and how you approached or reacted to a supervisor in a healthful way. Your interviewer wants to know you can effectively manage conflict with professionalism.
Difficult Job Experience
"What is the most difficult experience you have faced in a job?" is noted on the Best-Job-Interview site. This explores your basic approach to conflict as an employee. The employer wants to know what types of conflict you encounter and how you work through them. The site notes that the employer wants to learn your "definition of conflict" and how your resolve problems. Share an example that is acceptable as a genuine conflict and focus on your process and ability to resolve it effectively.
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.