When a consultant comes into an organization to help better an aspect of their business, there are many factors that can lead to initial conflicts with the consultant and their firm. Big egos not wanting a fresh new face and the fear of change are inevitable in this business and your interviewer wants to hear that you have the experience and ability to handle inevitable conflict that will come your way if hired for the position. While obviously rating yourself highly in this area, try to talk about a time where you handled difficult conflict on the job with ease.
"In my role as a Project Manager with a large private organization, one of my first steps on any new project is setting a budget. Last year, I was leading the effort on a project focused on waste reduction in our manufacturing facilities. In the initial meetings for new projects, our CFO is always involved so she has a high-level overview of what the project will entail. In the meeting, she immediately berated me for the initial budget that I was proposing and vehemently insisted that the amount just wasn't correct or feasible. Rather than taking offense to her thoughts, I wanted to make sure that she, and the rest of the group, had a solid understanding of all that was taken into consideration for setting the budget. After I explained and showed line by line what the proposed budget broke down to, she was very thankful and didn't realize that team member labor was part of that equation. I think that my ability to understand why she was conflicted and my ability to keep a calm, cool head in that situation was vital and a perfect reason for me rating myself high on my conflict resolution skills."
"From my call center days, I think I developed great conflict resolution skills where I would rate myself an 8 out of 10. Handling customers who were upset about a product or service they received required a calm tone, an educational approach and the ability to not take things too personally. If hired for this position, I would be able to bring this same approach to the client of Egon Zehnder International."