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When have you faced an unexpected difficulty?

9 Answer Examples | Learn how to answer this question from professional recruiters

How to Answer

How you face unexpected difficulty can say a lot about your character. Talk to the interviewer about a time when you have encountered stress in the workplace. Show that you are capable of professionally handling the unexpected!

When have you faced an unexpected difficulty?
Answer example

"The biggest unexpected difficulty that I have faced was my unexpected lay off during the last recession. I had to adapt to a new economy and search deeply for other skills and opportunities. I was able to earn enough to avoid financial strain and am quite proud of my ability to be versatile when required."

Admin

"Unexpected situations happen very often in my current position. For instance, just last week, we had major changes in industry regulations which changed how we could invoice our clients. I worked overtime with the Accounts Receivable department to ensure we complied with the change. It was stressful, but we made it happen."

Manager

"A few months ago, when our latest product design failed its endurance test, I had to quickly establish a cause analysis and put my team on corrective alert. This incident was one of those times when I was especially thankful for a responsive team. We all banned together to make the necessary amends to the product design with a minimal financial loss."

Marketing

"One of the biggest unexpected difficulties came when both my boss and my direct report left within the same week for a new opportunity. I had half of my team but the same amount of workload to bear. I was able to use my leadership skills to pull another teammate on board for our project, and worked extra hours at home to pick up the slack. I was able to bootstrap the client proposal in the same amount of time with fewer hands on deck and land one of our largest clients to date. It was certainly a learning experience and proved that I could, in fact, do anything I set my mind to, with a bit of help from my team."

Retail

"Our company was recently acquired by another department store. Nearly our entire group of staff left. I was lucky enough to keep my job; however, morale was low. I tried to keep my head high through it all and remain positive."

Sales

"Just last week, one of our most popular products was put on backorder. As an account manager, it was my responsibility to call all 80 of our clients to let them know that their expected shipment was, in fact, not delivered as expected. To make this task easier, I wrote a script which I followed and also came up with an incentive to soften the blow."

Teacher

"I face unexpected difficulties every day, as a teacher. These difficulties can include a struggling student, an upset parent, or even an unexpected transfer. Part of being a teacher is being resistant to the stress associated with change."

Line Cook

"During the last holiday season while I was in charge of the pastry station, a colleague who was in charge at the entrée station had to go on urgent leave. I covered up for him while maintaining my own station as well. The first day was a bit difficult but then I developed and applied some effective strategies and did all that was possible before hand to ensure timely food service. I was able to run both stations simultaneously without extra help for a week."

Chiropractor

"The biggest unexpected difficulty that I have faced was my unexpected lay off during the last recession. I had to adapt to a new economy and search deep for other skills and opportunities. I was able to earn enough to avoid financial strain and am quite proud of my ability to be versatile when required."

Written by:

Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is an executive head-hunter and job search expert. Utilized by top executives from Fortune 100 & 500 companies like Fitbit, Microsoft, General Electric, Nestle, and more, she helps professionals position themselves in a competitive marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume, a company that focuses on helping job seekers get their edge back. Renovate My Resume creates stand-out resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and professional summaries for new grads, all the way to corporate executives. Rachelle spends much of her time training career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers. She also holds interview workshops for students and interns, globally. For great tips and tricks, follow Rachelle on Instagram @_rachelle_e or @renovatemyresume.
Published: 01/07/2017
*Specific career answer examples vary on published date

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