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How would you build a relationship with someone who intimidates you?

1 of 30 Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers Written by Rachelle Enns

Updated on January 22nd, 2019 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
How to Answer

Let's face it - we have all been in a situation where we find a co-worker, classmate, or even professor a touch intimidating. Show the interviewer that you have the smarts, and maturity, to recognize when this is happening, and the ability to overcome whatever factor is causing those feelings.

Professional Answer Examples
Answer example

"I had a boss a couple of years ago who was very intimidating. I enjoy strong personalities; however, she didn't smile very often and was a bit flat with her emotions, which is sometimes hard to navigate. I don't think she meant to be, so I would remind myself before speaking to her, that she was human just like the rest of us."

Answer example

"Earlier in my admin career, I had a couple of clients who would be very aggressive on the phone with their requests, and I would sometimes get tripped up on my words when they called. I made myself a telephone script related to those specific instances and memorized it. This script helped me to remain on track with my thoughts when those more intimidating clients would call."

Answer example

"I have a great method that I teach my crew when they have to make cold calls or have a challenging conversation with an existing client. The trick is to practice, out loud, with someone else. Have that person throw possible objections out and then try to overcome them. Once you've had this conversation a few times in practice, it will be much easier in a real-life situation."

Answer example

"As a marketing director, I often have to give presentations and pitches to groups of decision makers, who can be quite intimidating. I stand tall and remind myself to be proud of my work no matter what they may say or think. By doing this, I am oozing confidence, and the situation becomes so much easier. Also, I read that science has discovered "mirror neurons" in the brain. These neurons mean that people respond with similar facial expressions and demeanor so, if you are friendly and approachable, others will be as well."

Answer example

"When someone intimidates me, such as an upset customer who is demanding a refund that I cannot give, I will focus less on how I am feeling and more about how they are feeling. I remind myself that they are possibly having the worst day ever. By empathizing with them, the situation becomes less scary, for sure."

Answer example

"In my sales training, we learned a great deal about practicing comic visualization in intimidating situations. I have a few clients who are very alpha, and they are quite intimidating. I have used comic visualization such as picturing them as babies or dancing in a funny costume. It's silly, and possibly one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it works!"

Answer example

"When I find myself face to face with an intimidating person - like an angry parent of a student, for instance, I work hard to validate their feelings. By agreeing with them whenever possible, we are often able to relate better to each other, making the overall situation feel a bit lighter."

Medical Manager
Answer example

"Many times patients come into a physician's office because they don't want the hassle of an emergency room visit. While some patient complaints can be accomodated in the office setting, guidelines for what situations can be treated in each type of care setting are put in place to make sure that patients are directed to the care setting that is best equipped to handle their problem. For instance, if a patient comes unannounced into my clinic with complaints of chest pain, the protocol is to send him to the nearest emergency room. Usually, in such situations, a triage nurse will do an initial triage and arrange for the patient to be sent to the emergency room. I usually accompany the staff to explain to the patient why the ER referral is being given and then help to accommodate his safe arrival to the emergency department. Often when patients have an understanding of why their care needs to transferred to a different facility or department, they are amenable to the suggestion and follow our instructions."

Answer example

"I know how important it is to create working relationships with good contacts in the area. I have experience working well alongside police officers, and I know at your station I will be able to keep in touch with police officers well and be sure to keep their information quiet until they allow us to release it so we may build up trust with them."

Corporate Copywriter
Answer example

"I am a very friendly person who is also very good at creating contacts and remembering those who I have talked to before. I feel that my personable personality makes me a good fit for being in contact with the public."

Political Reporter
Answer example

"I find that I am a very friendly and compassionate person and I love to listen to people's stories. I am a great reporter because I listen to people who want to talk and they know they can trust me to be honest and tell my stories equally."

Foreign Correspondent
Answer example

"I have lived in many different states throughout my journalistic career and have had to develop completely new contacts quickly to do my job. I am ready to take on the challenge of doing that now abroad."

Training and Development Manager
Answer example

"I've learned to adapt to working with all kinds of people on my team. I like to get to know everyone and learn as much as I can from them about the job and expectations so that I can do my best in my new role."

Medical Transcriptionist
Answer example

"My colleagues will tell you that I am a team player and that I am someone they feel comfortable coming to when they need an extra hand or someone to talk to."

Answer example

"I think a great way to build professional relationships is to understand that everyone has something to learn from one another."

Answer example

"On my first day, I plan on bringing in baked goods. My hobby is baking and I think a great way to break the ice is through food. I think that by bringing in goodies, my new coworkers will know that I'm genuine and will see my excitement to start the job and be part of the team."

Written by:

Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career. Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise. Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
First written on: 07/23/2018
Last modified on: 01/22/2019
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