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

16 Answer Examples

By: Rachelle Enns

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
General
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."

Admin
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."

Manager
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."

Marketing
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."

Retail
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."

Sales
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!"

Teacher
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."

Reporter
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."

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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.
First written on: 07/23/2018
Last modified on: 01/22/2019
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