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How do you handle conflict in the workplace?

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

How to Answer

You spend so many waking hours in the workplace that conflict between co-workers can happen. How you handle conflict is what the interviewer would like to know. This is not an opportunity to start venting about your current workplace culture.

An interviewer wants to see that you will take accountability for conflict whether the occurrence is considered your fault, or not. Handling workplace conflict tactfully, and with grace, should be the only option. Give a clear example of a time when you professionally managed workplace conflict.

How do you handle conflict in the workplace?
Admin

"One point I learned when obtaining my Business Admin degree is that conflict is often a symptom of poor communication, so when conflict arises in the workplace, I am sure to address the situation by starting at the root of the issue - communication breakdown. With most things in life, I like to address conflict upfront rather than let them fester into a more significant issue. Speaking to someone openly, while making sure they don't feel as though you are attacking them, can yield excellent results, I find."

Anesthesiologist Assistant

"My style of conflict management can best be described as upfront, yet - I swiftly move on. In the five years that I have worked for my current facility, I have only come across one instance of conflict. One of the nurses did not show up for their shift, so I was forced to cover their shift, resulting in me staying late to find someone to fill in. Because of this, I missed my daughter's dance recital. I was upset about it but wanted to do my part as a ​shift supervisor. The next day, the delinquent employee came in and didn't say a word. He didn't apologize to me or thank me for my time. I approached him and told him how his actions impacted my day. He did not respond how I wanted; however, I let it go after I said my part. You cannot change the actions of others but you have to take responsibility for how you handle your side."

Bacteriologist

"When issues arise between you and a co-worker, it can be a huge distraction, which can hinder productivity and cause significant stress to you and your team. Give an example of a time when you successfully navigated a situation with a coworker. Start out by explaining the problem and then focus your attention on the steps you took to resolve it. Tell the interviewer how you avoided drama, stayed calm and professional and didn't disrupt the rest of the laboratory. "

Bailiff

"One example of my ability to handle and resolve conflict is a situation that occurred while working as a/an (X position title) for (X company); (... X example of a conflicting situation with an individual or different parties). To resolve the situation in a timely fashion, I (... what you did to revolve the situation). I remained respectful and professional at all times and ensured that (X individual/parties involved) had the chance to be heard (...). In the end, the situation resolved and we were able to successfully move forward."

Basic

"My style of conflict management is upfront, yet - I swiftly move on. In the five years that I have worked for my current company, I have only come across one instance of conflict. One of my staff members did not show up for their shift, so I was forced to cover their shift. Because of this, I missed my daughter's dance recital. I was upset about it but wanted to do my part as a team player. The next day, the delinquent employee came in and didn't say a word. He didn't apologize to me or thank me for my time. I approached him and told him how his actions impacted my day. He did not respond how I wanted; however, I let it go after I said my part. You cannot change the actions of others, but you have to take responsibility for how you handle your side."

Electrician

"My style of conflict management can best be described as upfront, yet - I swiftly move on. In the five years that I have worked for my current company, I have only come across one instance of conflict. One of my staff members did not show up for their shift, so I was forced to cover their shift. Because of this, I missed my daughter's dance recital. I was upset about it but wanted to do my part as a team player. The next day, the delinquent employee came in and didn't say a word. He didn't apologize to me or thank me for my time. I approached him and told him how his actions impacted my day. He did not respond how I wanted; however, I let it go after I said my part. You cannot change the actions of others but you have to take responsibility for how you handle your side."

Manager

"I start by identifying the possible reasons for the conflict, poor communication, absence of required materials, employee morale being down, etc. From there, I talk directly with the persons conflicting to find solutions and get everyone back on track."

Market Research Analyst

"When issues arise between you and a coworker, it can be a huge distraction, which can hinder productivity and cause significant stress to you and your team. In the same way that you need to be knowledgeable about market research tools, you also can benefit greatly from relational tools that will aid in conflict resolution. Give an example of a time when you successfully navigated a situation with a coworker. Start out by explaining the problem and then focus your attention on the steps you took to resolve it. How did you avoid drama? Were you able to stay calm and professional? How?"

Massage Therapist

"At my previous job, one of my client's records went missing. The last person who handled it was my colleague but she had no idea where it was as well. As the papers contained confidential information, it was a serious concern for our team. Instead of pointing fingers, my coworker and I broached the subject to our boss. We searched the entire office and the file in question was found at someone else's table. Turns out that it was mistaken for another document. It was a lesson learned for all of us to become more responsible in handling files. Nevertheless, it was a good thing that none of us were quick to lay the blame so easily for a problem that was so quickly resolved."

Medical Assistant

"One of my co-workers wasn't carrying their weight, which meant everyone else had more work to do. I chatted with her one day at lunch, and she shared some personal issues that had been interfering and we agreed she needed some help with her projects. We all met with our boss and we determined a temporary solution to help her while she resolved her issues outside of work."

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More Interview Questions

View user-submitted Answers

How do you handle conflict in the workplace?
1.
Really I have never had too. I got along with my co-workers and managers .
2.
Usually in most cases id walk away we had a no tolerance policy so their was nothing worth losing your job over.
3.
No I had not met with any confrontation as I am go along with my coworkers.
4.
I go with my coworkers if not I will treat with humble.
5.
I have had to deal with confrontation whilst working in the prices arms I handled this confrontation very well and I was happy to help them.
6.
When i'm really serious about the issue and I would typically make the confrontation more understanding.
7.
When I come across confrontation in the work place, I always keep a calm voice and control the situation with the particular words I say. Even if we don't see each others side I try to be open and see where they are coming from.
8.
Confrontation is something that we see a lot in the field we work in. Many times this is a result of fear and frustration due to the situation they are in. Recently had a customer who had been looking for employment for quite some time. She could not get past the interview. In going over her interview skills, realized that she was not specific or confident in presenting her skills. When this was addressed, she became defensive and aggressive. As we discussed the way an employer is looking for skills and process, she became more receptive. The acceptance that she would not be returning to the same job with the same pay was a turning point for her. After that she was able to look at the new ideas in more open and receptive manner. As a result, she was able to pass her interview and gain employment. I find that the best approach is to look for the best possible way where a customer will understand and gain the knowledge and receptiveness necessary. Getting past the fear is very important.
9.
Usually, I mind my own business. But if it involves me then I generally speak up or Just talk to the manager instead to resolve the issue/s.
10.
I dealt with confrontation last month. I listen to both sides of the stories, and ensure that the stories are told in public, not behind closed doors. I ensure that each party has a fair opportunity to speak fully to present all of the facts.
11.
I try to work it out. I haven't seen eye to eye with some employees, but I am willing to work it out.
12.
I always talk with a very nice manner, friendly to them and be open minded.
13.
I always talk with a very nice manner, friendly to them and be open minded.
14.
I always talk with a very nice manner, friendly to them and be open minded.
15.
I always talk with a very nice manner, friendly to them and be open minded.
16.
I manage myself frst thn I do handle that situation.
17.
When I am at work I am there to do a job. I stay away from gossip and those that like to engage in that behavior. I remain friendly but professional. I have always been that way so I have been able to avoid confrontation. I dont like it and there is no room for it at work.
18.
When a parent accused me of yelling at her child, I handled the situation in a professional manner and explained the situation.
19.
I understand the situation thoroughly first before making any decisions.
20.
By discussing it with the aggrieved party and solve its problems.
21.
I have learnt that when dealing with workplace confrontation, I need to think through different options to resolve the matter confronting the matter. This allows me the ability to present workable options without forcing my way or not making any contribution.
22.
I generally do not have a confrontation with people I do is amassed I get the job done I don't argue with people I just work as a team and get it done if I didn't have to handle confrontation most basically would follow the protocol of the job and talk to.
23.
N/a but I would try to defuse the situation.
24.
As a designer, you run into times where your vision and what others find interesting clashes. When a disagreement occurs it is best to take into consideration what both parties want and see if there is a way to make both parties get what they want or at least see whether one idea has more solid groundings than another. Or possibly a solution we had not thought of that would make it work best.
25.
Well it was a verbal argument on tthat productivehe sales close rate while the calls where not.
26.
I usually try to show that I am trying to seek an understanding in the disagreement and definitely try to be very accommodating.
27.
Negotiation the exact point what the coworkers really want.
28.
Its quite obvious to have difference in thoughts while working in a team because everyone has different vision so.I also went under one such argument with one of my team member while working for baja 2015. But instead of turning that argument into a fight we sat down with a cool mind-set and worked on the cons-&-pros of the two possible outcomes we were discussing on and then finally came up with the one best suited for the betterment of the team.
29.
A. It was with Hershey and I disagreed with my coworker in the region next to me on how we should approach a Marketing Manger for Walmart. She felt like it was more essential to be aggressive with the gentleman. I feel like I have a good idea of human emotion, and that was definitely not the way to work with him. I spoke with her on it in depth and provided good evidents to prove to her that he does not react well to an aggressive manner. We ended up getting a meeting with him and I spoke the entire presentation and we got everything we wanted, and he actually mentioned to us how we werent like other companies coming in and telling him what to do. So it worked out well.
30.
I told them, respectfully, that I disagreed and outlined why I disagreed. In the end it worked out well because I used diplomacy, but I was also able to substantiate my disagreement.
31.
She used the resources by unappropriate way was the reason of disagreement then by collaboration we resolved this issue.
32.
While working on the Compass Group I had a disagreement with one of my teammates which was resolved when I confronted him about it and we talked it out.
33.
I haven't ever been in this situation, but if I were I would go to a supervisor with the supervisor and allow them to deal with further actions.
34.
First discuss it with the accused employee. Ask them to report it to supervisor. If they do not comply, may need to inform our supervisor myself.
35.
Had a word with them and told them unfortunately need to report them.
36.
I have not had that happen, but if I did I would talk to them and tell them to think about what they are doing and how this could drastically change their lives.
37.
Refer to companys policy and procedures give a section where it outlines about stealing companys property and its consequences then give a warning letter respect to the incident and let the person sign it with a very clear warning that any future incidents of this nature will result in termination or might result in matter given to law enforcement. Ak47 sf.
38.
Offering compromise. Being direct with the person.
39.
In your career, what do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
40.
Always stay calm, becoming angry would not aloow the conflict to be resolved appropriately. I always try to give the other person a chance to explain exactly.
41.
Typically, I deal with conflict by trying to put myself in the other person's shoes and see the situation from their point of view. I think it's important to communicate and ask questions and work out a solution together.
42.
I deal with conflict by directing confronting an individual and asking for their reasoning behind their decision making. Not in a demanding way, but in a personable way. Sometimes it just takes you understanding where the other person is coming from in order to resolve the situation.
43.
If I was having conflict with another person, I would confront the situation face to face. I would never deal with conflict through technology as I find that it is unreliable as you don't know whether the person is being sincere. By resolving it face to face, you can gauge their body language and their tone of voice. An example would be two friends having a misunderstanding about a situation. Instead of leaving the situation alone to make it worse, a face to face conversation may resolve the conflict.
44.
I have a border collie mix named Max that I rescued two years ago, he's too smart for his own good. I also own two cats that I have had since they were 4 weeks old, they are now almost 5. And I rescued a kitty from AEC during my internship that came in from a cruelty case that my mom is now keeping.
45.
Right now I have a T-Cup Yorkie, a Pomawa, Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog, Airedale terrier, two cats and a hamster. N growing up I always had digs and cats.
46.
I own two cats right now, one of which has CKD. She's on a special renal diet and I give her LRS sub-q twice a week at home. Her lab work has been WNL and stable since I've began managing it, and that was about five years ago.
47.
I have a cornsnake named Jasper that I have had for over 4 years. I also have two female rats that I enjoy. I have a dog, Elaine, that I absolutely love. She is so smart and willing to learn new things.
48.
I have always owned a dog and/or cat. Right now I have one dog and two cats.
49.
My family has labs and a beagle mix. The beagle mix is my problem child she has a lot of medical issues. We also have standardbreds that are retired. At school I assist in the management of the goat herd where we breed them and assist with kidding procedures.
50.
I owned Two dogs one pitbull x named Bailey and one longhaired chihuahua named Blaze. I had to adopt Bailey to another home by force not will. Blaze I was able to keep due to his size. They were my babies and I treated them like my children. I would med them if needed, bathe them and even cuddled with them. I enjoy nothing more than to see the animals I've care for thrive.
51.
I own a dog, two cats, and two sprague-dawley rats.
52.
I currently own 2 cats, but I also help look after my parents dogs sometimes, as well as the horses, cows, and birds on their farm.
53.
I own ducks and rabbits. I have 2 female rabbits that I breed with. One is a grey lop and the other is half flemish giant and half silver martain. I also have 5 muscovy hens and 2 drakes. I try to get the hens to sit on at least one clutch of eggs a year if not two and I usually only have one litter of bunnies per female a year.
54.
I currently have 3 dogs and 2 cats.
55.
I have two dogs and 10 cats plus the shelter cats.
56.
Loki and Bergen are my dogs. Loki is a Husky-Pyrenees-Lab mix and Bergen is a Husky/German Shorthaired Pointer mutt. They've both become what I call "house cats" since we moved to Eagle River as they were used to being "on the pole" back in Fairbanks. Loki is in good health overall and is about 6 years old. We don't know how Bergen is but he is a great puller, especially for being an old dog. Bergen has always had an affinity for eating poop and trash so he is known to have upset bowels... We just moved him onto senior dog food recently. Also, it seems his nails don't grow, which is nice since they're black.
57.
Dogs, Cats, Chinchillas, Rats, and a Snake.
58.
Currently I have 2 cats, one dog and a bearded dragon. They are all great and full of personality, I love having them.
59.
I own 4 mini doxies right now, I have cared for since birth.
60.
I currently own two rescue dogs, Libby who is six and Theo who is four whom I love to take hiking. I also own a one-year-old mouse, Sadie.
61.
I currently have two dogs they're both rescues.
62.
Currently 2 dogs, 1 is 16 and the other 4
63.
I have two cats one is 9 months and one is 2 years and I have an australian cattle dog who is 1 and 1/2
64.
I have one male cat, Stevie and one male dog, King Kai.
65.
I currently own two cats; a 3 year old male named Grey and a tortioshell 1 year old female named Harley Quinn cause she has a bit of a nasty temper. I also own a domestic rat who is 2 years old now, a male named Pickles.
66.
We currently have 8 whitetail deer on our farm, chickens, California quail, a wood duck, 2 dogs, and 7 cats.
67.
Dogs cats birds horses, some of these animals are rescues.
68.
I have 1 dog. Toby. He is a jack russel rat terrier mix. He is 10 years old and my baby. I got him for Christmas on year, and since that day he has been my confidant, best friend, and reason for getting up in the mornings.
69.
I have 6 pets. All of which are like a part of my family. I spend time every day caring for them. They're all their own characters in some way.
70.
I have three cats. I'm out numbered.
71.
10 cats, 2 dogs, Surfcat.
72.
I have owner may dogs, all of which present with different personality traits and health issues. I have also had my fair share of cats. One of our cats growing up was very ill so I am well versed in caring for sickly cats. I have had several cockatiels. One of which had to be hand fed for most of its life.
73.
I have 2 dogs and 5 glofish. I have had my personal dog, Zeus for 3.5 years, and Munchkin was my fiance's dog before we met.
74.
As I had mentioned we have a cat and a dog. I rescued Herald about 2 years ago as an adult cat. He picked me I walked into the shelter and he got in my purse so I decided he was the one. I also rescued Charles back in November, he is a terrier pointer mix, we think. He is very stubborn like terriers are but we are working on training. I had two gerbils for about four years that just passed away this winter, they were two sisters, Sniffles and Snuffles.
75.
I have 2 dogs and two cats. Our first dog is a retired sled dog who we adopted 3 years ago when we first got to the Yukon. SHe's an incredible dog who is in great health for her 15 years. She's more of a big cat than anything. There was a parvo outbreak in the animal shelter that we had a contract with a few months before we left the Yukon. As a result I 'fostered' a lovely mutt following his neuter surgery as they wanted to have as few animals in the shelter as possible. It was after a few days that I realised we had to keep him. He reversed Duchess' failings- she was beginning to show signs of doggy dementia. Now she;s seeming young again and we feel like we've won the lotto with the two of them. Duchess is quite a bit of work as she has issues with her paw pads and kidneys and she's pretty aloof but we love her. Our first cat Maud we took when we met her at the shelter when we went to volunteer. SHe was this big fat lump who I thought no one would ever take. She's lost the weight now and has really come out of her shell. I am crazy about her- she's my birthday cat. And Peig I heard about through the clinic in ahving the contract. It was a no-kill shelter generally but she came in so unheslthy and skinny with no teeth and frostbite that she was to be euthanized. Myself and my partner went to the shelter to meet her the night before the euth was scheduled and ended up taking her home. SHe's a lOT of work - has diabetes and needs GABA, a vivacious appetite and can be quite cranky but she is getting better every day. If you see her you'll prob think she's on death's door but she looks 100 times better than she did at first- so much fluffier and has put on some weight. She's a marvel.
76.
Right now I have two cats. Coco and Gigi who are 9 and 8 years old. I've had them since they were kittens and they are family to me. They have been through a lot of hectic situations with me and I am so grateful for them and the comfort they give me.
77.
I currently care for my puppy, she gets fed twice a day and I take her for as many walks as possible as well as play with her in the dog park.
78.
I have balem. I rescued him when he was a kitten! Bottle fed him. I have my sagwa cat. She was found down the street from my house. She had an eye infection. I took her to the vet and she's perfectly healthy now.
79.
I own a miniature Schnauzer, and I also have an aquarium of tropical fish.
80.
Two cats named Acer and Gavin.
81.
We currently own a dog, named Walnut, who was my Christmas gift a few years ago. Since then, I have adopted a couple of hamsters that I care for.
82.
I don't own any pets right now but we are looking to get a dog.
83.
My rabbit is very healthy. He loves to run and play and snuggle with his little guinea pig friend. He's also very curious and explorative. My guinea pig, she is very social (for a guinea pig) she also loves a good scrub; she makes happy noises! She also loves playing and cuddling with my bunny too. My dog, he loves tennis balls! He's very friendly and loves everyone he meets! He thinks he's a person, though!
84.
I have five dogs and two cats. Lady Bug is my 5.5# Chihuahua, Toby is my 20# dashaund mix, Willie Nelson is my 15# poodle mix that showed up at our house last April. Ozzy is my Border Collie/Shepard mix and weighs about 45#. And lastly, Molly is my 50# German Shepard mix. All are healthy adults that are up to date on their shots, spayed or neutered and on HW/Flea prevention. And of course, they all get lots of love!
85.
Right now I own and care for 2 rabbits which I have bred and produced offspring. I have one dog she is a chocolate Labrador retriever and one betta fish.
86.
I currently have 3 dogs, one house and the others outside.
87.
Cats, dogs, rats, rabbits, goats, hamsters.
88.
The pets I care for are dogs, fishes and a parrot. Their very good dogs. The parrot is a little fiesty but she can be sweet too. The dogs stay inside but are taken out often. They eat once I a day in the morning. The parrot always has food and water and the fish are fed once a day also. They are all very happy.
89.
I have two dogs, Dominico and Sadie. And one mouse. I have owned lizards, snakes, and frogs in the past as well.
90.
I used to have cat, iguana and rabbit but as of know I have dog and fish.
91.
I have a bunny that I give hay free choice too. I also give him fresh water twice a day and the best quality food that is available. He gets annuals and he has been neutered.He is also free to run around supervised.
92.
Right now I have a 10 year old newt I've had since 6th grade. He is the most low maintenance pet I've ever owned he doesn't need much just food once a week and a warm, clean aquarium. I also have two rats I adopted from school. Their names are Tupac and Rambo I absolutely adore them. I clean their cage daily and make sure they have plenty of enrichment to keep them busy and happy.
93.
Cats: cashew, peanut, jelly dog: sam.
94.
I do not have any animals right now but we are trying to get a dog for the family.
95.
I have a papillon, rascal, he is very clumsy though.
96.
I have 2 calves, 1 bunny, 2 dogs, and 5 cats.
97.
I have 2 dobermans, and a horse. They are my children.
98.
I have 1 dog that I adopted in December. She is about a year and a half old and still very puppy like, playful and full of energy.
99.
I have a pug named iris and a boston terrier named lily. Theyre best friends and both sweethearts. Lily is the alpha, but only to care for iris. Theyre super cuddly and really just part of the family.
100.
101.
I would step back mentally and possibly physically to assess the situation and then approach with a level head, dealing with the situation in a calm and professional manner.

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