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How do you deal in uncomfortable situations?

1 of 25 Competency Interview Questions and Answers Written by Rachelle Enns

Updated on November 17th, 2018 | 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

Often, our work environment holds the possibility for awkward or tense situations. It can be challenging to know how to respond when you have a coworker who is moody, or when your coworker lacks social skills and continuously asks inappropriate questions. The interviewer wants to know that you can keep your cool in situations like these.

Professional Answer Examples
Answer example

"I have had my share of awkward situations and having raised two kids, I am no stranger to them! In the workplace, if an uncomfortable situation arises I tend to face the issue head-on, but tactfully. Sweeping things under the rug rarely helps. I have no problem being open with my team or colleagues if I am not feeling comfortable in a particular situation."

Answer example

"I have learned over the years that if something makes me uncomfortable, I better dive right into it. Change and growth happen outside of your comfort zone. I embrace this!"

Answer example

"Uncomfortable situations do not weigh on me. I have learned how to face my problems and persevere, and I never take my feelings home with me. I encourage this mentality with my team as well."

Answer example

"I try to avoid conflict, but I have a high tolerance for discomfort. I've learned to try to let the people in question sort it out, but have no problem rolling up my sleeves and diving in to help mediate the problem."

Answer example

"When working with the public so much, awkward situations are going to arise. I have had my fair share and knew enough to either walk away or fake it till I made it! A smile and nod can do wonders!"

Answer example

"As ridiculous as this sounds, I am comfortable in awkward situations because I've had decades of awkward family dinner parties when one side didn't get along well with the other! I've learned to be the go-between who smoothes things out while finding common ground where all parties can agree. While the foundations are odd, this has proven a beneficial skill in the workplace."

Answer example

"Uncomfortable situations don't phase me. It takes a lot to make me uncomfortable, and I just roll with whatever awkward thing is happening and try to either make it normalized, especially in the case of a student, change the conversation, or address the root of the awkwardness. It's all part of the gig."

ABA Therapist
Answer example

"I have had my share of awkward situations, and having raised 2 kids, I am no stranger to them! In the workplace, if an uncomfortable situation arises I tend to face the issue head on, but in a tactful way. Sweeping things under the rug rarely helps. I have no problem being open with my team or colleagues if I am not feeling comfortable in a particular situation."

Answer example

"I am very comfortable with the requirements of my role as a school superintendent. If I were to be asked to perform a task that I am uncomfortable with, I would brainstorm ways to tailor the task to make it more do-able. If I felt the task should be delegated to someone more appropriate, I would take that step."

Blood Bank Laboratory Technician
Answer example

"Preventing contamination is one of the most important jobs of a blood bank laboratory technician. I follow all set safety and sanitization protocols before, during and after each test procedure. By doing this, I am hel to become contaminated."

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: 06/29/2018
Last modified on: 11/17/2018

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How do you deal in uncomfortable situations?
Working in the barracks would often put me in the situation where female occupants would answer their doors in various stages of undress. I always had a command escort with me and would always inform my supervisor when these incidents would occur.
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