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How do you deal with conflict on your team?

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

Updated December 27th, 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

The interviewer is looking to hear about your ability to communicate with your team and professionally handle issues when they arise.

Think of an example where you worked closely with your team to resolve a conflict. You could also offer a scenario where you mediated an issue between two coworkers. Show that you can keep your head on your shoulders when dealing with conflict.

Professional Answer Examples
Answer example

"I have strong conflict management skills and in my current position, have had to exercise those skills from time to time. We are in a high-stress, highly commissioned work environment which can cause a lot of unnecessary conflict among the team. When a conflict arises, I like to deal with it swiftly, openly, and with poise. Transparency and openness are how I lead my team, so I will call a group meeting where we express concerns and get it all out on the table."

Answer example

"When there is conflict, I will address the issue head-on, with expediency, and open communication. Hearing the problem before deciding on a solution, and perhaps most importantly, hearing the parties out is most important. I believe in allowing the stakeholders have a say in what they think will work best for them, and then work together to create a solution that will work best for everyone."

Answer example

"Conflict is a normal part of running a business. It can help to offer clear, open, and honest communication among team members. To prevent conflict, as much as possible, I manage my team with those particular values."

Answer example

"I think a bit of conflict is good for a team: we all have a right to voice our opinions and know it's okay to disagree. As we disagree, we find new spaces for growth and new directions to take because of those uncomfortable conversations. As long as it remains in check and everyone behaves as adults and treats one another and our differing opinions with respect, conflict can be very beneficial."

Answer example

"Conflict in teams is inevitable, especially when you work long hours or are in danger of hitting specific sales targets. I handle conflict with respect, and the intent to understand the other person by listening."

Answer example

"In a sales environment, competition is necessary and its integral to the fiber of the organization. However, it can prove problematic, especially among those on the same team who are supposed to work collaboratively, but ultimately are competing. On one occasion, the two buyers who reported to me got into a verbal argument. I calmly pulled them both off the floor to a private room. We were able to get to the heart of the issue. It boiled down to one feeling the other was trying to be his manager when he had no authority over him. By communicating job tasks and making a clear division of power, we solved the issue."

Answer example

"We often have philosophical differences in how we approach teaching, so these typically came to a head during curriculum writing. When we disagree, I try to take a leadership role and mediate the disagreement. Let everyone; myself included, have their few minutes to speak on the issue and then see where we can find common ground. Usually, there's at least a sliver of commonality, and we can all get through the disagreement."

Answer example

"I have strong conflict management skills and in my current position, have had to exercise those skills from time to time. Transportation is a high-stress work environment which can cause a lot of unnecessary conflicts among the team. When a conflict arises, I like to deal with it swiftly, openly, and with poise. Transparency and openness is how I lead my team so I will call a group meeting where we express concerns and get it all out on the table."

Answer example

"I have strong conflict management skills and in my current position, have had to exercise those skills from time to time. We are in a high-stress, high stakes work environment which can trigger conflict among the team. When a conflict arises, I like to deal with it swiftly, openly, and with poise. Transparency and openness are important to me in the workplace."

Heavy Equipment Operator
Answer example

"I have strong conflict management skills and in my current position, have had to exercise those skills from time to time. We are in a high-stress, highly commissioned work environment which can cause a lot of unnecessary conflict among the team. When a conflict arises, I like to deal with it swiftly, openly, and with poise. Transparency and openness is how I lead my team so I will call a group meeting where we express concerns and get it all out on the table."

Wildland Firefighter
Answer example

"One of my coworkers had a bad attitude and kept snapping at people on the team one day. It's important for us to work together at all times, even if one of us is having a bad day. I pulled him aside and asked what was going on. I listened and comforted him, and then gave him a pep talk. I told him we needed him on the team and that he was doing a great job. The rest of the day went much more smoothly!"

Service Station Attendants
Answer example

"In my previous role as a Service Station Manager, I ensured the delivery of excellent customer service by training my team to be positive-minded and encouraging to everyone around them. Customers can tell when someone wants to help them versus being forced to because it's their job. Together, we created a friendly and welcoming environment that our regular customers greatly appreciated."

Sous Chef
Answer example

"I resolved a conflict, just last week, between two of my kitchen helpers. They had a disagreement about the schedule and booked time off. I resolved this through sitting down with each of them individually, and then together. We came down to the basis of the issue and resolved it quickly through strong communication."

Answer example

"Some time ago I had an unhappy patient who felt that my fee was too high. Even though she was happy with her treatment, she refused to pay for her service before leaving. Rather than cause a scene around my other patients, I asked her to leave and to not return again. I took the loss and moved on. Some battles just aren't worth fighting."

Answer example

"I had a situation with a Provider who had over dosed a patient and miscalculated the weight of a patient. After professional discussion, we realized it was a miscommunication and the Dr. misread a patient weight. He may not have admitted guilt but he walked away and didn't raise his voice after I brought the error to his attention."

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: 12/27/2019

More Interview Questions

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How do you deal with conflict on your team?
Conflict management is an area where I excel. Cooler heads prevail and emotional intelligence and ability to communicate clearly and calmly are key elements to being a manager and a leader. Conflicts will arise but they don't need to define relationships. Conflicts between co-workers (immaturity), conflicts with partners (universities and agents), and conflicts are quite prevalent in international education as a result of communication styles and breakdowns.
I don't like conflict but that is a part of like. I say take them head on. I speak my mind and am ok to agree to disagree. matt.
I work well with conflict. I've dealt with peer managers making religiously insensitive jokes to employees.
Conflict is part of woking it happens everyone has a different way of thinking. I can tell you this its normally a misunderstanding when it does. I remember I girl did not like me due to not knowing her in my time at cal state.
Poorly, many and vast conflicts, always fighting.
Conflict not easy, merger conflicts, stay measured dont over react.
Working with the manager and staff to make sure that everything is ok.
Organisation of the registers, sorting out the roster, checking for sick calls, making sure those places are filled by other staff memebers so no tills are seen to be empty. Communicating with management to ensure that everyone is clear on who is doing what and where.
I like to identify conflict fast, to the point, gather the facts an work to a solution where everyone wins.
There was a time at the shop where the order mixed up because we had a miscommunication at the shop. The order that was for Brisbane went to China and vise versa. I dealt with the situation accordingly, we sent the items directly from their locations to the correct place.
When the conflict involves a child I take a leadership role and try to intervene in the most appropriate way for the situation. Although not recommended I have stepped in front of two student about to fight, I have tried to talk down a student who threatened to light the curtains on fire, etc. When a conflict involves a coworker, I usually take a few minutes to compose my thoughts and then ask to sit down and discuss the situation in a calm manner.
As a teamlead you sometimes get into conflicts with colleagues or must step into a conflict between colleagues.
1: Ensure I was fully prepared for the tasks scheduled for that day 2: Ensure my vehicle functioned properly and was adequately fueled 3: Ensure my PDA and dog sheet were legibly completed before the end of the work day.
As a great communicator I am able to acknowledge their thoughts and feelings, focus on. The problem and find common. Ground.
I feel that I handle conflict well. As a planner at GCM, I acted as the glue holding different departments together, and making sure we all worked towards the same goal. Engineering would feel frustration with production "messing up" their planned fixtures or manufacturing methods, while production would feel frustrated that engineering "didn't know how things really work on the floor." I often mediated these disputes, because my goal was on time delivery, not internal bickering. I think that over time, as you gain familiarity with a coworker, you learn how to speak to them in order to get them to work towards your goal. By communicating with multiple parties by effectively acting as a translator, I was able to let the two departments work together to create solutions to the task at hand.
Often when teams work together with tight deadlines, long hours and stressful situations communication can sometimes get misinterpreted. I think making sure everyone is clear with communication, work things out and remember we're all working towards 1 goal is the best way to handle conflict.
I believe that one of the worst feelings an employee can get is the knot in her stomach when she realizes she is in the middle of a conflict. Conflicts happen all the time, and I don't always win. I also believe that most conflicts are simply power struggles or petty issues and don't belong in the office place. When a conflict gets nasty, I do tend not to respond. I don't want to fight with anyone, I detest drama. If something really is wrong with the system, then, of course I would do whatever I could to solve the issues.
Change in policies related to budgeting.
Leverage conflict - TWC;
I am open to new suggestions, if it is a conflict of colleagues we can talk about it.
You have to be diplomatic at all times so you can diffuse any issue in order to achieve goal. I'm not sure I had any conflicts... That's strong of a word.. But certainly disagreements over new products, flavors, positioning etc. Occurred all of the time and that's a healthy environment to have because it makes you have to prove your point in terms of why we should taking one course of action over another.
I've learned to discern between conflict (conflicting values, clashing philosophies) and creative tension; creative tension can lead to great things, espec if there's a safe space to exchange ideas (I prefer the 6 Hats framework... Non-linear thinking, looking at a problem in several directions, wearing the same hat at the same time); best idea should win.
Calmly. A staff decided not to run the gift aid report, which upset finance team. So maybe a quiet word with her and explained why we neeD the report. She understand and proceed with the running the report.
I get along with everyone, there was one time where I did not say hello to one of my team member and I appolzied for it.
Learned how to leverage conflict as a skills. Used conflict constructively...
Manging a team of interns.
I had a manager that I didnt see eye to eye with. She was very forceful, and had a hard time finding solutions that would benefitbthe big picture, versus just herself and her department. So her and I ended up working together on a project, and I tried to help her grow in that area. In return she taught me some awesome things about our hiring process that I didnt know about.
I would first listen to what others had to say then speak my piece, I was in conflict once and it went well.
I deal extremely well with conflict. I do so by allowing the other party to lash out their emotions, and not attack their point of argument no matter how incorrect it is.
I pretty patient. Try lots of things. Did lose my cool when it was clear the deal was lost.
There is regular conflict in my field but quite often it is passive and so maybe much harder to deal with as people are less likely to be openly dismissive of the need for change. I therefore aim to be 'on side' in order to create a safe environment for the difficult questions or true feelings to be expressed in order to give a counter view nicely and gain trust and acceptance for my point of view.
Depending on situation I listen and grasp what the issues are. I will then try and mediate through different solutions to see if we can all agree. I am in HR so conflict is all around me. Dealing with partners who do not agree and think that they are more important. Sometimes in the boardroom I have a way of wanting to do things and the seniors do not agree I need to find a rational way of them seeing my point of view without it becoming a battle of wills. Often I will accept what they say and come back later on with my view but from a different angle mostly works.
When I was the facilitator for merging a department into the enterprise plan, a woman was not ready to bite into the project. I made concession for her responsibilities. I did a sample in the new format and worked with her to help see the new format in action. She was now more invested in the product.
I listen and reason using info provided and sound judgement.
I am an open book who frequently seeks feedback. I believe in adapting my leadership style to fit the needs of my direct reports. When conflict arises, I am quick to ask open ended questions and listen to answers provided. I summarize what I have heard. Conflicts I was involved with included reporting relationship with previous boss.
In my opinion, I deal with conflict well as I deal with it directly. I communicate with the parties involved with an effort made to meet face to face. expressing, and or working to understand the expectation. The sales team wanted a minum of 15,000 units of a product on the ground at all times, production did not want to committ that level of inventory for space, value and risk reasons. Sales expecation were ontime delivry. Production committed to the expectation with a reduced min invneoty by improving leadtime through production.
I deal pretty good with conflict; I had to deal with an employee who had longevity and many family members in the company who was constantly breaking rules. He made it known to everyone he will never get fired. I counseled him on three separate occasions and then relieved him of his burden of working for my company.
I need time to process conflict situations. I will usually make a concerted effort to be objective about a situation.
I am very understnding of people personalities and communication. mainly personality issues and dept concerns.
I am very understnding of people personalities and communication. mainly personality issues and dept concerns.
I had a manager who did not like me, but each day I said good morning and it all worked out in the end.
Understand the real reason behind the conflict. Getting the whole group to prioritize the current project over others.
As long as you accept other people difference, so normally you won't be in conflict. But sometimes, it's inevitable.
Submit Daily reports.
I am fully able to deal with conflict with poise to bring solutions timely. Working at XYZ as a Regional Manager, I was responsible for a staff of over 200 exempt and non-exempt employees within two local unions. I have dealt with conflict resolution dealing with employees at every level including union grievances and arbritration hearings. I have dealt with Management and Union conflicts involving administering employee discipline and terminations. Under my leadership, grievance cases were either won or resolved with win-win solutions for the organization. Other conflicts such as employee misunderstandings or miscommunications were resolved with open dialogue and integrity including parties involved. I always use an open door policy where each individual can be heard and we can agree on a path forward. At times this may involved agreeing to a compromise between parties.
Dealing with conflict is one of my greatest qualities. Stay calm and think though a situation before acting. Supervisor who caused quite a bit of conflict. Was causing issues in the housekeeping department- worked with her for two weeks. Walking through her day, understanding how she worked. I realized she was very task based. Created a new, very detailed checklist for her which outlined how her day needed to go.
I deal well with conflict. My past conflicts were with individuals over compliance issues, where it was my job to ensure policies and procedures were followed and my authority to ensure compliance was questioned. These conflicts were resolved to everyone's satisfaction and in compliance with the relevant law.
Stay out of it if it does not involve me.
First, it is important to have correct fact, reason about conflits and parties invovled. This data will help us to take correct action to deal with conflict. I have faced union unrest in Ispat Profiles which forced company to shut down operations.
I would listen to the person and do my best to understand the situation. I had someone that became very angry with me because he had parked his car in a covered parking space that was rented to someone else and he got towed. He felt it wasn't his fault and that we should reimburse him the money. I tried to kindly explain that it was the resident that towed him not us and that he should not have parked there. He was so mad at me that he started yelling and it was not professional in our office as well as a bit uncomfortable. I said that on Monday when our manager was in we can readdress this to give him the calm down period but he continued to have a lot of hostility toward me. Name calling and bad mouthing me. After a while he had a better attitude toward me and I constantly kept it professionally and positive.
I dont like conflicts but I know how to cope in such situation. Constant conflicts with peers, main conflict with changing bookkeepr.
I am not involved in conflicts.
Conflicts are good because often times it airs what the root cause of the frustration is. I had major conflicts with my boss at Salesforce, nice guy, but we didn't see eye to eye on how the territory should be run. I took that frustration out on a Sales Engineer, that got back to my boss through his boss and then to me. By the time it had gotten back to me Hyder and I had already kissed and made up. One incident then characterized me as a difficult employee. However if you look at my recommendations and you were to call 10 co-workers no one would say that, only my manager.
Conflict with VP of development when he tried to push a retrofit Ozone machine into my hotel. I took the machine on a trial basis and kept very thorough notes on performance and cost. At the end of the trial I produced my findings, discussed the project with the team involved and rejected the machine based on fact and outcome.
I deal with conflict well, I usually don't have conflict at work.
I think I deal very well with conflict actually. I haven't really had any conflicts at XYZ everyone is pretty easy going. I have had differences in opinion and I have shared that with the team when I had them. I have been exposed to conflicts more with starting a busienss because it can be a very disorganized process with lots of people wanting to participate on get on board but may not have the necessary skills. I have a conflict with two of my remote interns who were suddnenly pressuring for pay after accepting an offer that clearly stateod there was no paymet involved.
I am a very calmed person, it was usual on the IT field that blocking access to some websites would create a bad blood between a user and me, I would hear their concerns and remind that the blocking dessition was not part of our job, this came from a higher norm and if they neede access they had to ask their suppervisor to provide us with their permision to lift their block. I advised my interns about this kind of behaviour from the users and to keep it in mind when performing the sheduled mainenances.
I don't believe anyone has a solid method of dealing with conflict. I was involved from time to time with one partner of the college, in a power struggle. If he won, it was OK with me, if I won, he would apologize.... Maybe not immediately, but soon. I did have more support that he did at many times, but not all of them.
I kept away from drama, focused on my duties and avoided it.
That is area that I feel I have improved substantially over the recent past. I had a personality and nepotism problem at my previous company. It led me to an early retirement in a career that I was very successful and enjoyed doing. The VP was unethical and personally aggressive towards me. I should have managed that situation quite differently by going to other members of my management team to improve that personal conflict.
I am good at dealing with conflicts. Speak softly, go slowly. Approach carefully. Lead with Logic. 2009 John & Desiree mess. Keep calm.
Not great. Try to find solutions.
I try and know what I can and can't do. I approach a conflict with professionalism; With kindness, A willingness to listen, an eagerness to help.
Ensuring that I keep calm and diffuse the situation. It is important to understand where the customer is coming from but also trying to explain to them that the price cant be changed and apologise if they feel that it is too high but theres nothing I can do.
I myself have never been in any conflict at my employer but as a team leader I have seen a few in my time and have had to be there to resolve them. I don't think anyone enjoys seeing conflict and I feel it needs to be dealt with quickly. I believe I can handle it well and speaking to the people involved in a calm and understanding manner is something that can resolve most issues quite promptly.
I resolve it by avoiding it or collaborating with the other person.
I deal with conflict using patience in an empathetic yet authoritative manner. I asked a group of guests to reduce the noise level twice and told them the next time I would be forced to evict his guests. The last time I got a noise and smoke complaint. When I approached the room with my Loss Prevention team we discovered they were smoking in the room. So I expressed my deepest apologies for their lack of consideration for our hotel and other guests before asking everyone including the registered guest to evacuate the room immediately. I also explained that I would be charging his card a $250 fee for deep cleaning that is clearly stated in our policy since we are a nonsmoking and drug free hotel. The guest was extremely upset and confrontational. I simply listed, apologized for the position we were now forced to be in and said that there is nothing else I could do since I had tried my best to handle the situation twice before with empathy. I let them know that we have decided not to get the authorities involved so that was the one thing that I chose not to do that was in my hands. The guest was still upset but it never got out of hand because I made sure they all evacuated the premises in a safe and quick manner.
I am comfortable dealing with conflict. Work is work. Tough, angry customer.
Obstacles, problems meeting goals, and conflict are part of the territory in marketing. Your value comes from being resourceful and proactive and building strong relationships to move things forward despite issues. At Tradecraft, I managed through conflicts with product designers and at Salesforce, I managed calls to customers' who were disappointed that marketing campaigns didn't meet their goals.
Conflicts are like gas; everyone has some from time to time but no one really wants to discuss it. It's often best to let it fade away a bit at a time.
I give conflicts time to settle. Most conflicts were working with two individuals that did not get along.
Head on, if it's extremely heated, I step away, think, I may ask a close confidant if they see anything i'm missing and I come back and i'm confused..
Many times conflict can be mostly resolved by just listening to the other party share their side of the story. Once they've been able to vent they're a little more ready to listen to reason. But dealing with conflict can never be just reactive; you should be clued in enough to your people so that some conflicts can be cut off at the pass.
I always strive to resolve conflict as soon a situation arises. If I can not resolve myself I am not afraid to ask for assistance from my most knowledgable counterparts.
If it is a client-I NEVER respond with anything but politeness. If internal, I stay cool, think through my response and then find the right moment to share my thoughts on the conflict.
I deal with conflicts as a solution. I dont see them as conflicts but as a misinformed. So I work on informing not conflicting.
In a matrixed environment without strong processes to encourage collaboration, it can be challenging to get iniatitives prioritized for support. Launching the PALS project we were challenged by the direct banking team constantly. We got support in 3 ways 1.) Understood their concerns, processes, and complied. 2.) Senior support was acknowledged, 3.) momentum.
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