The interviewer is looking to hear about your ability to communicate with your team and handle issues in a professional manner, 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.
"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."
"Conflict in teams is inevitable. I handle conflict with respect. humility and intent to understand or solve the problem."
"Conflict is a normal part of business. It is most easily remedied by clear, open, and honest communication among team members."
Sales answer example
"In a sales environment, competition is necessary and its integral to the fiber of the organization. However, it obviously can prove problematic, especially among those on the same team who are supposed to work collaboratively, but ultimately are competing. Complicated and tricky for sure.
On one occasion, the two buyers who reported to me got into it. I calmly pulled them both off the floor to a private conference room and got them both talking. We were able to get to the heart of the issue. Basically, 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 authority and labor, as well as ultimately moving their desks so they were flanking me rather than next to one another, we solved the issue. This way, they would go to me for their questions rather than wondering aloud and having the other answer, leading to a gruff attitude.
I think this approach is applicable in many situations: address the issue head on, with expediency, and open communication. Hear the problem before deciding on a solution, and perhaps most importantly, hear the parties out. Let 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."
Teacher 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 and come to see that while we disagree in some methods, we see we all have the best intent, and come out the other side better off."
Marketing answer example
"I think a bit of conflict is good for a team: we all have a bit of leeway to voice our opinions and know it's okay to disagree. As we disagree, we find new spaces for growth and new directions can be taken 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, within reason."