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Tell me about a time when you created a unique idea or solution, and it was rejected by your colleagues. How were you able to bounce back?

1 of 15 Creative Thinking Interview Questions and Answers Written by Rachelle Enns

Updated on August 11th, 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

The interviewer would like to know how you handle rejection when you present a solution at work. Putting yourself out there with new ideas can be intimidating, and we all want to be accepted. Talk to the interviewer about how you would handle the feelings that come with having your opinion rejected.

Professional Answer Examples
General
Answer example

"A couple of years ago I made a recommendation for scheduling that would have included some split shifts. The result was less overtime and reduced expenses for the company. My colleagues were unhappy with the idea of split shifts. I was able to see their perspective which made it much easier to bounce back from the rejection. My overall attitude is, you win some - you lose some!"

Admin
Answer example

"I recently asked my boss if we could implement a couple of workplace planning tools that would make it easier for myself to connect with the cross-departmental teams. I was already familiar with the tool, from using in a previous role. However, my boss prefers to run the business very lean and does not want to spend any money. It was unfortunate, but I understand that some people simply like things how they are."

Manager
Answer example

"I am often creating unique solutions or ideas in the workplace. Last year we launched an employee satisfaction survey. After reading the results, it was clear to me the work that needed to take place. We needed to train our associates better, and further equip our leaders with best practices to ensure their team's success. I suggested implementing them right away. Leadership rejected the ideas citing they wanted them to keep process simple. We did end up implementing some of the ideas over time. It was a learning experience for me on how to better gain buy-in from my peers before introducing new ideas."

Marketing
Answer example

"At times I will have funny slogan ideas that I think we could incorporate into a project. I keep a little notebook full of weird ideas. Some of them stick, and some of them do not. This life is one of a marketing professional!"

Retail
Answer example

"I once requested a 'suggestion box' when we experienced high turnover and employee morale issues. Ironically, management rejected my suggestion. The leadership team thought it would just turn into a complaint box. I was disappointed, but I did not let that deter me from continuing in my pursuit to help find a solution to our turnover issue. Instead, I verbally checked in with the employees, creating a safe place for them to provide feedback and suggestions."

Sales
Answer example

"I asked my boss if we could change the sales script slightly, as some of the wording was outdated. Unfortunately, he was offended, since he wrote the script....twenty years ago. I didn't take it to heart, as he's a bit old school; however, I am hoping that he will let the idea simmer and revisit it at a later time."

Teacher
Answer example

"Hoping to take my class to the museum to see a recent art installation I recently put in a request for a class field trip. The principal felt that the school could not justify the cost compared to the learning opportunity. I was disappointed because I knew it would be an excellent experience for the students. As a workaround, I sent a memo to the parents notifying them of this new exhibition, and how it related to our current social studies topic, in the hopes, they would take their children on the weekend."

Civil Engineer
Answer example

"A couple of years ago I made a recommendation for scheduling that would have included some split shifts. The result was less overtime and reduced expenses for the company. My colleagues were unhappy with the idea of split shifts. I was able to see their perspective which made it much easier to bounce back from the rejection. My overall attitude is, you win some - you lose some!"

Written by:

Ryan Brown
Ryan Brown, is the creator of MockQuestions. He has over ten years experience creating interview questions. His website has helped over 10 million job seekers in their interview preparation.
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: 01/07/2017
Last modified on: 08/11/2018

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