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Tell me about a significant crisis you have faced in your most recent position. How did you overcome the crisis?

1 of 10 Experience Interview Questions and Answers Written by Rachelle Enns

Updated on November 29th, 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

Being experienced, and in a senior role means that you will face significant dilemmas in your career that could potentially affect many employees or the company as a whole.

Some crisis you may have faced could include:

- The bankruptcy of your organization
- Major Layoffs
- Significant budget cuts
- Negative Press
- A major product recall
- Cybersecurity hacks
- Natural disasters
- Senior level misconduct

Give an overview of the situation, ensuring that you do not breach any NDA or confidentiality agreements surrounding the issue. Highlight the part that you played in recovering from the crisis and your overall attitude and mentality through the situation.

Professional Answer Examples
General
Answer example

"In a previous company, when I was the VP, our President and CEO was publicly accused of sexual harassment in the workplace. Our board went into action mode immediately asking him to step down until the investigation was complete. I was acting President, taking on his responsibilities in the meantime. Our responsibilities were quite fluid and intertwined already so taking on his workload was not the issue. The challenge was not commenting on the situation as it seemed everyone I came across wanted to know. I maintained confidentiality and did not speak about the situation until given the green-light by our legal team."

Admin
Answer example

"My current organization began major layoffs about six months ago. I have made it past three rounds so far, but am unsure of the future. Being an executive member of the administration team, I must remain positive at all times. I encourage our more junior administrators and take the opportunity to coach them to help improve their work performance, hopefully increasing their chance of keeping their job. For myself, I am actively searching, but quietly. I am seeking a stable opportunity where I know my job is safe."

Manager
Answer example

"I was a club manager at a high-end yacht club in Hong Kong when the SARS crisis began. It was an incredibly challenging time for our club members in a panic and tourism dropping nearly 85% overnight. I worked closely with the Marketing Director of the club, and we put out a public statement outlining the actions that we were taking to ensure the safety of our club members and tourists. The release improved our situation, and we were able to break even at least until the crisis was over."

Marketing
Answer example

"I was part of an agency that went bankrupt in the middle of some major campaigns. The chaos was something I had never experienced before. There were multitudes of angry clients and unpaid bills. I quickly found a new agency to work for, and they agreed to take on the clients from the dissolved agency, at a discounted service rate. I successfully brought over 45% of the accounts that I had prior."

Retail
Answer example

"I worked for Company ABC when our systems were hacked, resulting in the exposure of over 1 million customer credit card numbers. I traveled from store-to-store, putting out fires, as I was the regional manager at the time. It was pure chaos with employees quitting, customers showing up to demand if they were exposed, and even the local news showing up. I coped by following the direction of our hired PR agency, to a tee. Luckily I made it through in one piece!"

Sales
Answer example

"We had a major airbag recall when I was the Sales Director for Company XYZ. The damage control was something that I have never experienced before, and hope never to experience again. Luckily I had some strong Marketing and PR departments to rely upon through the crisis. I followed their lead, and the recommendations from our legal team of course."

Teacher
Answer example

"Last year our district had significant budget cuts. These cuts meant that we were no longer eligible for a pay raise, we experienced the skimming of our benefits package, had zero budget for classroom materials and the inability to attend professional development courses. Luckily, our parent community and the city were incredibly passionate, and they helped us to raise enough funds to help with the cost of new materials and in-class technology. It was truly heartwarming to see what could happen when the community came together."

Nursing Aide
Answer example

"My colleagues will tell you that I am a team player and that I am someone they feel comfortable coming to when they need an extra hand or someone to talk to."

Clinical Laboratory Technician
Answer example

"I think one of my biggest weaknesses is that I can get sidetracked easily. I recognize that in myself and have made a conscious effort to plan my day as much as possible and to stay on target."

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: 03/29/2018
Last modified on: 11/29/2018
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