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When has a customer or client annoyed you? What happened?

7 Answer Examples

By: Rachelle Enns

How to Answer

It's time to get real with the interviewer! If you say that a customer or client has never annoyed you, you will appear as insincere. Give an honest example of a time when your nerves were a bit rattled or you just wanted to step away from a situation. There is no need to speak poorly of anyone but do focus on what you did to overcome your feelings of frustration. Highlight how you remained professional.

Professional Answer Examples
Answer example

"I cannot control the behavior of others, so I will, at times, come across a client who does not understand the work process and under-values what I do. Those types of situations annoy me because I feel slightly unappreciated. I then take the time to remind myself that I am a well educated, seasoned professional who delivers outstanding work."

Answer example

"I recently had someone accidentally call our office four times in a row looking for a different business. The first time they called, it was fine. The second time, I gave them the correct number they needed. By the third time, I honestly thought it was my husband prank calling me or something. By the fourth call, I asked the person if they were okay because they sounded disoriented. It turns out it was a senior man who was confused. I ended up making a three-way call on his behalf, to direct him where he needed to go. It always feels better to help someone versus getting upset with them."

Answer example

"I recently had a vendor pretend that they did not receive my order rather than just admit they dropped the ball. I have read receipts on all of my emails, so I know that he was not truthful. Rather than call him out on it and start an argument, I simply let him know that I had every faith in him that he would deliver my expectations. This approach made him want to work hard to prove me right, rather than wrong. It worked beautifully."

Answer example

"I have had clients in the past who change their direction when a project is nearing completion. This type of event can be more than annoying, especially when the changes are things we recommend early on, only to be rejected. I have learned just to smile and nod, and deliver exactly what the client wants. I am hired to deliver expectations and never want to fall short of that."

Answer example

"Everyone gets annoyed from time to time. I once had a customer that did not understand how to find out how many miles her car had been driven. I tried walking her through it several times on the phone. At one point I thought it was a practical joke, but it wasn't. I ended up suggesting that she stop by the shop so that I could show her in person. That worked out better. She realized later how silly it was and we had a bit of a chuckle together. It wasn't worth getting upset over, and she appreciated my patience for the situation."

Answer example

"I had a client who insisted on a discount for absolutely everything. Even the most minute of services. Rather than get frustrated with him, I started to beat him to the punch. I would say "Hey, we have a great offer just for you" and he would perk up. The discounts were small, but he was from a culture where bartering was par for the course with anything. I needed to respect his culture, so this was a great workaround."

Answer example

"I face many challenging situations with parents on a daily basis. It can be difficult to work with a parent who believes their child is perfect, for instance. When a situation like this occurs I allow the parent to lead the conversation; however, I will ask them 'In what ways would you like to see your child's performance improve?' It's similar to the adage, 'Lead a horse to water.' I want to ensure that we are all on the same page so by having the parent feel they are leading the conversation, it's often helpful and eliminates feelings of frustration or annoyance."

Written by:

Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is an executive head-hunter and job search expert. Utilized by top executives from Fortune 100 & 500 companies like Fitbit, Microsoft, General Electric, Nestle, and more, she helps professionals position themselves in a competitive marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume, a company that focuses on helping job seekers get their edge back. Renovate My Resume creates stand-out resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and professional summaries for new grads, all the way to corporate executives. Rachelle spends much of her time training career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers. She also holds interview workshops for students and interns, globally. For great tips and tricks, follow Rachelle on Instagram @_rachelle_e or @renovatemyresume.
First written on: 06/01/2015
Last modified on: 06/29/2018

View user-submitted Answers

When has a customer or client annoyed you? What happened?
When they're not understanding a certain way needs to be done and they end up not happy in the end of the day.
When I was working a shoe store the customer kids was knocking down display shoes and I asked the cutover politely if she could watch her children.
Complaining about homework.
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