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Tell me about a situation in which you had to work with fellow team members who did not like you.

9 Answer Examples

By: Rachelle Enns

How to Answer

As is often the case, if you are in a management role, you will have employees under you who may not like you. Now, if your entire team despises you, you may have a much bigger problem. One in which you shouldn’t tell the interviewer about. Keep your answer short and simple, and focus on one employee whose personality didn’t mesh with yours. And you were able to figure out a way to motivate and not let this personality clash affect your performance together. Also, do not mention names of employees.

Professional Answer Examples
General
Answer example

"When I first started in my current role, I was replacing a very beloved manager who had retired. The team that I inherited was not happy about the change, and they initially set out to give me a hard time. I addressed it within the first week, acknowledging that I had big shoes to fill. I believe that the team respected this honest approach and slowly everyone came around once they realized that I had their best interest in mind."

Admin
Answer example

"When I worked as a temporary administrative assistant, I did not always jive with the head administrators. Because I was in a temp role, I felt overlooked or treated poorly. I did my work to the best of my ability regardless, because I wanted to keep a good reputation with my agency. I don't need everyone to like me, but I do need to deliver great work!"

Manager
Answer example

"I worked with someone in my last role who had a very different style leadership style than I. For whatever reason; they were unwilling to make an effort to adapt to rapid change or the fast pace in which the team worked. I was always asking questions to learn the most I could think about the business, while this person would have preferred everything stay status quo. I consider myself to be fairly perceptive to people around me and took it upon myself to approach this person in private to build a relationship with them outside of the work group. It helped."

Marketing
Answer example

"That's a loaded question! I am not sure I have had anyone outright say they don't like me; however, I have butted heads with team members at times. Generally speaking, these situations are surrounding a difference of opinion on the action to take. I am from the new school of marketing and follow algorithms carefully where I have one team member who is all about print advertising. We have learned to work with each other's strengths and weaknesses at the same time."

Retail
Answer example

"When promoted to manager of my current department, I was the youngest on the team. This silly fact made me not very popular in their eyes, and they thought they could treat me as though I were their daughter, rather than their boss. I made it clear that while I respect their experience, I would not accept that treatment. I did so kindly over a cup of coffee while emphasizing their importance to the team and me, explaining my credentials and goals for the team. We've all done well together since and I find our department to be a delightful place to work!"

Sales
Answer example

"I'm all about tackling a problem when you see it, and being transparent, so the issues are quick to surface. This approach doesn't go over well with my low-achievers who are hoping to skate by doing the bare minimum. Anytime this happens, I speak with the employee in question off of the floor to assess what's going on and how we can get them up to speed to hit numbers. Sometimes they rise to the occasion, and sometimes they don't or can't. In either case, I am sure to explain what the problem is, how I hope to fix it, solicit their input, and work to find a plan of action together. I don't take their dislike of my style personally, but instead try to bridge the gap to see a cohesive, collaborative environment for all."

Teacher
Answer example

"I am used to students not always liking me. You cannot win everyone over! Situations like that do not sway me or affect my teaching style in the least. As far as my colleagues, I do not always get along famously with everyone at all times, but we all respect each other despite differences in our teaching style."

Addiction Nurse
Answer example

"As an addiction nurse, I realize my care is crucial in patient outcomes. This is stressful, but I always try to compartmentalize my stress and channel it, in a healthy way. I have a strong support network and yoga is my 'go to' stress reliever, after a shift."

Daycare Worker
Answer example

"I took the initiative to bring a recent criminal background check with me today. I understand that you are obligated to run a variety of checks on me, to which I am happy to comply."

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 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: 01/05/2017
Last modified on: 02/03/2019

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