MockQuestions

Scenario Based Mock Interview

To help you prepare for your next job interview, here are 20 situational interview questions with answer examples.

Scenario Based was written by and updated on March 16th, 2022. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 20

Let's say you made an error at work and the impact of your mistake was significant. How would you correct the error?

The Goal

The interviewer wants to know about a specific time when you made a mistake and how you reacted to the situation. The goal of your response is to tell an engaging story that highlights your willingness to be accountable and repair your mistakes.

Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

Next Question

List of 20 Scenario Based Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1.

    Let's say you made an error at work and the impact of your mistake was significant. How would you correct the error?

      The Goal

      The interviewer wants to know about a specific time when you made a mistake and how you reacted to the situation. The goal of your response is to tell an engaging story that highlights your willingness to be accountable and repair your mistakes.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      The interviewer knows that everyone makes mistakes and nobody is perfect. Avoid saying that you would never make a mistake in the workplace. A response like that could give the interviewer the impression that you are not self-aware and coachable. Instead, be prepared to discuss how you would approach fixing the error.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      The interviewer wants to know how you would proceed if you made a mistake at work. Because this question is phrased as, 'How would you...' you can answer this question hypothetically. The Situation, Solution, Benefit formula is helpful in this instance.

      Step 1) Situation: Express your understanding of the hypothetical situation.
      Step 2) Solution: Outline the solution you would introduce in this hypothetical situation.
      Step 3) Benefit: Highlight how your approach to owning up to and fixing your mistakes will benefit the hiring company.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Your response should tell the interviewer a lot about your maturity and accountability levels. Express that you are willingly accountable for your actions and take responsibility if you make a mistake. You can discuss how an error might impact you, your employer, coworkers, clients, or other stakeholders. Then, detail the action steps you would take to fix the error. Include measurable statements such as how long it would take you to jump into action.

      When we make mistakes and learn from them, we often gain new skills and tools to help us improve our work performance. For that reason, at the end of your response, remember to highlight that you value lesson-learning scenarios that allow you to grow.

      Suppose you have encountered a similar situation in the past. In that case, you can use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to provide a story-based example to support your initial Situation, Solution, Benefit response. Rather than focusing on the fact that you made an error, be sure to highlight your professional and personal accountability. Spotlight the lesson you learned and show that you are a team player who can grow and learn.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "(Situation) I understand that making a mistake in the workplace can have serious repercussions, especially if it were left ignored. (Solution) If I were responsible for an error at work, significant or insignificant, I would jump into action immediately. I would fix the mistake independently or ask a leader for assistance if the problem was too large. Of course, I would apologize for my error and make the necessary skill improvements to ensure the situation did not happen again. (Benefit) I will not allow pride to get in the way of admitting when I have made a mistake. Because of this, I am very agile in my work, and a trustworthy team member whom you know will be honest about my performance and results.

      (Option: follow up with a story-based example using the STAR method) One example of this is, while working at Company XYZ, I did not meet my monthly sales goal in my fourth month of employment. I understood that my monthly sales goal impacted the department, so the disappointment was strong. I addressed the issue by speaking with my manager. I explained that I fell short and believed it was because I did not make enough cold calls the previous month. I wanted to show my manager that I was ready to take responsibility for mistakes, so I devised a few success strategies and presented them to my manager with a plan to get back on track the next month. I learned that taking ownership of my mistakes is important, as is doing all I can to become better. The following month, I exceeded my goal and covered my shortcomings from the previous month. Since then, I have exceeded my targets every month by at least 11%, a proud accomplishment that I look forward to generating here at Company ABC."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Admin Example

      "(Situation) Ignoring mistakes or creating temporary fixes is a surefire way to have the issue re-occur and often with bigger consequences. (Solution) If I made a mistake at work, I would immediately fix the problem. If the issue was too large and I needed help, I would ask my leader or co-worker to assist. I would apologize for my error and own up to the consequences of my mistake. (Benefit) I am an honest and trustworthy team member, and Company ABC can rest assured that I would not try to cover up a mistake to save face.

      (Option: follow up with a story-based example using the STAR method) One example of my level of accountability is that I made a financial accounting error during year-end last year, and four of our vendors ended up not being paid on time. As a result, our company faced some large fees for overdue payments. As the accounting administrator assigned to these accounts, it was up to me to find the cause of the mistake while doing damage control with our vendors and department leads. I stayed overtime that day and called each stakeholder personally. I owned up to the situation, explained the error that I caused, and negotiated a reduction in late fees from the vendors. I learned that I need to double-check my work before confirming any numbers, regardless of how busy I am. Since then, I have never rushed through my tasks. Instead, I follow a methodical pace that has resulted in 99% accuracy this year. I believe my diligence and history of accuracy will benefit Company ABC should you choose to bring me onto your financial administration team."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Retail Example

      "(Situation) In retail, I understand that covering up or ignoring a mistake can have a trickle-down effect on many other people. (Solution) If I created an error, I would take full accountability and own up to my mistake while also immediately fixing the issue. Of course, I would also apologize for my error and own up to the consequences of my mistake. (Benefit) You can rest assured that I would not try to pass off a mistake in the workplace. I am very honest and sincerely want to do a great job for Company ABC.

      (Option: follow up with a story-based example using the STAR method) For instance, I joined Department Store XYZ as the Retail Manager of the shoe department about ten months ago. During my first month, I was placed in charge of making the scheduling decisions. The scheduling went quite well the first month, so I applied that same logic to the second months' schedule. I was so busy replicating my previous success that I forgot to account for our local schools being out of class the third week of the month. This oversight meant an increase in traffic flow and a need for more associates during that time. I thought I was being diligent by following a 'proven' formula, but I didn't consider that holidays and school breaks significantly changed the retail flow. Because of my mistake, we were short of two employees each shift. My staff felt the strain by the second day of the school break. I got creative and asked the manager of the housewares department if I could borrow two employees for an hour or two at a time. I also called our part-time staff and asked them to cover upcoming shifts. Luckily, I could cover our needs during that week, but it was a learning experience. Since then, I have followed a formula for scheduling while carefully highlighting any significant holidays, upcoming sales, days off of school, or other goings-on in the mall that could impact our traffic and have been much better prepared. This lesson has ensured that moving forward, I triple-check all scheduling decisions to ensure my team can trust that they have full shift coverage."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Sales Example

      "(Situation) Making a mistake in a sales environment can result in significant consequences, especially if the mistake is never fixed. (Solution) If I made an error at work, large or small, I would get to work right away to fix the issue. If needed, I would ask a co-worker or my leader to help undo any damages. I would apologize for my mistake and seek additional training if necessary. (Benefit) I am not the kind of person to be too proud to admit when I have made a mistake. I am a trustworthy team member, and Company ABC will benefit from this honesty and willingness to be coached.

      (Option: follow up with a story-based example using the STAR method) For instance, while working for Company XYZ as a Territory Sales Associate, I frequently traveled to see clients. One particular day, I was slated to demonstrate our company's new technology and gain feedback from the client on improving the beta. I cut my time too close to the airport and missed my original flight. The next available flight was an hour later. When I got to the clients' office, I was frazzled and did not have adequate time to set up my presentation. As a result, the presentation was not as smooth as I hoped, and I didn't get the feedback I would have if I'd had the time to set it up properly. I apologized to the client and later to my tech team for failing to meet expectations. As a result of this day, I made sure to give myself ample time to make my flight and arrive at my client meetings fully at ease and well prepared. Rest assured, since that day, I have been early to every appointment, and it's helped my close rate significantly, which is a success. I plan to continue with Company ABC should you choose to hire me."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Teacher Example

      "(Situation) As a teacher, making mistakes in a learning environment can have serious consequences. (Solution) If I made a mistake in the classroom, I would fix the mistake as soon as possible. Then, I would approach my learning leader or faculty leader and let them know the error I made. In addition to fixing the mistake, I would show a willingness to apologize to any impacted party. Then, I would commit to gaining any necessary skills to ensure the situation did not happen again. (Benefit) I am always willing to learn and grow. If hired, you will see that I am accountable for my work.

      (Option: follow up with a story-based example using the STAR method) One example of my accountability is, early into my first teaching job, I had a student who was falling behind in class. As the new teacher, I felt that I could make a strong impression by directly addressing the situation with their parent. Unfortunately, I failed to understand the nuances of this parent's relationship with the school. So, when the parent became upset with me, the situation became awkward. I apologized to the parent for overstepping and immediately brought the situation to the school Principal. I explained my reasoning and asked for feedback on my approach. By asking for feedback, I learned that I skipped an important protocol because I didn't take my concern through to the principal. Even though I meant well, the principal expressed that protocols exist for a reason. By going outside the proper channels, I put myself, the school, the student, and the parent in an uncomfortable situation. Now, I am sure to follow all protocols carefully, even if they seem restrictive at first. I know that these guidelines are in place for a reason, and I fully respect the chain of order that the school and district have in place."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Manager Example

      "(Situation) Ignoring mistakes or creating temporary fixes is a surefire way to lose accountability and trust in your team. This behavior can also generate a ripple effect of bigger consequences. (Solution) If I made a mistake, I would fix the issue the moment I became aware of the situation. If the problem was too large and I needed help, I would ask for assistance from the appropriate people. I would apologize for my error and own what I did. (Benefit) Company ABC can rest assured that I would not try to cover up a mistake to make myself look better. We all have room to grow and learn.

      (Option: follow up with a story-based example using the STAR method) One of the most humbling errors I made at work was when I terminated the wrong temporary contractor on-site. I was the project manager for a major construction project where we hired numerous temporary laborers and other contracted associates. We had one temp who was late to the job site three days in a row. My shift lead gave me the incorrect name, so I named the wrong person when I called the agency to ask them to fire this individual. As a result, a reliable worker was fired. When I found out that my call resulted in the wrong person losing their job, I called the agency immediately and explained the error. I apologized and asked them how we could correct the error and re-hire the person we initially terminated. This lesson taught me always to double-check before acting on anything that would directly impact a person or a project. If hired as your next project manager, I will be sure to bring this keen attention to detail and care for my team members to each project."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Marketing Example

      "(Situation) Mistakes in marketing can have significant consequences not only financially but also on a clients' brand and reputation. (Solution) If I caused a mistake at work, I would be fully accountable and immediately fix the issue. I would work overtime without billing the client to ensure that everything was how it should be with minimal long-term consequences. (Benefit) If Company ABC chooses to hire me, the company will be gaining a self-aware and accountable team player.

      (Option: follow up with a story-based example using the STAR method) One example that comes to mind is I recently created an Instagram ad strategy for a client who didn't even request one. I currently freelance as a marketing manager, and, as a team of one, it's up to me to fully review every file before a project begins. I should have caught the error sooner, but I didn't because I was rushing through my deadlines. To fix the error and recover the time I spent, I chose to be transparent with the client. I let them know that I created an Instagram ad strategy for their account in error and would provide it at half the regular price if they were interested in taking the service. The time I put in wasn't a total wash by taking this approach, and the client received a lot of value. Luckily the client agreed, and they were delighted with the surprise project. We were able to laugh about it later. Now, I always triple-check my client files before starting on their projects, ensuring that my time is always optimized and my clients receive exactly what they initially engaged me to do. The bonus that came from this situation is that I learned how simple it can be to upgrade a clients' services - a skill that I am eager to bring as your next social media marketing manager."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Community Answer

      "I do believe that no one is perfect all the time, even when you always carefully do your work, mistakes could happen. I am not afraid of making a mistake; I take a positive attitude to take the responsibility and action to fix my errors, and also one of the important things to me is learning from my mistakes by making my own checking styles, so next time I won't make the same mistakes anymore."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Kevin Downey

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Kevin Downey Reviewed the Above Answer

      Your response is well-intentioned, but should be more specific. The interviewer wants to get to know your problem-solving skills, how you work under pressure, and a better understanding of your work style. I provided a hypothetical scenario below that may help you get started.

      "(Hypothetical response) There was an instance when I failed to meet a monthly sales goal. I immediately realized my monthly sales goal was going to impact the department as a whole. I immediately took responsibility and addressed the issue with my manager. I explained that I put my all in considering the circumstance, but ultimately fell short. So, as I delivered this news, I came equipped with my plan moving forward to ensure this wouldn’t happen again. I also came equipped with strategies, which my manager helped me improve, to get us back on track for the next month. I’m typically very optimistic and forward thinking, and do all I can to improve."

  • 2.

    Discuss one crucial decision you made in your last role and the impact that decision had.

      The Goal

      The interviewer wants to know how you handle the pressure of making crucial decisions. The goal of your response is to describe your decision-making approach and highlight your confidence level when making important choices.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      Avoid giving an example of a trivial decision or a decision that failed to impact your work. Also, avoid making it sound like you 'go with your gut' when facing a decision. Instead, be prepared to show that you are methodical in your decision-making approach.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      If you have held a managerial position or higher, this question may be easier to answer since your role likely requires frequent decision-making responsibilities. If you are newer to your career, think about when you were left to make a choice, and you felt a bit in over your head. Be prepared to talk about how you came to your decision and the positive result.

      Some examples of crucial decision making in the workplace include:

      - Replacing broken or low-performing machinery or tools
      - Choosing a successful vendor from a pile of proposals
      - Deciding who to interview and hire for a new position
      - Triaging your clients' needs by order of urgency
      - Deciding where to hold the next company conference or client appreciation party
      - Choosing which actions to take to get a task back on track
      - Overriding company policy to do the right thing for a customer

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Since the interviewer is measuring your critical thinking and decision-making skills, it's best to talk about a time when you made a decision with certainty and positively impacted your employer. Using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result), share the story of one crucial decision you made. Offer details about how you came to your final decision - perhaps through research, data gathering, or asking for advice from a senior leader. Then, show that you were aware of the result or consequence that your decision might create. This detailed approach should highlight your self-awareness and alertness to the cause and effect of your actions. These components will show the interviewer that you are a strategic thinker who makes well-considered decisions.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "(Situation) While working for Company XYZ as a customer service associate, I was tasked with addressing an angry customer who had called into the office. (Task) Typically, my manager would handle all escalated customer issues; however, they were away for the day for leadership training. I could have asked this customer to call back to speak with our manager the next day, but they were agitated. I felt that if I asked her to call back tomorrow, she would feel like we didn't care. I also believed the situation would escalate if it sat for another day. (Action) As a representative of my company, I made the calculated risk to handle the situation myself, using my managers' approach as a guideline. Since we messed up on the product we sent her, I decided to take full responsibility for the situation. I spoke with her about her concerns in full and gave three options for how I could fix the situation. (Result) I ended up issuing a refund, and at the end of the call, she thanked me for listening. She said that I provided one of the best experiences she had ever had with a service associate in the company."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Retail Example

      "(Situation) Many of the decisions I make as a retail associate for Store XYZ are surrounding accepting basic returns and helping customers with straightforward questions. (Task) However, because we do not always have a manager on the floor, I sometimes have to make crucial decisions when more complex customer issues arise. Last month, I decided to take back an opened electronic item even though that is against our store's return policy. The customer complained that their earbuds were making a buzzing sound. I was aware that there had been rumors about a potential product recall, and the grievance the customer described lined up with concerns I had heard from other customers and on a few online forums. (Action) Despite our no returns policy on opened items, I felt confident in serving the customer and giving them the requested refund. I told the customer that I would return the product directly to the manufacturer from our store. I believed I could leverage our vendor relationship or find a solution by reading the warranty fine print. (Result) The customer was relieved that their request went smoothly. Later, I approached my manager and explained my reasoning. Thankfully they agreed with my approach. My actions even resulted in the customer leaving a great Google review for the store, which made me feel proud."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Sales Example

      "(Situation) In my most recent territory sales manager role, the CFO asked me to make budget cuts. (Task) My task was to reduce my departments' spending on human resources by 25%. (Action) I carefully analyzed what changes would make the biggest impact. I ran scenarios and numbers for a few days while researching territory management solutions from sales leaders in my industry. In the end, I decided to release three of my eleven sales team members. These terminations meant expanding the territory given to the remaining eight sales reps. I carefully reviewed which team members had the best performance over a 15-month period. I also looked at customer survey results. Based on a range of employee performance metrics, I chose who I would need to release from my team. Then, I mapped out new territories for each of the remaining eight sales reps and divided the unassigned clients accordingly. I ensured the changes were as balanced as possible and handled the three employee terminations with care. (Result) As anticipated, I received pushback and a few complaints, but I also supported my decision by sharing compelling metrics and data with the team. I showed my remaining team members that their expanded territory meant a significant increase in profit potential, which meant additional commissions. In addition to leaning out my team and helping my top performers to boost their earnings, I showed the CFO that I could make difficult decisions while remaining a thoughtful leader."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Teacher Example

      "(Situation) Last year, I decided to work with an IEP student during my lunch break three days a week. The student was previously removed from my Spanish class due to disruptive behavioral issues. (Task) Although this student was disruptive, I knew that it wasn't in his best interest to feel isolated from other students. If I could get his learning back on track and build trust with him, I was sure that his behavior would improve, and he would be permitted in my class again. (Action) We did these lunchtime lessons together for three months. (Result) After this time, the student asked the school's learning leader if he could participate in Spanish class again- an approved request. He became a star student in Spanish, and his behavior remained positive and focused. Attending classes regularly turned out to be a significant incentive for this student, and I am thrilled that I chose to spend my lunch hours investing in his learning."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Admin Example

      "(Situation & Task) In my last administrative role at Company XYZ, I was tasked with finding three new vendors. One for our office supplies, one for our coffee produces, and one for our recycling services. The owner wanted to save money, so I was asked to initiate the research with $12,000 in annual savings as the goal. (Action) I did a great deal of research while prioritizing cost savings and each vendors' business reputation. I made a spreadsheet with vendor names, pricing options, and each vendor's bonus incentives. Then, I presented my findings to the owner, highlighting my recommendations. (Result) To my surprise, the owner gave me the responsibility to make the final decision and lead price negotiations with the potential new vendors. Once I made the changes, I tracked our company's savings for three months. Again, I presented those savings to the owner. Overall, my decisions saved us $25,000 over 12 months. At first, it felt intimidating to be in charge of an important decision like this. Still, I learned that with the proper research and a keen eye, I'm good at making calculated decisions and negotiating terms with vendors."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Manager Example

      "(Situation) When I first joined Company XYZ as the human resources manager, one of the biggest pain points was the high level of turnover with employees within their first six months. (Task) After observing the hiring and onboarding processes for 30 days, interviewing existing team members, and reading a few case studies on employee turnover, I decided to change the onboarding process entirely. (Action) I implemented job shadowing for each territory sales person's first month, along with regular manager ride alongs and frequent client survey requests for the first three months. (Result) The changes dramatically increased the success of our new sales professionals and also increased employee retention by 15%, saving us thousands of dollars in rehires."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Marketing Example

      "(Situation & Task) When I first joined Company XYZ as the marketing manager, I knew I would have to make a strong case for investing in social and digital marketing efforts. The company was nearly 50 years old and relied on traditional advertising methods like print and radio. Any changes would be risky since the default attitude internally was to resist new ideas. (Action) I spent two weeks creating a proposal for the leadership team. I researched case studies of companies that shifted some of their advertising budgets away from traditional marketing toward social and digital advertising. In my proposal, I initially asked for 10% of the marketing budget to be moved to social and digital efforts. Then, once a particular goal was reached, the budget would increase to 20%. I tiered the budget request so that after 12 months of positive results, my department would have access to 60% of the company's marketing budget. I knew it was important that my request remain conservative while the results I delivered needed to be exceptional. (Result) The leadership team agreed to my approach and after the first year, my changes accounted for an additional $500K in revenue brought in from advertising efforts."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Community Answer

      "An important decision I made was to leave my most recent position at the hospital during the covid19 pandemic. I had to choose between keeping my family safe, because I have members of my household with high risk issues, and continue working and possibly bringing the virus home. Although I would lose income, I decided it would be best to leave. If the position was a career based job, it would've made staying easier, because I would have the financial stability to stay out of my family's home and keep them away from the virus. I don't regret that decision, because it has made me strive for a career based position in law enforcement and not settle."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Very well said! You articulate this difficult decision very well, while also showing immense strength in character.

  • 3.

    Tell me about a time when you received criticism from your manager. How did you react to that criticism, and did you make improvements?

      The Goal

      It can feel challenging to receive criticism in the workplace, especially from your leader, who you want to impress. The interviewer wants to know how you react in the face of criticism. The goal of your response is to show that you can hear criticism, respond professionally, learn from the feedback, and willingly take action to make improvements.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      Avoid discussing a time when you received criticism about your character. Instead, consider providing an example where you received feedback on your skill level and were able to make noticeable improvements.

      Also, avoid discussing criticism around skills that are a must-have for the role. For instance, if you are applying for a business development position but often face criticism for being too shy to make cold calls, this example could cause concern with the interviewer that you don't have the confidence required to succeed in a BD role.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      'Tell me about a time when...' means that the interviewer is looking for a story-based example for this scenario-based interview question. You can form an effective response using the STAR method. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result.

      - Situation: Set the stage with the background information the interviewer needs to make sense of your story.
      - Task: Continuing to set the stage, give the interviewer an idea of your role and responsibilities in this story.
      - Action: Next, offer a detailed description of the steps you took to resolve the situation you described.
      - Result: Last, talk about the specific outcomes that resulted from your actions.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      How to Answer

      This question is another way for your interviewer to ask about your most significant weaknesses. For this reason, be sure to give a clear example of a time when you received critical feedback on an important skill.

      Using the STAR method, clearly outline the scenario and how you worked hard to improve. Be sure to highlight what you learned from the situation and spotlight how this criticism helped you improve your quality of work. Your response should end on a positive note about a lesson learned and how this lesson has boosted your career or work performance, benefitting your future employer.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "(Situation & Task) While working for Company XYZ as an executive assistant, I was asked to create presentation slides for one of our executive's client meetings. After the executive reviewed my work, he commented that some slides looked messy. This executive had different design concepts in mind and was not impressed with many of the style decisions I made. (Action) He had a background working for a creative agency in the past, so I chose to listen to his feedback, absorb the lessons he provided, and then incorporate those ideas into the presentation. (Result) In the end, the presentation looked very professional, and the executive was pleased with my changes. I kept the template in my Google Drive and made a few similar versions to have a library of slides to choose from whenever he needed a project from me. I felt inspired by his ideas, so I took a weekend course on designing presentations in Google Slides, and today I feel much more comfortable creating eye-catching presentations."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Retail Example

      "(Situation & Task) When I took my first assistant manager role, I received feedback that I was too much of a friend to the associates and needed to be a firmer leader. This feedback was hard for me to hear since it felt like a criticism of my personality. (Action) However, I listened to my manager when she told me this feedback because I knew that to keep my promotion and continue to grow, I needed to show improvements and a willingness to learn. I read a few books on leadership and communicating as a manager. I also listened to leadership-related podcasts every morning for a month. (Result) Ultimately, I realized that this weakness of mine came down to lacking clear expectations of my team members, thus failing to hold them accountable for the result of their work. I learned that I could still be friends with my team while ensuring that everyone performed to the best of their ability and met company expectations. The feedback ended up being a great learning experience for me and helped me grow professionally."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Sales Example

      "(Situation & Task) While working at Company XYZ as a sales representative, I was new to my career and very eager to climb the ranks. I came to work early, worked late nearly every day, and did everything that I could to grow my client portfolio. My manager, the VP of Sales, approached me one day. She said that she appreciated the grit I showed and my hunger to succeed. She then provided me with the feedback that I needed to slow down. She was worried that I would burn myself out and advised that steady, hard work would result in strong and sustainable results. (Action) As frustrating as it was to hear this feedback, I listened. After receiving the feedback, I dedicated my time to learning as much as possible in my current position and paced myself more sustainably. (Result) What I found interesting was that my sales results steadily increased, and I wasn't burning myself out simultaneously. I am thankful for the feedback I received. Now, as a Sales Manager, I often provide this wisdom to my most eager team members when I witness them overextending themselves."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Teacher Example

      "(Situation & Task) Recently, the school principal pulled me aside for a conversation. They told me that, although I am a seasoned teacher who many team members respect, I could benefit from being more adaptable to the modern ideas of our newer faculty members. Before receiving this feedback, I didn't realize that I was reluctant to change. (Action) Initially, I felt a bit embarrassed and wondered if I had hurt anyone's feelings. I took the day to reflect on the feedback and realized that my principal was right. I could often be reluctant to change. I took this revelation to heart and have since been more open to hearing the input and suggestions of our newer faculty members. Taking my progress further, I started helping make some of the suggested changes at my school. I've asked my colleagues for more feedback on how I can grow, and I asked one of the newer teachers to mentor me and show me some of the new learning plans she has been incorporating in her classroom. (Result) Thanks to the feedback I received and the action I have taken to change, my teaching and interpersonal skills have improved."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Admin Example

      "(Situation & Task) A couple of months ago, my manager asked me to increase my typing speed. This feedback came as a surprise since I did not think I was a slow typer - about 65 words per minute, which I believed was above average for an admin assistant. (Action) Initially, I felt a bit defensive. Then I thought that, rather than react, I should give myself an online typing test to see where my skills landed. I was surprised to see that my typing speed was only 50 words per minute. After receiving the feedback and seeing the results of my typing test, I started doing typing exercises every day. (Result) It didn't take me long to improve, and now I type around 76 words per minute with high accuracy."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Manager Example

      "(Situation) Last year, while working as the research manager for Company XYX, my director sat me down during my performance review and asked that I submit my weekly documentation faster than I had been. I agreed with his feedback. I knew that I preferred working on other tasks and less on typing up reports. (Task) However, I understood that timely documentation was critical to the success of our projects. (Action) I started to time block my calendar, giving myself three 20-minute time slots every day to complete my documentation. I set the time and did the work with no excuses. (Result) Eventually, the documentation became a natural part of my workflow. Now, my documentation is detailed and always on time."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Marketing Example

      "(Situation) At Agency XYZ, my marketing director places a lot of focus on using team-based apps such as Asana and Slack. She recently expressed that I am not as well versed in these platforms as she would like me to be. (Task) As the marketing manager, I need to set a good example. So, I accepted the feedback graciously and made an improvement plan. (Action) I have been taking time in the evenings to watch YouTube videos and other online tutorials on the most efficient ways to use these team tools. (Result) To my delight, I am learning creative ways to utilize features that many of my team members don't even know about. I've been able to teach my team a few shortcuts and tricks to optimize their productivity and boost our departments' communication significantly."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Community Answer

      "I was asked to create some presentations for one event. After my supervisor reviewed my presentation, some of the slides required additional copy. He had different design concepts in mind. He had great experience in presenting data, and since I did not, I listened to his ideas and incorporated them. I thought they looked very professional and in subsequent presentations, I have included those concepts."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great! It's perfect that you added in how you listened and incorporated change.

  • 4.

    Discuss a time when you went above and beyond the call of duty. How did your actions exceed your standard job requirements?

      The Goal

      The interviewer wants assurance that you are the type of employee to deliver exceptional results. The goal of your response is to highlight your excellent work ethic.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      Avoid giving an answer that sounds like you reluctantly went above the call of duty in your role, but you did it out of obligation. Instead, provide an example of when you were eager to help, and your helpfulness made a positive impact.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      'Discuss a time when...' means the interviewer is looking for a story-based example for this scenario-based interview question. You can form a memorable response using the STAR method. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result.

      - Situation: Set the stage with the background information the interviewer needs to make sense of your story.
      - Task: Continuing to set the stage, give the interviewer an idea of your role and responsibilities in this story.
      - Action: Next, offer a detailed description of the steps you took to resolve the situation you described.
      - Result: Last, talk about the specific outcomes that resulted from your actions.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When you answer this question, the interviewer should feel confident that you are the type of person who will consistently deliver more than the minimum expectations. Perhaps you exceed expectations on a project by doing additional research. Maybe you helped a co-worker reach a deadline, even though it meant working overtime.

      Think back to the accountabilities in your most recent position. Then, using the STAR method, tell a memorable story about when you eagerly went above your typical expectations and shone in the workplace. Be sure to provide details on the impact of your actions, ensuring the interviewer has evidence that you will bring a strong work ethic to their organization.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

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  • 5.

    Tell me about a time your former manager or coworker upset you. What did they do to upset you, and how did you handle the situation?

      The Goal

      Being drawn into an emotional circumstance at work can make you feel out of control. The interviewer wants to know that you can handle emotionally-driven scenarios professionally. The goal of your response is to highlight your conflict-management abilities while showing a strong level of professional self-awareness.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      There are a few factors to avoid when answering this question:

      - Avoid telling a long, drawn-out story surrounded by negativity. Instead, keep your answer focused on the positive factors.
      - Avoid giving an example of when you initiated the conflict. Instead, consider talking about a time when the dispute arose due to a miscommunication.
      - Avoid bad-mouthing anyone. Instead, talk more about how well you handled the situation and what you learned in the process.

      Overall, rather than dwelling on the problem, focus your response on the solution you generated.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      'Tell me about a time...' means that the interviewer is looking for a story-based example for this scenario-based interview question. You can form an effective response using the STAR method. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result.

      - Situation: Set the stage with the background information the interviewer needs to make sense of your story.
      - Task: Continuing to set the stage, give the interviewer an idea of your role and responsibilities in this story.
      - Action: Next, offer a detailed description of the steps you took to resolve the situation you described.
      - Result: Last, talk about the specific outcomes that resulted from your actions.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Think back to a work-related scenario where you felt upset by a co-workers' words or actions. Then, without dwelling too much on the wrongdoing you felt, use the STAR method to describe how you moved through the situation to create a resolution. Assure the interviewer, through the actions you describe, that you are a professional who can handle instances where you might feel upset or emotional in the workplace.

      Behavior patterns are a significant focus of any skilled interviewer. So, if your response is too vague, be prepared for follow-up questions about why you felt bothered by the situation. The interviewer may want to dig deeper into the reasoning behind the trigger.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

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  • 6.

    What would you do if you had to collaborate on a project with a colleague with whom you disagreed?

      The Goal

      Getting along with different personalities is an expectation in any workplace. The interviewer wants to know that you are flexible and can collaborate with your colleagues even if you disagree. The goal of your response is to showcase your ability to learn from others when you may not wholeheartedly agree with their perspective or approach.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      Avoid giving a response that hints to the interviewer that you have never faced a disagreement in the workplace. For instance, 'I'm not sure how I would handle that situation since I get along with everyone.' Instead, answer the question in a way that shows the interviewer you are thoughtful in your communication even when you may not agree with a colleague's opinion or approach.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      The interviewer wants to know how you would proceed if you faced a challenging collaboration. Because this question is positioned as, 'What would you do if...,' you can respond hypothetically. The Situation, Solution, Benefit formula is helpful in this instance.

      Step 1) Situation: Express your understanding of the hypothetical situation.
      Step 2) Solution: Outline the solution you would introduce in this hypothetical situation.
      Step 3) Benefit: Highlight how your collaborative approach will benefit the hiring company.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      How to Answer

      It's not uncommon to find ourselves in a situation where we need to collaborate with a co-worker who approaches their work quite differently from us. When we find it challenging to agree with someone in the workplace, it raises opportunities for frustration or conflict. The interviewer wants to see that you have the ability and maturity to recognize when you disagree with a co-worker and handle the situation professionally. They want evidence that you would choose to remain solution-focused rather than dwelling on the point of disagreement.

      Since this scenario-based question is hypothetical, consider what you would do if you had to collaborate with a person with whom you disagreed. Perhaps you might disagree with the person's behavior, approach, or actions. Then, using the Situation, Solution, Benefit formula, describe what you would do to move through the situation and work productively with this person. Assure the interviewer that you are a professional who can handle instances where you might not always agree with a co-worker.

      Suppose you have encountered a similar situation in the past. In that case, you can use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to provide a story-based example to support your initial Situation, Solution, Benefit response.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

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  • 7.

    What would you do if an angry customer confronted you?

      The Goal

      The interviewer wants to know that you can handle customers who come to you with challenging emotions. The goal of your response is to show that you can remain level-headed and stay professional if ever confronted by an angry customer. The interviewer also wants evidence that you are solution-focused when faced with customer-related disputes or grievances.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      Avoid giving an answer that shows you have a short fuse or weak conflict-management skills. For instance, avoid saying something like, 'If an angry customer confronted me, I would immediately call security or escalate the situation to my manager.' Instead, show that you would take the time to get to the issue's core and de-escalate the situation through intelligent communication and problem-solving.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      The interviewer wants to know your reaction if an angry customer approaches you for a solution. Because this question is positioned as, 'What would you do if...,' you can respond hypothetically. The Situation, Solution, Benefit formula is helpful in this instance.

      Step 1) Situation: Express your understanding of the hypothetical situation.
      Step 2) Solution: Outline the solution you would introduce in this hypothetical situation.
      Step 3) Benefit: Highlight how your approach to resolving the customer conflict will benefit the hiring company.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Since this scenario-based question is hypothetical, consider what you would do if you had to handle a confrontation with an angry customer. Using the Situation, Solution, Benefit formula, describe how you would de-escalate the situation. Outline how you would come to a solution that appeased the customer and the company. Be sure to highlight your excellent communication skills and ability to deliver creative customer service solutions under pressure. Assure the interviewer that you are a professional who can handle potentially uncomfortable customer-facing situations.

      Suppose you have encountered an angry customer in the past. In that case, you can use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to provide a story-based example to support your initial Situation, Solution, Benefit response.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

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  • 8.

    How do you convince others to see things your way?

      The Goal

      The interviewer wants to know that you have solid persuasive skills. The goal of your response is to show that you can influence people through an inspirational approach rather than pushing others to see things from your perspective in an uncomfortable, forceful, or unprofessional manner.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      Avoid an answer that makes you sound pushy and forceful. Instead, give a response that shows you are persuasive without being a workplace bully.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      There are a variety of persuasion techniques that are helpful to use in the workplace. Some approaches include:

      - The 'Framing' method
      - The 'WIIFT' technique (What's In It For Them)
      - The 'BYAF' technique (But You Are Free)
      - Describing how your approach is working for others
      - Using words like 'we' rather than 'me'
      - Gaining agreement on a more minor point and then working toward an agreement on the more significant point
      - Leveraging data and evidence to make your case

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Perhaps you are a confident and opinionated person, and maybe you are not. This question can be challenging to approach either way since you don't want to come across as a push-over, and you don't want to come across as too pushy in the workplace. It's essential to show that you have professional balance when convincing others to see your point of view. Describe your favorite method of persuasion.

      If you have a real-life example of a time when you persuaded someone to see things your way, be sure to provide a brief story-based example for the interviewer. In that case, you can use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) when forming your story.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

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  • 9.

    Let's say you lost track of a deadline. How would you recover to ensure that you completed your project on time?

      The Goal

      The interviewer wants to know how you course correct once you realize you are in danger of missing a deadline. The goal of your response is to prove to the interviewer that you work diligently to ensure you complete your projects on time.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      Avoid answering in a way that makes it seem you've never lost track of a deadline. Time has escaped us all at one point, so the interviewer will view a response like, 'I've never missed a deadline,' as an easy way out of giving a thoughtful response. Instead, walk the interviewer through your approach when you need to make up for the lost time.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      We've all lost track of a deadline in our work or school. The interviewer isn't looking for evidence that you've messed up - they are looking for evidence of how you would proceed when facing this kind of challenge. Because this question asks, 'How would you...,' you can respond hypothetically. The Situation, Solution, Benefit formula is helpful in this instance.

      Step 1) Situation: Express your understanding of the hypothetical situation.
      Step 2) Solution: Outline the solution you would introduce in this hypothetical situation.
      Step 3) Benefit: Highlight how your approach to recovering railroaded deadlines will benefit the hiring company.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      How to Answer

      So you dropped the ball. It happens to the best of us. Think about how you made the situation right. Whether you asked for extra assistance, or put more hours in, explain how you did your best and took responsibility for your actions.

      Suppose you have encountered a similar situation in the past. In that case, you can use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to provide a story-based example to support your initial Situation, Solution, Benefit response.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

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  • 10.

    Tell me when you naturally took on a leadership role. Did you enjoy being a leader, and were you happy with the outcome?

      The Goal

      The interviewer would like to know that you have the desire and skills to be a leader. The interviewer also wants to know that you perform like a leader at work, even if you aren't in an official leadership position. The goal of your response is to show that you enjoy helping others develop and grow while still learning things yourself. Show that you are the type of person who strives to inspire others.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      Regardless of your current job title or career seniority, you should continually develop leadership abilities. For that reason, avoid giving a response that shows disinterest in being a leader. Instead, provide an example of when you acted as a leader and generated a positive outcome.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      'Tell me when...' means the interviewer is looking for a story-based example for this scenario-based interview question. Talk to the interviewer about when you proactively led a team or initiative. You can form an effective response using the STAR method. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result.

      - Situation: Set the stage with the background information the interviewer needs to make sense of your story.
      - Task: Continuing to set the stage, give the interviewer an idea of your role and responsibilities in this story.
      - Action: Next, offer a detailed description of the steps you took to act like a leader.
      - Result: Last, talk about what you enjoyed the most while demonstrating leadership. Be sure to include the positive outcome that resulted from your leadership actions.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Being a leader is not the same as being a manager. Acting as a leader in the workplace can give you a different perspective on business, often helping you grow your career. The interviewer wants to be sure that you value the skill of leadership. So, be sure to include details on why demonstrating leadership is important to you.

      Consider expanding your response to include details on how you continually improve your leadership abilities. For instance, perhaps you take leadership courses, look for opportunities to lead in everyday scenarios, or maybe have a mentor helping you develop your leadership skills.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

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  • 11.

    Describe a time that you did not fit in. How did you ensure that you found a way to fit in and make yourself comfortable?

      The Goal

      Each of us has a time in our life when we felt as though we did not fit in. The interviewer wants to know how you act in such a scenario. The goal of your response is to show the interviewer that you have the confidence and initiative required to make yourself feel more comfortable in uncomfortable situations.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      We have all felt uncomfortable at one time or another. For that reason, avoid using cliche statements like, 'I am a chameleon who can fit in anywhere.' Instead, give a thoughtful response that describes your people and social skills in detail.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      'Describe a time that...' means the interviewer is looking for a story-based example for this scenario-based interview question. You can form an effective response using the STAR method. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result.

      - Situation: Set the stage with the background information the interviewer needs to make sense of your story.
      - Task: Continuing to set the stage, give the interviewer an idea of your role and responsibilities in this story.
      - Action: Next, offer a detailed description of the steps you took to resolve the situation you described.
      - Result: Last, talk about the specific outcomes that resulted from your actions.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When taking the interviewer through your story, explain if you sat back and waited to fit into the group or if you took the initiative to fit in and make yourself feel comfortable. Take the time to describe your personality and express how you react in situations like this. Be sure to display your confidence when encountering new and potentially uncomfortable situations.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

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  • 12.

    Tell me about a time when you had to resolve a conflict between two employees. How did you generate a resolution?

      The Goal

      The interviewer wants to understand how you handle conflict in the workplace. The goal of your response is to show that you are thoughtful in challenging conditions and can be the voice of reason when needed.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      Avoid answering in a way that makes it seem you avoid conflict. For instance, saying, 'I would let my co-workers battle it out themselves,' could be interpreted as avoidance. Instead, show the interviewer that you understand the importance of helping to resolve a dispute that might hurt the workplace environment or impact team performance.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      'Tell me about a time when...' means that the interviewer is looking for a story-based example for this scenario-based interview question. You can form an effective response using the STAR method. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result.

      - Situation: Set the stage with the background information the interviewer needs to make sense of your story.
      - Task: Continuing to set the stage, give the interviewer an idea of your role and responsibilities in this story.
      - Action: Next, offer a detailed description of the steps you took to resolve the situation you described.
      - Result: Last, talk about the specific outcomes that resulted from your actions.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Use this question as an opportunity to showcase your conflict-resolution system through storytelling. Describe the steps you took to help resolve this conflict and explain why you believe your approach was so impactful. If you have a specific conflict-resolution framework that you lean on, be sure to outline the process for the interviewer.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

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  • 13.

    How would you react if a co-worker called in sick and asked you to put in overtime to cover for them? Where do you draw the line when being a team player?

      The Goal

      The interviewer wants to know that you are willing to jump in and take additional responsibilities when you identify an opportunity to help others. The goal of your response is to show your willingness to be part of the team while also explaining your boundaries when filling in for unreliable co-workers.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      If you've encountered a similar situation, avoid speaking poorly of the co-worker who took advantage of your availability and kindness. Instead, take your time to highlight that you are a team player willing to help out your co-workers within reason.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      The interviewer wants to know how you would react if asked to make a last-minute change to your availability to cover for a sick co-worker. They also want to know where you draw professional boundaries. Because this question asks, 'How would you,' you can respond hypothetically. The Situation, Solution, Benefit formula is helpful in this instance.

      Step 1) Situation: Express your understanding of the hypothetical situation.
      Step 2) Solution: Outline the solution you would introduce in this hypothetical situation.
      Step 3) Benefit: Highlight how your approach to teamwork will benefit the hiring company.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      How to Answer

      It's absolutely okay to show the interviewer that you have personal and professional boundaries. Express to the interviewer that you are a reliable team player. At the same time, it's essential to explain that you have reasonable limitations when you encounter a situation where a co-worker might be taking advantage of your willingness to assist.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

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  • 14.

    What would you do if a customer asked you about a product or service and you were unsure of the answer?

      The Goal

      The interviewer wants evidence that you are an independent thinker who can find answers for yourself. They also want to know that you wouldn't just make up an answer to appease your customer. The goal of your response is to show the interviewer that you are ready to put in the effort to find solutions for your customers.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      Avoid statements that show a lack of proactiveness, such as, 'I would tell the customer that I didn't know the answer.' Instead, show the interviewer that you bring an 'I will find out' mentality.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      It's challenging to admit that we don't know something; however, nobody has all the answers. The interviewer wants to see how you would proceed if you didn't have a solution for a customer. Because the interviewer asks, 'What would you do if...,' you can respond hypothetically. The Situation, Solution, Benefit formula is helpful in this instance.

      Step 1) Situation: Express your understanding of the hypothetical situation.
      Step 2) Solution: Outline the solution you would introduce in this hypothetical situation.
      Step 3) Benefit: Highlight how your approach will benefit the hiring company.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Since this scenario-based question is hypothetical, consider what you would do if a customer asked you about a product or service and you were unsure of the answer. Using the (Situation, Solution, Benefit) formula, describe how you would handle the situation. Outline how you would come to a response that appeased the customer. Be sure to highlight your excellent communication skills and ability to deliver creative solutions under pressure.

      Suppose you have encountered this situation in the past. In that case, you can use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to provide a story-based example to support your initial Situation, Solution, Benefit response.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

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  • 15.

    What would you do if you were made aware of a co-worker being dishonest or stealing from the company?

      The Goal

      The interviewer wants evidence that you are an honest person who would do the right thing even in an uncomfortable situation. The goal of your response is to show the interviewer that you have the confidence to address dishonesty amongst your co-workers and that you would support integrity inside the organization.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      Avoid answers that make it seem like you are sympathetic to dishonesty. Instead, show that you are proactive in protecting your company and work environment while balancing 'doing the right thing' with being kind to others. For instance, you would report the situation according to company policy without embarrassing the co-worker or gossiping about it to the rest of your team.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      The interviewer wants to know how you would proceed in a situation involving employee dishonesty. Because this question is positioned as, 'What would you do if,' you can respond hypothetically. The Situation, Solution, Benefit formula is helpful in this instance.

      Step 1) Situation: Express your understanding of the hypothetical situation.
      Step 2) Solution: Outline the solution you would introduce in this hypothetical situation.
      Step 3) Benefit: Highlight how your approach to handling this dishonesty will benefit the hiring company.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Companies want to know they are hiring loyal employees. Make sure that you illustrate in your answer that you would do the right thing and represent the company for which you are working. If you have an example from when this happened, you can talk to the interviewer about it but avoid naming people outright or speaking poorly of anyone.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

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  • 16.

    What would you do if you made a mistake at work and nobody noticed?

      The Goal

      The interviewer wants to know more about your level of integrity in the workplace. Integrity means doing the right thing, even when nobody is watching. The goal of your response is to show the interviewer that you are a trustworthy person who makes the right choice and fixes your mistakes, even when nobody has noticed your error.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      Avoid responding in a way that suggests you never make mistakes at work. Everyone makes mistakes, and the interviewer wants evidence that you are self-aware. Instead of trying to look like the perfect employee, highlight that you respond to errors in a way that shows integrity and accountability.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      Everyone makes mistakes in the workplace. The most important part of a situation like this is not the mistake you made but how you repaired the error. Because this question is positioned as, 'What would you do if...,' you can respond hypothetically. The Situation, Solution, Benefit formula is helpful in this instance.

      Step 1) Situation: Express your understanding of the hypothetical situation.
      Step 2) Solution: Outline the solution you would introduce in this hypothetical situation.
      Step 3) Benefit: Highlight how your honesty and integrity will benefit the hiring company.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When you talk about handling mistakes in the workplace, it's essential to show that you would first admit your mistake. Employers want to see that you are accountable for your actions versus blaming others or shirking responsibility.

      Next, it's important to apologize for your errors. Remember, the interviewer doesn't want to hear you grumble over the issue. It's vital to apologize for your mistake and present a solution rather than dwell on the problem. Show that you would jump into action to create a plan to fix the error. Consider how you would repair the mistake, preferably on your own time, without costing your employer additional resources.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

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  • 17.

    How would you proceed if your boss asked you to complete a task that you had never done before?

      The Goal

      The interviewer wants to know that you have the confidence to jump into a new task. The goal of your response is to showcase your positive spirit when approaching new responsibilities and highlight your desire to learn new skills.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      Avoid giving a response that sounds unsure and lacks confidence. Instead, express your interest in being involved with various tasks and learning new skills.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      The interviewer wants to know how you would proceed if asked to complete a task that was entirely new to you. Because this question is positioned as, 'How would you proceed if...,' you can respond hypothetically. The Situation, Solution, Benefit formula is helpful in this instance.

      Step 1) Situation: Express your understanding of the hypothetical situation.
      Step 2) Solution: Outline the solution you would introduce in this hypothetical situation.
      Step 3) Benefit: Highlight how your approach to learning new tasks will benefit the hiring company.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Show the interviewer that you would proceed with the task thoughtfully while showing an eagerness to learn and gain new skills. Suppose you have encountered a situation like this in the past. In that case, you can use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to provide a story-based example to support your initial Situation, Solution, Benefit response.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

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  • 18.

    What would you do if an angry customer approached you and demanded an immediate resolution to their problem?

      The Goal

      The interviewer wants to know how you react in the face of a customer-related pressure situation. The goal of your response is to show that you are a level-headed professional who can think under pressure and create a solution rather than allow the conflict to intimidate you.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      Avoid responding in a way that shows you would do anything to avoid the conflict. For example, saying, 'I would give the customer what they wanted,' shows a lack of problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. Instead, point to the fact that you would lean on your training and the company's policies to reach a well-thought-out resolution that served all parties equitably.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      The interviewer wants to know how you would proceed in this customer-service scenario where the pressure is high. Because this question asks, 'What would you do if...,' you can respond hypothetically. The Situation, Solution, Benefit formula is helpful in this instance.

      Step 1) Situation: Express your understanding of the hypothetical situation.
      Step 2) Solution: Outline the solution you would introduce in this hypothetical situation.
      Step 3) Benefit: Highlight how your approach to de-escalation will benefit the hiring company.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When you talk about handling upset customers, it's essential to show that you would act quickly and professionally while abiding by company policy. Employers want to see that your dispute-resolution skills are strong and that you can think fast when a pressing matter arises. Show the interviewer that you would jump into action to generate a fair resolution for the customer.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

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  • 19.

    What would you do if a boss or co-worker blamed you for a mistake that you were not responsible for?

      The Goal

      When blamed for an error that we didn't cause, it can be human nature to become defensive. The interviewer wants evidence that you are the type of employee who would maintain professionalism even in a situation where you felt blamed. The goal of your response is to showcase that you have the communication skills needed to overcome this potential conflict.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      Avoid giving a reactive response. For instance, responding with, 'I would tell my boss or co-worker that they were mistaken,' shows that you are reactive vs. proactive. Instead, give a reply highlighting your willingness to get to the issue's core. This approach might sound like, 'I would start by asking my boss or co-worker why they believed I was responsible for the mistake.'

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      Being blamed for a mistake that you did not make can be among the most frustrating situations in the workplace. The interviewer wants to know how you would handle this situation if it happened to you. Because this question asks, 'What would you do if...,' you can respond hypothetically. The Situation, Solution, Benefit formula is helpful in this instance.

      Step 1) Situation: Express your understanding of the hypothetical situation.
      Step 2) Solution: Outline the solution you would introduce in this hypothetical situation.
      Step 3) Benefit: Highlight how your communication style will benefit the hiring company.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Since this scenario-based question is hypothetical, consider what you would do if a boss or co-worker blamed you for an error that you know you did not cause. Using the Situation, Solution, Benefit formula, describe how you would handle the encounter. Be sure to highlight your excellent communication skills and ability to come to a resolution without becoming overly defensive.

      Suppose you have encountered this situation in the past. In that case, you can use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to provide a story-based example to support your initial Situation, Solution, Benefit response.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

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  • 20.

    How would you handle providing constructive feedback to your manager?

      The Goal

      Providing feedback to others in a constructive manner is a challenging skill to obtain, so the interviewer wants to know that you have worked on your constructive feedback skills. The goal of your response is to take the interviewer through your feedback delivery process, ensuring they see your approach as a good fit for their workplace culture.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      Avoid telling the interviewer that you would never give constructive feedback to your manager. Yes, it is essential to respect your leaders. However, providing them with opportunities to improve is one way to show that you also care about their professional growth.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      The interviewer wants to know how you would proceed with giving constructive feedback to your leaders. Because this question is positioned as, 'How would you...,' you can respond hypothetically. The Situation, Solution, Benefit formula is helpful in this instance.

      Step 1) Situation: Express your understanding of the hypothetical situation.
      Step 2) Solution: Outline the solution you would introduce in this hypothetical situation.
      Step 3) Benefit: Highlight how your approach to delivering feedback will benefit the hiring company.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Giving proper constructive feedback can be an art form in itself. Show the interviewer that you understand how to provide appropriate feedback, even if it's for the person to whom you report. Suppose you have encountered a situation like this in the past. In that case, you can use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to provide a story-based example to support your initial Situation, Solution, Benefit response.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on March 16th, 2022

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