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Scenario Based Interview Questions

15 Questions and Answers by

Rachelle Enns is an interview coach and job search expert. She works with candidates to perform their best in employment, medical, and post-secondary admission interviews.

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Question 1 of 15

Tell me about a time that you had to resolve a conflict between two employees. How did you ensure that a resolution was made without hurt feelings?

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Scenario Based Interview Questions & Answers

  1. 1.

    Tell me about a time that you had to resolve a conflict between two employees. How did you ensure that a resolution was made without hurt feelings?

      How to Answer

      This question is meant to see how you handle conflict in the workplace. If you don’t have an example of a time when you had a resolve a dispute between two employees, then give an example how you would hypothetically resolve the situation. The interviewer would like to see that you are thoughtful in challenging conditions and able to be the voice of reason when needed.

      Rachelle's Answer for an Admin Interview

      "I believe that it is important to address issues between colleagues when both parties have calmed down. I would make sure each person heard the other side, so both are acknowledged. Lastly, I would make sure a solution is provided to move forward. Also, I could bring someone from HR to sit in and listen as well. Those are the steps I would take if I had to mediate a conflict."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Manager Interview

      "There are often small conflicts between my production staff on matters of safety, quality assurance, and procedural issues. If left unattended, things will quickly escalate since we work in a high-stress environment. When I sense a conflict, I will call a meeting between the arguing parties. They don't leave my office until they can agree on a solution and shake on it. This approach works well, and I have yet to lose an employee over an unsettled argument."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Marketing Interview

      "We marketing and creative types can become very passionate about our approaches to projects. Recently I witnessed two project managers, who were collaborating with a large client, arguing quite heavily about what direction to take a particular ad campaign. I suggested they have an anonymous team vote. The most voted idea wins. I created a quick online poll through SurveyMonkey and sent it to our entire staff of 400. It was a landslide for one particular idea, and the argument settled."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Retail Interview

      "As a retail sales manager, the most frequent disagreement between employees will occur over commission disputes on shared customers. I created a way for our system to offer split commissions in these instances. Rather than continue to resolve the issues on a case-by-case basis, I also created a department policy in which it's apparent who gets the commission and when, based on the behavior of the customer, amount of interaction, and amount of time passed."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Sales Interview

      "Two of my buyers were continually bickering a few months ago. It started in a bit of jest and good spirits but quickly deteriorated as one felt the other was attempting to be his boss. It made working with them, or even near them, an unpleasant experience. I was able to speak to them both individually and get to the root of what was bothering each of them. By hearing each of their sides, without the other around, I was more prepared to address the issue when the three of us sat down together. I acted as a mediator and got them both talking about what was bothering them or where the disconnect lay. I was able to coach them into a meaningful conversation."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Teacher Interview

      "I typically don't have to intervene in employee disputes, but in any setting that I sense tension or some disagreement, I will confidently step in as the intermediary, and encourage respectful conversation."

      2 Community Answers

      Anonymous Answer

      "Two coworkers had a disagreement one day at work. I sat them both down and had them state their sides one at a time. Come to find out, it was just miscommunication, and they worked everything out."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Good start! Be sure to bring this story to life by using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method. This re-frame will ensure that your interviewer can follow along as an outsider of the story while picturing your leadership skills in action.

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      Anonymous Answer

      "A co-worker went over her sick and personal days when her father passed away; when she returned a co-worker started a heated argument with her about the absenteeism policy. I knew I had to act so I brought the angry co-worker to the side and calmly explained management is well aware of the policy in place but chose to allow her to return to work and if anyone in the office including himself needed to take extended leave due to the death in a family we would be happy about the leniency in policy. It did diffuse the situation and everyone was able to return to work."

      Marcie's Answer

      Excellent answer! The example you provide clearly shows how you successfully resolved a conflict between two coworkers. It sounds like you were calm and rational. It also sounds like the outcome was positive. This is a strong response.

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