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Top 15 Scenario Based Interview Questions

Describe to me your method of convincing others to see things your way.
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Question 2 of 15
Discuss one important decision you made in your last role and the impact that decision had.
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"I had to address a problem with a customer when my manager was in a meeting. Normally, we give complaints such as this one to the manager but this customer was incredibly upset over her experience. I felt that if I told her to wait it would just make her feel like I didn't care. Since we screwed up on the product we sent her, I took full responsibility for it and explained how I would fix the situation. I ended up giving her a refund and at the end of the call she thanked me for listening and said this was one of the best experiences she had with a customer service associate."
If you had a managerial or higher up position, this question may be easier to answer since your role requires more responsibility. Say you were a manager, think back to a problem you had with a project that didn't go according to plan and the decision you had to make in order to meet the deadline. The interviewer wants to know how you handle pressure and situations that require you to think independently. If you didn't have a management role, think back to a situation when a project needed to get done or you had a problem with a client and your manager was away, and explain how you handled it with confidence.
Specific Career Examples
Retail Example
"In a previous position, I made an error in scheduling assignments. I did not account for the fact that colleges were going to be out, and therefore we would get an influx in traffic. I only had my mind set on the local school schedule, which was an oversight on my behalf. That said, the afternoon that we got slammed and I realized the error in my way, I got creative. I borrowed employees from other departments that were not swamped from the influx of college traffic for an hour or two at a time in order to have more coverage. I then immediately got on the phone with my employees who were not scheduled that evening or at various times throughout the week when I knew we'd be busy and made scheduling changes by giving them more hours. In addition, I worked an extra three shifts that week in order to make up for the lack of planning on my own behalf. This quick thinking to correct an error allowed for the department to not miss a beat in customer service or financial targets and I certainly learned a lot from the experience. Not to mention, it was really great for my employees to come together as a team and make it happen for the greater good."
Sales Example
"In my most recent role, I had the responsibility to decide the breakdown of territories and which sales exec was assigned to each of those territories. There were clearly territories that were more favorable than others and I had to decide who would get those, knowing it would be a controversial outcome now matter what I decided. I made them as balanced as possible, weighed metrics of the sales persons, and made as fair of a decision as possible. Because of my plan, I did get the anticipated push back or complaints, but I also was able to back up my decision with metrics and data. Ultimately, I solidified myself as a leader in the organization who was not afraid to make a tough decision and stand behind it, even if it were to be an unpopular one."
Teacher Example
"One important decision I made may seem trivial to others, but it was hugely impactful for the student in question. I decided to work with a student during lunch, as he wasn't able to participate in Spanish class due to some behavioral issues. We did the full lessons together and really bonded for the entire year. The next year, he had it written into his IEP that he'd participate in Spanish class- and he did. He was a star student during Spanish and knew that he needed to work on his behavior chart leading up to Spanish in order to be able to participate. It turned out to be a huge incentive for him and he was truly one of my best, and brightest, students."
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Question 3 of 15
Tell me about a time when you received criticism from your manager. How did you react to that criticism? How did you make improvements based on that criticism?
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"I was instructed to create some presentations for our events. After my manager reviewed my work, some of the slides required additional copy, and he had different design concepts in mind. He had a background in graphic design, and since I do not, I listened to his ideas and incorporated them. I thought they looked very professional and in the following presentations, I tried to include those design concepts."
When you are thinking about examples of criticism, it's best to show that you want to grow as an employee and that you can handle constructive criticism because it helps you learn and improve the quality of your work.
Specific Career Examples
Retail Example
"When I was first stepping into an assistant manager role, I received the feedback that I was being too much of a friend to the associates and needed to be firmer and less lenient. This was hard for me to hear, and initially to incorporate into my actions, as I had been promoted from an associate. So overnight I went from their peer to their boss. However, I really wanted the promotion and extra responsibility, and sometimes that means making tough decisions or uncomfortable actions, so I really listened to my manager when she told me this. I knew the right thing to do, I just had to force myself to be uncomfortable and make it happen. Ultimately, it came down to having clear expectations, and holding them accountable for meeting or failing to meet those expectations. I could still be their friend a vast majority of the time, so long as everyone was doing their job and living up to their expectations. It was a great learning experience for me and really helped me grow professionally."
Sales Example
"I was very eager to climb the ranks in my most recent position. My manager, and the VP of Sales, really appreciated this hunger and grit, however, I did receive the feedback that I needed to slow down. As frustrating as it was, I listened. I dedicated my time to learning as much as I could in my current position and paced myself much better post-feedback."
Teacher Example
"A piece of constructive feedback I was given from my principal was to be more adaptable to the input of the middle school teachers. I know that I can be reluctant to change when I feel like it isn't always in the best interest of the curriculum or children, but I certainly took it to heart and have since been more open to their input, suggestions, and direction in how they want to steer the curriculum."
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Question 4 of 15
Tell me about a time your former manager or a coworker upset you. What did they do to upset you? How did you handle it?
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"Well, my colleague and I were assigned a presentation to work on together, and we split the work evenly. Unfortunately, my colleague didn't finish her half in time for the deadline, so I was concerned because it reflected badly on me as well. I calmly communicated with my colleague a new plan that allowed us to finish just in time."
This question gives you the opportunity to give an example of how you deal with difficult situations. An employer wants someone who can handle it both calmly and professionally. Keep your answer positive and be sure not to bad mouth anyone or give too many details that may deter from the main question, which is 'how did you handle it?'
Specific Career Examples
Retail Example
"I once worked with a woman who was frequently late for her shifts, which impacted the whole team and somehow specifically me, as I was the only one without children, and was clearly invested in the job, I was always volunteered to stay. I'm more than happy to be a team player, but feeling taken advantage of on each shift is not good for morale. I sat down with the coworker in question and let her know how her tardiness was impacting the team as a whole and me specifically. I also let the manager know how it was impacting my morale and job satisfaction. Ultimately, she realized how her actions had a domino effect and was impacting the team. We were able to come to an understanding and planned how to get her on time, or even early to work."
Sales Example
"In my first role, we were to have backups on our accounts, so if we were ever away, someone could help back us up and take care of the clients' needs seamlessly. I was always asked to be the second person on the account, which was flattering because it meant that everyone trusted me with their book of business. What was frustrating was when I would ask for someone to back me up, and this particular employee did not take it very seriously. She expected the highest level of work from me on her accounts in her absence, but basically was so aloof with my clients that when I got back, they asked what was going on at the office. This was obviously quite upsetting. So, I asked for a few minutes with her that afternoon and we sat down to talk about the feedback. I let her know it was frustrating and disappointing that the same level of work she required from me was not something she required from herself. It was a tough conversation and awkward, but I'm glad I had it. I let her know how I felt, that it was upsetting, and that I wanted her to either let me know that she would step up or I could find someone else to help next time. She ended up being the best number two on an account for all of my accounts for the remainder of my tenure there."
Teacher Example
"I have felt upset or frustrated when at department meetings some of the notoriously boring teachers from the district seem to get too big for their britches and act like they're the best. Meanwhile, when our department was on the line, it was my school's parents and students that rallied and attended all the board meetings protesting it being cut, not theirs. So, when they talk to me like I'm some goofy lady who isn't worth their time, it certainly is frustrating. I've said a few careful remarks to address that it feels like they're belittling me but for the most part really try to let it go."
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Question 5 of 15
If you had a co-worker call in sick and you were asked to take over their project requiring overtime from you, how would you react? Where do you draw the line when it comes to being a team player?
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Question 6 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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Question 7 of 15
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?
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Question 8 of 15
Tell me about a time that you naturally took on a leadership role without being asked. Did you enjoy being a leader? Were you happy with the outcome?
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Question 9 of 15
What would you do if a client asked you about a product or service and you were unsure of the answer?
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Question 10 of 15
Describe to me a time when you made an error in your current or former position, and the impact your mistake made. How did you correct the error, what did you learn from it?
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Question 11 of 15
Discuss a time when you went above and beyond the call of duty. What did you do? How was it above your normal job requirements?
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Question 12 of 15
What would you do if you were made aware of a co-worker being dishonest or stealing from the company?
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Question 13 of 15
Tell me about a time that you almost missed a deadline. How did you ensure your project was completed on time?
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Question 14 of 15
Tell me about a time you handled an incredibly difficult client. How did you come to a resolution with this person?
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Question 15 of 15
Tell me about a time that you were asked to collaborate on a project with a colleague whom you did not necessarily see eye-to-eye with. How did you ensure that you got along well and met your deadline?
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