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Have you experienced difficulties working with a previous manager? How did you handle the difference of opinion?

1 of 25 Teamwork Interview Questions and Answers Written by Rachelle Enns

Updated on June 29th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
How to Answer

One of the ways you can show maturity and leadership in the workplace is by taking the initiative to build a healthy relationship with whoever is directly supervising you. If you experience conflict with a manager, you will know how to respond because you have already established a real-life example. Give an honest example of a time when you supported your manager despite a difference of opinion.

Professional Answer Examples
Answer example

"I had an issue with my manager a few years ago because we disagreed on the course of action to take on a project that was going sideways. The discussion started to heat up, so I quickly let her know that I thought it was best we think about our course of action overnight, and book a formal meeting to discuss the challenges. We scheduled a meeting for the following day and were able to resolve the issue. In the end, she told me she appreciated my conflict management skills, my professional awareness and personal maturity surrounding the situation."

Answer example

"I have worked for challenging personalities in the past. When this occurs, I remind myself that it is not personal. So long as I feel that my opinion matters, whether used or not, then I am entirely okay and can get along fine. I don't need to be right, but I do want to know that my voice matters."

Answer example

"I have had challenging managers in the past, and I am sure that I have been the challenging manager in my career as well! Not everyone will get along or agree 100% of the time, but that's good for business. Even leaders need to be respectfully challenged from time to time. It's the approach that matters. If I do not agree, I need to be ready to state my case, with facts, and leave emotion out of it."

Answer example

"Luckily, I have had some amazing bosses so far! I did have a professor that I bumped heads with a bit when completing my Marketing degree. I felt that some of his comments on my work were not helpful so I went back to him numerous times to seek out more detailed feedback. It wasn't that I disagreed with the feedback, I just needed more background on his opinion, than he was often willing to provide."

Answer example

"I had a previous manager who was always late. She was the keyholder, and it would be so embarrassing when we had customers waiting outside, and she would arrive 10 minutes past our opening time. I expressed to her a few times how this made me feel, and she finally agreed to have a key made for me if I arrived first."

Answer example

"My very first sales manager was a challenging personality and did not provide excellent training, yet expected perfection nearly immediately. Rather than take it personally, I decided to take the training manuals home and study in the evenings and weekends. This extra studying ensured that I did not need to lean on him for answers. I was determined to succeed, no matter what my managers' personality or work approach."

Answer example

"At the beginning of my career, I had an Assistant Principal who was not the kindest person. She wanted a promotion and believed that the best way to achieve this was to be tough on everyone. I just stayed out of her way as much as possible, and when we did have to interact, I would take the instructions and get my work done on time. She transferred soon after I started, so it certainly was not worth causing a riff over."

Written by:

Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career. Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise. Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
First written on: 08/28/2016
Last modified on: 06/29/2018

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