Tough Interview Questions: Conflict with a Co-worker

by Modis on August 20, 2014

In part one of our series about tackling tough interview questions, Modis President Jack Cullen provided his insight on discussing your biggest weakness. In today’s installment, he’s shedding light on when an interviewer asks you to discuss a time you had a conflict with a co-worker.

Interviewers ask this question to gauge interpersonal skills as well as management abilities and past job performance. Mostly, they’re trying to understand how candidates react under the pressure of workplace conflict. Jack has some excellent advice on how to handle this tricky question:

There’s a few key factors to keep in mind when crafting your response:

  • Provide details to contextualize the situation: “I was managing a project team to launch a new app for client with a tight deadline.”
  • Indicate that the issue was work-related and not personal: “A key member of the team was missing deadlines due to disagreements and miscommunication over the direction of the project, and as a result, derailing progress.”
  • Explain the steps you took to come to an agreement: “I scheduled time with him privately, and we both acknowledged and discussed what we felt were key issues with the project and how we could compromise on those issues. From there, we were able to have prioritize our goals and find common ground.”
  • Remember it’s not about winning! Don’t blame the other person, and make sure to include how it was an experience where you grew professionally: “As our communication skills improved, we were able to make up for lost time and meet the client’s deadline. Overall, the entire team was more efficient as a result of resolving this conflict.”

Feeling Conflicted about Your Career?

At Modis, we understand that finding the right IT job for you can be a complicated and it’s our goal to make the process as seamless as possible. Take the first step towards an exceptional IT career today by submitting your resume.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Generasi October 29, 2014 at 1:49 am

I have played this game svraeel times and it’s not only fun, but helped remind me of some interview things I had forgotten. I also learned that you should never wear perfume or cologne to an interview. Didn’t know that. If you haven’t tried it you should. It’s free and a great way to practice.

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