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Interview Question: Tell me about a time you handled a difficult situation

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You'll definitely encounter this question during your next interview, so make sure you know how to answer it! For more career tips, visit http://careerly.co
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Text Comments (252)
ali hamud (1 day ago)
You don't want cover your boobies and complain harassment.
Whiterose Faith (3 days ago)
You need to speak up or turn up your volume, because I cannot hear you.
Darsan Lal (8 days ago)
SAR is really wonderful. It helped me a lot for the answer.
brownjellow1 (11 days ago)
The tough thing about this kind of question is that requires improvisational skills
Mary Dickinson (13 days ago)
I am grateful for your videos. Once I view them, I feel more comfortable answering the questions!
Kumar Sambhav (16 days ago)
Very nice!
Miljan Krkic (17 days ago)
There are a few suggestions to think about before you setup your own cleaning company Will you get support from you family? Are you someone who is self-motivated? Will you stick to your plan? Do you have the money to go ahead? (I discovered these and the reasons they work from Ayalisse clean biz website )
Troma (25 days ago)
Why do companies have to ask these redundant questions all the time? Waste of time and most just lie anyways...
lbrown1192 (1 month ago)
Should you wear a pant suit to a retail front end supervisor interview
Careerly (1 month ago)
Normally we suggest skirt suit or dress at first interview and then pantsuit at next. But we hesitate to comment further without knowing the world of retail front end. Can you ask folks in your network that work in this area? That's usually the best and most accurate source!
Howdy Y'all (1 month ago)
I feel like I have all the right answers but don’t show enough personality and charm 😞
Shqiponja M (2 months ago)
Not as long as they are scientologists Or alike(
Tim Mark (2 months ago)
In an interview I failed I was told I was using a lot of "I". Question was how did you deal with a difficult situation. And I answered but they said the reason was I was using a lot of "I". How does one answer based on that feedback
hendrix4151 (3 months ago)
some difficulties cannot be overcome..and sometimes your boss is wrong and is working against you and will not submit to your ideas so you leave for a better situation that works for you..but one time we had windows xp machines on old computers and the internet was too slow on the machines so i custom built a low resource linux machine and it was able to play videos and internet saved the company from buying 15 new machines...
naveen verma (3 months ago)
Awesome 😀
Sweet Palm (3 months ago)
Shes brilliant
Naveen Kumar (3 months ago)
Hi ... I have been a constant viewer of your video and helped a lot during the interview times .. I would recommend the videos to any one who is looking for a job change
LillianGardner0214 (3 months ago)
"...try to make you cry"
DreamKnight DK (3 months ago)
great video and advice - thank you.
Anirudh A (3 months ago)
Ur videos are of super great help and you are really really beautiful ☺️
Steven C (3 months ago)
I remember one time when I was playing Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell on my Xbox and I was in the middle of a mission where I had to sneak past a large group of enemies. I ended up tripping an alarm and alerted all of the enemies of my presence. I quickly proceeded to exterminate the enemies until there were none left. I ended up beating the level and resolving my difficult situation.
Anirudh A (3 months ago)
Steven C LMAO 😅😂
Shankar Chakraborty (4 months ago)
you are real HIRA, for me precious
Vijayashankar Sadasivam (4 months ago)
i luv u r video
Abbas sheik (4 months ago)
Your explanation was very good. Good Job.
weetzybat (5 months ago)
Why do you have a pen in your hand?
prank vedios (6 months ago)
Thnku mam i listen ur vedio about interview i got gud job
Parvez Bhuiyan (6 months ago)
Jazmin Mayorga (6 months ago)
This helped me so much! Thank you!
Glenn Hubble (6 months ago)
Great Interview Video.
M CAT (7 months ago)
I had 14 jobs at large companies, I was also a recruiter and hired people. Hiring someone comes down to this: Personality, friendliness, likability. If you can charm the interviewer(s) and converse with them in a way that brings smile / laughter, you will get the job. So you don't really need to be the most skilled to get hired. You can be from a D3 school and are competing with D1, you will bet the D1 every time if you show personality and are able to communicate well. Don't be phony though. Also if you are physically better than most of the other candidates, that works in your favor. For certain technical jobs, the above still applies (i.e. you need a software engineering background to go into software engineering) , but education/ experience helps more in this case, but if you are competing with others with the same technical background, then personality will win out. But if you have little skills, are just out of school and are applying for non-technical positions, the charm, personality and look helps a great deal. I was once hired because the floor had me walking from office to office and they voted me in because I looked good in a suit going back and forth from office to office, lol. Humans follow basic instincts and the better they feel about you, the more you will win..
Lindsay Saint-Alme (7 months ago)
All these videos have the same story situation ! What about if you have are a cashier at a pound shop during christmas,They the customer are yelling at you because of a massive queue, and the other colleague is having lunch.What do you do?what about you tell to the customer to wait but still unhappy, and leave.What do you tell to the interviewer??
Lotus Bee (7 months ago)
I was asked this exact question during my interview.
Jennifer Lee (7 months ago)
i love it
Thuat Ngo (7 months ago)
pls keep posting
awd786 (8 months ago)
Attempting good job interviews and giving good results when get hired are two different things, they have nothing to do with each other. I agree with Gary say that job interviews are FFBS.
Careerly (8 months ago)
We hear you. Agreed on some level. But how can they know if you haven't worked for them yet? We would hate to see a good candidate not get a job because of the nterview process. Can't cure the problem but doing our bit where possible. Good luck!
Belen Sanchez (8 months ago)
helpful ! thank you but I've also been told to not say the "uhmm" after every word .
Mary Edith (8 months ago)
Great topic! We've all encountered managers who had expertise in their fields, but didn't necessarily have the appropriate people or communication skills to effectively manage their staff. Looking forward to hearing your TED talk!
RK Shrestha (8 months ago)
good ....
RK Shrestha (8 months ago)
RK Shrestha (8 months ago)
S. Renee Perkins (9 months ago)
This is an excellent interview question and the advice is perfect for the best way to answer this type of question. Thank you for sharing!
Stone Cold (9 months ago)
How do you answer this question if you've never encountered a difficult situation? I'm a military veteran and we just know how to figure things out. We don't consider anything difficult.
suhaib khan (9 months ago)
Samanta Sam (10 months ago)
hi, are you Sri lankan? great work
G Sibs_74 (10 months ago)
ALEx EADO (10 months ago)
Conflicting priorities: How did you determine the top priority? What steps did you take to make sure you were progressing on all of them?
hanselxy (10 months ago)
programming jobs are a different ball game altogether.
Ant Eliz (11 months ago)
Dang your so beautiful, I wouldn't be able to keep my composure! Great video though very helpful>>
KO SOE (11 months ago)
The Demon Curupira (11 months ago)
Ahh. I literally couldn't do this. I mean I have a terrible memory. I couldn't tell them what I had for breakfast let alone about some random difficult situation which I got through and then promptly forgot ever having happened because that's just how my brain works. I can memorize tasks through repetition but random events are impossible for me to remember mostly because all I've worked in are high demand jobs with lots of difficult situations. They'll probably think i'm incompetent.
sobster123 (11 months ago)
She Indian or Pakistani?
Danny (11 months ago)
Hehe I have no work experience but I do have game experience, the ones that require strategy. (Moba) to be specific (multiplayer online battle arena) anyway would this count as experience. Let me use vainglory as an example. you see there is 3 roles in this game a (Captain), (carry) , and (jungler). The captain is the support of the team. Tells the team what to do when struggling, Heals, protects etc...kinda like a manager trains their employees or fix issues😂yeahhh. The Carry is usually the one who pushes the team closer to victory like taking down objectives ...kinda like a full time employee who works to keep the business running. The jungler usually assists the team by helping every once in a while like a part time employee...ya know. What im saying is this game requires team effort to win. So would this be more or less as experience. 😅 There has been challenging times when I had to play as Captain and lead the team to victory by giving them suggestions to solve the problem like how a manager finds solutions to issues.
Nawal (11 months ago)
can you make videos like this in Hindi?
Ambika Ravishankar (1 year ago)
can personal things be shared to answer the questions?
Great advice
Pradeep B.S (1 year ago)
The problem is most of HR people have predefined questions & answers & they expect the answer should match 70% of their predefined answer
Pradeep B.S (1 year ago)
so in case if we dont mention the keyword which is on their answer then we are not selected
Careerly (1 year ago)
Possbly true.. in which case all the better.. we can preempt and prepare good answers! Most behavioral Qs are indeed looking for specific underlying skills and abilities: problem solving, managing conflicts, excellent inter-personal skills if its a sales or client-focused role etc..
war da (1 year ago)
that scratch on the wall isn't my monitor, thank goodness.
Kelsey Matarese (1 year ago)
This is great but what if you don't have a story? I honestly never had anything at work that was that difficult to fix. I've said this in interviews before. I don't understand why hiring managers do not like my honesty.
To Release is To Resolve (4 months ago)
Make shit up. That is what interviews are all about.
Sarah F (6 months ago)
Careerly You're missing the point, the OP just said that they haven't had to deal with any particularly challenging to fix situations at work. You can't fix a situation that doesn't exist. The only other alternative I can see here is to make something up.
MoNa Gill (6 months ago)
Kelsey Matarese Photography better make a fake one...haha
Careerly (1 year ago)
HOW did you fix the situation? That's all the hiring manager is trying to gage -> your problem solving skills, especially under challenging circumstances. Figure out a way to answer the question to your benefit.
Din R (1 year ago)
Can someone please give me an example of coping with ambiguity. Eg tell me a time when you had to make a quick decision without knowing all the facts
Dijonne Stricklen (1 year ago)
Great video. this. can make. me more alert.
James Adcock (1 year ago)
I have cried before
Mahendra Solanki (1 year ago)
tand race (1 year ago)
Some employers may ask these type question as a weaving out process. Although they're looking for the most skilled. They are also placing heavy wieght on those who are most mentally skilled to handle challenging situations. And trust me, I have seen challenging situations break a lot of physcially capable people down to the ground. I love the slogan "When the tough gets tough; The tough gets going!" Just keep it on a positive note regardless and things should work out. Love this lady's message.
Hoops590 (5 months ago)
tell the interview person i dont answer these bizarre questions
S. Vilst (1 year ago)
Thanks for sharing. Really helpful.. I have two questions and will appreciated having your answers thanks 1- how would you go about resolving a customer's issue that is not covered under our Return Policies? 2- how would you address an issue that was not covered in your training, and work to resolve it?
Victor McKenzie (1 year ago)
Hi I am currently in the process for a Federal Law Enforcement position, I am scheduled for a structured interview. I would like to ask you for any good advice. Please feel free to email me at [email protected]
ms.mary benjamin (1 year ago)
my problem is I get too nervous and dread interviews because of the questions.. sounds silly, I know. but it's a part of life. everyone has to work and this is what you have to go through to get work..
ev johnson (3 months ago)
me too i am having the same problem.
Ana C (1 year ago)
ms.mary benjamin I agree ! But keep in my mind that employers are well aware of nerves, and if you happen to stumble or get a little shaky , just stay focused and answer the best that you can. It won't impede on you getting the job. Good luck
ms.mary benjamin (1 year ago)
thank you.. I'll give it a try.
Careerly (1 year ago)
We hear you- most people on the planet hate interviews and get nervous. Try to re-frame it as: these people are looking to solve a problem - how can I help them? If they call you for an interview that means they are interested in talking to YOU! So, think of it more like you are a consultant walking into a client meeting, and they want to hear about what your ideas are.
ayesha khan (1 year ago)
I have next week  interview child care in early stage question safeguarding and how can I answered about safeguarding I have first time interview
MultiLux2 (1 year ago)
good advice! thanks
Careerly (1 year ago)
Thank you!
MaFess ABR (1 year ago)
You're sexy... I already forgot I have an interview watching you here talk !
youtuber (1 year ago)
definitely you did not get the job.
Parth shah (1 year ago)
Thank you! Great information.
Careerly (1 year ago)
Thank you for the feedback!
Nykeya Cox (1 year ago)
My coworker told me to look up situational interviews...We work for a hospital and I have been here 9 years. I have been trying to move into a more adminstration role, but these questions Trip me up Everytime.. we have situations everyday but I can never narrow down one situation.. I always find myself rambling on because part of it is made up...I Never know how dramatic the issue should be...How do I get them to understand I can handle the job shoot I'm already dealing with some of the work they do daily anyway?
Careerly (1 year ago)
Great question! Try to set up the situation quickly - focus on the 2 or 3 main things you did to resolve the problem. Every behavioral Q is looking for certain skills - conflict resolution, problem solving - so try to speak to these things. Hope that helps.
Shenuka Jayasinghe (1 year ago)
You look Sri Lankan.. :)
Shenuka Jayasinghe (1 year ago)
Careerly brilliant. Well thank her for the useful information -just another Sri Lankan from Manchester England
Careerly (1 year ago)
Hira is in indeed a proud Sri Lankan (later Swiss national) currently in the U.S.
frequent user (1 year ago)
Hello Hira, your example would be appropriate for the question ((Tell me about a time you had a conflict at work) and less relevant to the topic you mentioned. Sorry if I have interpreted it wrongly. Please clarify. Thanks.
Dijonne Stricklen (1 year ago)
This is so much more New Tip's thanks a lot.
Dijonne Stricklen (1 year ago)
I learn more great job description.
Dijonne Stricklen (1 year ago)
Great job on everything
Dijonne Stricklen (1 year ago)
Good to know
Gary Vance (1 year ago)
Job interviews are fake bullshit! The majority of interviews try harder to stump people instead of hiring a capable person.
To Release is To Resolve (4 months ago)
Two way street? Ha! Biggest load of bollocks.
Jose Figueroa (4 months ago)
Careerly very true
Careerly (8 months ago)
Thank for the comments and discussion.Gary you are right - a lot of times, it's the charmers who get the job, and not the skilled. So what are we going to do? That is exactly why we are trying to get this into some kind of formula so that any peronality can ask these quesrions and shine.. quietly perhaps - but still demonstrate the soft skills the interviewer is looking for. Now, if you are talking about technical skills - that is tested separately and NOT through behaioral type questions.
S.I.D (8 months ago)
I guess you need to be capable of preventing yourself from being stuck lol
Fevian Cortes (1 year ago)
Thank you! This will work awesome for my interview tomorrow!
Fevian Cortes (1 year ago)
Careerly It went great! I got the job the next day of the interview. It was actually a promotion from a Technical position I currently have to a Management Analyst position. I also subscribed to your channel. Thanks a lot
Careerly (1 year ago)
You are welcome! How did the interview go?
Chris Read (1 year ago)
I have been having issues with questions like this in recent interviews and I'll prbably work my way through your other video because I like your style... I'm aware of the SAR structure to answers, though the person who taught me it called is STAR - the extra T standing for 'Task'.... Anyway for this question I have difficulty deciding which exaple to use. Some of the examples I can think of from my working life seem too trivial, and this may be where I have failed with this question. And some seem too big.. I'm not saying I've ever had a big bust up with a manager - because I havn't - but I don't think one would be advised to use such an example in an interview because it suggests you are a person who gets into bust up situations. Your example is perfet though I can't think of an exactly similar situation.
Anwar Saeed (1 year ago)
Thank u for giving such an impressive & instrumental guidelines. i really appreciate your spirit and to deliver great knowledge to the people like me who have no ideas how to articulate and decorate the real best answers in these critical situation at your dearest goal of professional career enhancement endeavor
deltadawnize (1 year ago)
Thank you so much for helping me ace interviews. Through watching and learning from you I've had job offers whereas before I used to fail interviews.
Garbage Human (1 year ago)
How do you answer this if you have no work experience?
Verses01 (7 months ago)
Understood. But you want to build on integrity. Don't lie. What if someone calls you on it? What if you tell a story that they've heard before and they point out where you got it? The first two suggestions were key.
Tails 322 (8 months ago)
Apply an instance that happened at school, or in your personal life. They're not so interested in the where but in the what as in what happened so they can gage how you react, how you think, how you solve things on the fly. Alot of jobs dont have a cut and dry solution for the thing you may encounter and they want to see if your a leader, a follower, or if you crumple under pressure
Careerly (1 year ago)
It does not have to be a difficult situation at your job if the question does not specific work. If it does - then think of an example of any kind of work - volunteer, part-time, anything that provides context to your story. The more important piece is speaking to skills in handling difficult situations.
Cha E (2 years ago)
Can you do a session for the final interview with the chairman?
ngethe mburu (2 years ago)
i have an interview next week for a concierge team leader what should focus on in my answers n again regarding how i handled a hard situation should i use a guest example since mostly i deal with them or only colleague should be used as an example
Elliot hay (1 year ago)
how did it go?
S Syd-Rid (2 years ago)
Hi:-) I just wanted to let you know that your videos were very and extremely helpful to me. You made me realize and unlock the answers to a lot of the behavioral questions that employers ask. I thank you and landed an internship at Deloitte in the cyber risk department. Thanks again, Keep doing what your doing!!! By the way, your very pretty and I know your parents are proud of you;-)
raknoknak (1 year ago)
"you're" very pretty is the correct usage.
S Syd-Rid (1 year ago)
Girish Prabhu (1 year ago)
She definitely is pretty :) And worthy to spend time on her videos.
Priya Hiriyanna (2 years ago)
Hi + How are you? Recently I was surfing on Youtube. I come to know about your Youtube Channel. I have viewed so many of your videos. I become fan of your videos and style of making it and represent your ideas. I am so curious to know about How did you start this? please tell your story Who did you inspire or motivate to make this amazing and useful videos.? Why did you start this channel? How many hours do you give in a week? do you work full time or work on weekends? Which kind of opportunities do you start getting after making this videos? How much money do you get from google adsense? Is it good idea to make videos for full time? What do you think if more different subjects experts start making their own youtube channel to teach something then what will be the future of education? How much money did you invested to record and edit this videos? Do you your own studio? which tools do you use to record these videos and which software do you use for editing? What message and tips do you like to inspire others to make educational youtube videos? Hope for the best reply thanks :)
Sana M. Ameer (2 years ago)
Hi Hira. I am shortlisted as an 'administrator' role in a company. I am really very nervous since this is the hardest it can get. Any questions/answers or key pointers for me to prepare myself with?
Sana M. Ameer (2 years ago)
+Careerly  It's within the IT management consultancy. Does the sector make any difference with regards to choosing my answers? Or I should be giving generalized answers related with the administrator role itself? Hope I am making some sense with my questions!!
Careerly (2 years ago)
+Sana M. Ameer Which industry? administrator roles in general look for good organization skills- planning, implementation, perhaps some coordination, team management? Speak to these in your answers about why you want this job- highlight previous experience in these areas. Look at the job spec, and summarize the three main things they want- then speak of your experience and skills in a way that matches those. Hope that helps!
YALLA RAMINAIDU (2 years ago)
tq for guiding me mam
Juan Tovar (2 years ago)
I also had another question dealing with detail I explain that I use detail in specs inrestaurant xyz to make pizzas which requires detail of how many ingrediendts
Juan Tovar (2 years ago)
I really need help I answered that I worked for restaurant xyz I worked in the kitchen it was a real busy night and we were short staffed but I managed to resolve the situation can any of help me
nerdypeachmango (2 years ago)
Sounds like you could explain how you prioritized your duties, exercised your time management skills, remained calm in a possibly stressful and busy environment :)
Muhammad Abbas Arif (2 years ago)
Like the example...thanks
Corcoran AL (2 years ago)
Saad Shuaib (2 years ago)
thank you very much and i have an interview regarding trainee associate in medigian company do you have any ideas
MrMetalHead1100 (2 years ago)
sar = star
Jay (2 years ago)
What if we didn't have a difficult situation to handle? I was a manager and can't recall a truly difficult situation as far as employees go...they all did their jobs... :-/ ....my main issue was the constant thieves I had to kick out and get arrested!
Careerly (2 years ago)
+EmceeSpawn That sounds like a good example of a difficult situation to us! LOL.
Hi Hira, I got an interview for junior Data analyst (script writter) next week at one marketing research company, please give some idea for my interview.
Careerly (2 years ago)
+vishnuthasan rugshayini This is not a job offer. To us it sounds like the invitation to the next step/round of the interview process- an all day "interview" at the office to meet more people, perhaps could include some work/tests. Good luck! Keep us posted.
Hi Hira Happy New Year.. I went to data analyst interview last month with your guidance videos. thanks a lot. after one week I got a email from that company that " We are getting very closer to finishing with all the interviews. Mike and Jill would like you to come back as analyst for the day on Tuesday 12th January at 9 am, you'll be in the office until 2 pm. Would that date suit? If not, we could also do Monday 11th". could you please tell me is this the job conformation email? or  do I want to sit any exam/ any interview? thanks
Careerly (2 years ago)
+vishnuthasan rugshayini Look at the job spec- summarize in three buckets what they are looking for, then craft your 'three things you bring to the table', in a way that matches those buckets -> thus showing how you are a perfect fit for a data analyst role in market research. Oh and watch all our videos!
leogen seeds (2 years ago)
this helps alot.....! Thankyu
Sharath P (2 years ago)
Do we have to create a SAR or STAR:- situation action tasks result,...
Sharath P (2 years ago)
Thank You on clarifying.
Careerly (2 years ago)
+Sharath P That is correct. All behavioral Qs should be answered using SAR. We prefer SAR because its simpler and gets to the point faster. The most important part of your answer is the "A" - the key 2-3 actions you took to solve the problem.
goodguynow (2 years ago)
Apathetic Wolf Spider (7 months ago)
No, it's Kelly Kapoor
Pete Nathan (2 years ago)
Hira are you Sri Lankan?
Careerly (2 years ago)
+Pete Nathan Hira is Sri Lankan! Also a Swiss national. She resides in Washington D.C., in the U.S.

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