As humans, we cannot predict the future; all we can do is live in the present moment in the best possible way. What we do know is that change is always going to be a constant theme in our lives. At the same token, change and not knowing what tomorrow will bring can mean that many unforeseen things can happen during our day-to-day lives, some of which certainly can be obstacles. During our working days, too, that often means that we are confronted with hurdles. However, how you handle those obstacles becomes vital in continuing the path of moving forward, a question that very well could come up during an interview!

During an interview, you may be asked a question related to conflict management, and it is essential to have a well-thought-out response. To help you navigate this question, I have compiled a list of tips to guide you in answering the common interview question, “How do you handle conflict?”

  1. Staying Positive, Thinking About What That Means To You In an advertisement, I once read the quote, “Staying positive doesn’t mean you have to be happy all the time. It means that even on hard days, you know that better ones are coming.” We are just human; after all, it wouldn’t be fair to ourselves if we didn’t allow ourselves to be frustrated or perhaps feel okay in that initial reaction to a conflict. At the same time, communicating to your interviewer that you can bounce back and have the ability to remain optimistic about what tomorrow can bring will help to highlight a critical attribute that you can bring to that team.
  2. Having Examples To Share Where You Did Face A Conflict and Succeeded We will all face hurdles in riding the roller coaster that is life, which is just a part of the ride! Sometimes, we may not even realize that we have overcome a conflict, while other times, it might be very clear to us. For example, for any former athlete, any moment where they pushed themselves to be the best and competitive, even when they doubted themselves, is a clear example of overcoming a conflict. Similarly, people in different industries and occupations often face situations that are out of their control, but being present and taking on the unexpected to the best of their abilities can also mean overcoming a conflict. It is always better to share a personal example with the interviewer, as it shows one’s capability to deal with conflicts. As they say, the proof is in the pudding.
  3. Having A Reference That Saw You Take On Conflict While Overcoming It Having a professional reference, just for starters, is essential in being able to interview successfully and land the position you are hoping to obtain! A reference who has seen you face unexpected challenges or conflicts and can speak to your ability to overcome those instances can be a huge asset. Sharing with an interviewer that a previous superior can attest to your ability to handle conflict adds credibility to your experiences. It allows your strength in handling conflict to be even more clearly reflected.

The road ahead is full of endless possibilities, contributing to the exciting adventure we are on simultaneously. Many organizations then face unforeseen events, which can be conflicts (no matter how happy-go-lucky you may be!) If you can illustrate to the interviewer that you have the skills to handle conflicts effectively, you can showcase yourself as a valuable team member who can contribute during challenging and unpredictable times.

Looking for more ways to succeed during the interview process? Subscribe to The JOHNLEONARD Blog for more tips!