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Interview Tips: Handling Difficult Question





pennykia
Hi, Tips below is provided by Pongo Resume. This post might be to long to read but I found the tips given by them is very useful for your interview. Any of you interested please browse to their web site.

Quote:
Give me a specific example when you had to resolve a difficult team situation?

Behavioral Event Interview questions are often the most difficult questions to handle and have been used for over 20 years by skilled interviewers. In today's job market, you're likely to encounter an interviewer asking this type of question.

Overview
During the interview, you are asked to describe how you dealt with a difficult team situation in the past. Asking you about the past indicates this is most likely a behavioral-event interview (BEI) question. Responding requires your need to recall an example when you dealt with a specific situation. BEI have been used for over 15 years and is widely used by skilled interviewers.

BEI questions focus on the past while theoretical questions focus on the future. The response strategy for a theoretical interview question is similar is structure but different in content. The response strategy for theoretical questions will be covered in an upcoming article.

Login to your account, click here.

Behavioral-Event Interview Question
The purpose of BEI questions is to solicit evidence or examples of a specific competency or skill you possess.

BEI is based on the premise that a person's past behavior is the best predictor of their future performance. Interviewers are tasked with predicting your likelihood of success in a given position and use your past behavior as one indicator of your future performance.

BEI questions have two parts, the introduction and the focus. The first part of a BEI question (introduction) is a phrase like the following:

- “Tell me about a time when you …”
- “Describe a situation when you …”
- “Walk me through a situation where you …”
- "Give me an example of a specific situation when you…"

The second half of the question focuses on the situation with which the interviewer is interested. For example, if the interviewer was seeking information about your analytical skills they might ask the following question:

"Give me an example of a specific situation when you had to formulate a detailed analysis of a new product, new project or new market."

If the interviewer was seeking information about your ability to collaborate on a cross-functional team under tight deadlines they might ask you the following question:

“Tell me about a time when you participated on a cross functional team that had to deliver project outcomes within a tight deadline.”

Interviewers asking BEI questions want to hear about actual events in your past, rather than how you might handle a situation in the future.

Login to your account, click here.

Relevant Experiences
You have many experiences that you can discuss to demonstrate different dimensions of your competencies and skills. Work experience is just one form of experience. However, if you don't have work related experience, you can highlight other experiences to demonstrate the skills the interviewer is seeking.

Evidence of your talents can come in many forms. Projects done in an academic setting, volunteer work, professional associations and other life experiences may provide relevant evidence of your abilities.

Whether you got paid or not is of secondary importance to the content and context of your actions in a specific situation. For example, you may have experience building and leading a six-person volunteer team that analyzed how a local community funds recreational projects. During this summer project, this team may have also formulated and presented recommendations to local government officials on how to improve funding allocations. This team experience is just as meaningful as any business-grounded team situation.

Your response to BEI questions need to be structured and easy to follow. Interviewers are seeking a detailed and interesting story about your past. Interviewers want to know what you did, obstacles overcome and results achieved. They want to learn what you did versus what the team did, hence you'll want to balance your description of what “we (the team) did” versus what “I did.”

Login to your account, click here.

Response Strategy
It is suggested that you structure your response using the STAR technique.

The STAR response technique is as follows:
S T - Describe the Situation or Task
A - Describe your Actions and Approach
R - Describe the Results

What You've Learned
After you respond, it's effective to describe what you learned from an event and what you may do differently in the future. Describing “what you learned” communicates that you reflect on past events and seek to identify areas of improvement. The STAR structured response, coupled with “what you learned,” demonstrates your focus on constant learning and performance improvement.

Immediate Feedback
You may also want to complete your response by asking a question to ensure you have answered the interviewer's question effectively. To solicit immediate feedback you can ask questions like:

“Was that the level of detail you were looking for?”
“Was that the kind of example you were looking for?”

Login to your account, click here.

Interviewer Follow-up Questions
Interviewers are likely to ask follow-up questions to get more details. For example, interviewers might ask the following questions:

- What did you do? - What did you say?
- What were you thinking? - What was your role?
- Who else was involved? - What challenges did you face?
- What do you feel this event indicates about you?

Sample Response
The following STAR structured response demonstrates how to handle the question covered in this module, when describing an academic project.

Interviewer:
“Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult team situation?”

Your Response:
Situation or Task: (ST)
“The situation was that our four-person team was tasked with developing models for field operation of our company. The task was to identify initiatives to improve efficiencies using different methods. Two team members focused on one analysis approach while the other two members worked on another method. We had to formulate three initiatives to improve operations. “

“One team member wasn't showing up for meetings, despite constant reminders and encouragement. His lack of participation was affecting team efforts and needed to be resolved quickly.”

Action and Approach: (A)
“My approach was to meet with the problem team member in private and explain the team's frustration and how his actions were affecting the project. I asked if there was anything I could do to help. Before taking this action I discussed my intentions with the other team members to get their consensus."

“The problem team member told me he was burdened with another difficult project. I proposed we find resources to help him with the other project. He agreed. I also asked him to commit to specific actions toward our project and to attend team meetings.”

Results: (R)
The results were: after I found other resources and employees to assist him with his other project, he was able to invest more time on our team's project and focus on specific milestones. The final team result was that we finished our project on time, and presented our recommendations to the company's operations leadership team.”
exarkun
Funny... I never knew that interviews can be carried out that way. All I did was going for a wlk-in interview and Bingo! I am employed Laughing
anbetophillip
pennykia wrote:
Hi, Tips below is provided by Pongo Resume. This post might be to long to read but I found the tips given by them is very useful for your interview. Any of you interested please browse to their web site.

Give me a specific example when you had to resolve a difficult team situation?

Behavioral Event Interview questions are often the most difficult questions to handle and have been used for over 20 years by skilled interviewers. In today's job market, you're likely to encounter an interviewer asking this type of question.

Overview
During the interview, you are asked to describe how you dealt with a difficult team situation in the past. Asking you about the past indicates this is most likely a behavioral-event interview (BEI) question. Responding requires your need to recall an example when you dealt with a specific situation. BEI have been used for over 15 years and is widely used by skilled interviewers.

BEI questions focus on the past while theoretical questions focus on the future. The response strategy for a theoretical interview question is similar is structure but different in content. The response strategy for theoretical questions will be covered in an upcoming article.

Login to your account, click here.

Behavioral-Event Interview Question
The purpose of BEI questions is to solicit evidence or examples of a specific competency or skill you possess.

BEI is based on the premise that a person's past behavior is the best predictor of their future performance. Interviewers are tasked with predicting your likelihood of success in a given position and use your past behavior as one indicator of your future performance.

BEI questions have two parts, the introduction and the focus. The first part of a BEI question (introduction) is a phrase like the following:

- “Tell me about a time when you …”
- “Describe a situation when you …”
- “Walk me through a situation where you …”
- "Give me an example of a specific situation when you…"

The second half of the question focuses on the situation with which the interviewer is interested. For example, if the interviewer was seeking information about your analytical skills they might ask the following question:

"Give me an example of a specific situation when you had to formulate a detailed analysis of a new product, new project or new market."

If the interviewer was seeking information about your ability to collaborate on a cross-functional team under tight deadlines they might ask you the following question:

“Tell me about a time when you participated on a cross functional team that had to deliver project outcomes within a tight deadline.”

Interviewers asking BEI questions want to hear about actual events in your past, rather than how you might handle a situation in the future.

Login to your account, click here.

Relevant Experiences
You have many experiences that you can discuss to demonstrate different dimensions of your competencies and skills. Work experience is just one form of experience. However, if you don't have work related experience, you can highlight other experiences to demonstrate the skills the interviewer is seeking.

Evidence of your talents can come in many forms. Projects done in an academic setting, volunteer work, professional associations and other life experiences may provide relevant evidence of your abilities.

Whether you got paid or not is of secondary importance to the content and context of your actions in a specific situation. For example, you may have experience building and leading a six-person volunteer team that analyzed how a local community funds recreational projects. During this summer project, this team may have also formulated and presented recommendations to local government officials on how to improve funding allocations. This team experience is just as meaningful as any business-grounded team situation.

Your response to BEI questions need to be structured and easy to follow. Interviewers are seeking a detailed and interesting story about your past. Interviewers want to know what you did, obstacles overcome and results achieved. They want to learn what you did versus what the team did, hence you'll want to balance your description of what “we (the team) did” versus what “I did.”

Login to your account, click here.

Response Strategy
It is suggested that you structure your response using the STAR technique.

The STAR response technique is as follows:
S T - Describe the Situation or Task
A - Describe your Actions and Approach
R - Describe the Results

What You've Learned
After you respond, it's effective to describe what you learned from an event and what you may do differently in the future. Describing “what you learned” communicates that you reflect on past events and seek to identify areas of improvement. The STAR structured response, coupled with “what you learned,” demonstrates your focus on constant learning and performance improvement.

Immediate Feedback
You may also want to complete your response by asking a question to ensure you have answered the interviewer's question effectively. To solicit immediate feedback you can ask questions like:

“Was that the level of detail you were looking for?”
“Was that the kind of example you were looking for?”

Login to your account, click here.

Interviewer Follow-up Questions
Interviewers are likely to ask follow-up questions to get more details. For example, interviewers might ask the following questions:

- What did you do? - What did you say?
- What were you thinking? - What was your role?
- Who else was involved? - What challenges did you face?
- What do you feel this event indicates about you?

Sample Response
The following STAR structured response demonstrates how to handle the question covered in this module, when describing an academic project.

Interviewer:
“Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult team situation?”

Your Response:
Situation or Task: (ST)
“The situation was that our four-person team was tasked with developing models for field operation of our company. The task was to identify initiatives to improve efficiencies using different methods. Two team members focused on one analysis approach while the other two members worked on another method. We had to formulate three initiatives to improve operations. “

“One team member wasn't showing up for meetings, despite constant reminders and encouragement. His lack of participation was affecting team efforts and needed to be resolved quickly.”

Action and Approach: (A)
“My approach was to meet with the problem team member in private and explain the team's frustration and how his actions were affecting the project. I asked if there was anything I could do to help. Before taking this action I discussed my intentions with the other team members to get their consensus."

“The problem team member told me he was burdened with another difficult project. I proposed we find resources to help him with the other project. He agreed. I also asked him to commit to specific actions toward our project and to attend team meetings.”

Results: (R)
The results were: after I found other resources and employees to assist him with his other project, he was able to invest more time on our team's project and focus on specific milestones. The final team result was that we finished our project on time, and presented our recommendations to the company's operations leadership team.”

Hi,

Thanks very much for this comment. It help me to think about my ideals.

Tks again and pls keep posting.
Pagent003
When bieng interviewed make sure that you always be straight and to the point as well as the truth with the interviewer since they arent looking for the best person in the world. But they are the looking for truth in any way possible.
slashnburn99
Always this classic

What are your strength and weaknesses

http://www.cvtips.com/interview/identify-your-strengths-and-weaknesses.html
menino
Somehow I always seem to fail interviews, and I only win job because people get to know my work, and I get recommended for that.
During the interview, I get very nervous, and its a little less now than before, but I get nervous nontheless, and while trying to describe myself or past events, I have to roll my eyes to think about it, so I'm not always looking into the eyes of the interviewer.

But thanks for the tips.
I'll definitely look into it and use it, but I've never been asked that kind of question before.
jmlworld
I attended my first job interview back in 2004 when I was still in high school. A telecommunication company needed an employee in the "prepaid cards" field and I submitted a bare CV without even a cover letter and they called me.

There were about 6-8 persons already interviewed when they called me into the interviews room. I was nervous first but I calmed down as I sat down. They asked me several questions and I answered properly until they asked "you go to high school and you're here asking for an employment, how can you work with us when you're still learning?" I don't remember what I said but I think I said something like "I can go to school and still work".

Luckily they called me again for a written examination, then I passed... Very Happy

I mean, if you're lucky enough you'll be hired...
toasterintheoven
it pays to be a young hard body when looking for employment
Insanity
Just had an interview and these tips helped, thanks.
mrngorickets
hdblue wrote:
Insanity wrote:
Just had an interview and these tips helped, thanks.


Hi everybody,

You can see same topic at the side bar of this site. You can find out some thing same your questions or use search box or this site.

Apart from that, you also can ref more resources at: Behavioral interview tips
Best rgs


Hi,

Good ideal, pls try to keep posting. I like this topic very much and I will digged this one. Tks again.

If you want to get more materials that related to this topic, you can visit: Interview tips 2011

Best regards.
Mrs Lycos
I remember the interview for my first "real job" - not part-time -. I was still at university, but all the same I applied.
Like many, I always get nervous in this kind of situations, and to make things worse I had a very difficult university examination that same day, hours before the interview.

The thing is I did so well in the oral examination at university that I was overjoyed and extremely overconfident. With this mood I went into the job interview and I felt like I owned the world, that I was capable of anything.

There were a few other candidates, some far more qualified than me, and although later on I knew they were looking for "fresh" candidates, that is young people without the old-school prejudices of the profession, I am certain the attitude I had was a great deal of why I got the job.
Insanity
I think interviews are totally bogus. All they do is see how well you've prepared for the interview. Many interviewers ask the same old questions that you can look up online, think of a good answer, and memorize it. There are times when you have to think on your feet, but these aren't as common.
Greatking
interviews may seem alarming or very intimidating but then they are done to have a little perception of who you are apart from what is on the paper.
even though you cannot take a day or a session to know a person.
it takes a lot to know a person.
but interviews are good, just be yourself, make sure you are not lying on paper or in person and just go with the flow.
of course you need to prepare and be ready for anything.
rohan5039
This is so simple that when you are having an interview you just have to be alert, honest and try answer the questions whose answers you have, if you don't have an answer don't trying to give answer from your aspect that it could be the answer. You should stay focused that's all.
jimmyphillips
To make the right impression, you need to maintain perspective. Tough questions aren't asked to make applicants miserable. Companies just want to make sure you can thrive under stressful conditions -- which are common in today's busy administrative environments and that you don't have any issues that might prevent you from succeeding on the job.
psychorollercoaster
Depends on what you mean by difficult question... anyway I think the best thing to do is being honest and transparent with people about your performance and expectationsWhen you start a working relationship you should set the performance expectations so people is not surprised when given feedback... and when giving feedback, provide specific -- very specific-- examples of what people did that was outside your expectation... keep in mind that the root cause of "difficulties" can be your managerial style or your own mistakes... then be ready to hear to that and ready to change yourself if that's what's needed
mm365
Too long to read...
sabulba
great tips to handle the stress during interviews but controlling on nervesness is not easy.
Ryox
Some interviews at different stores and fast-food can be semi-different from others.

Some employers may ask you Behavioral questions while some just want to get to know you more and talk about what would you do if such and such does this, etc.

I just had a interview and all she asked was what would I do if something happened on the job, if I would get another employee or the supervisor, etc.

so yea, its all based on the employer and where you are being employed at, more employers are being more strict and want people who can actually do the job so they want people who is dependable, dedicated and responsible when it comes to the job. Hopefully, i get this job cause I really need it!
futurcat
These are good tips to get prepared for these kind of questions.

Thanks a lot!

Good learning!
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