"Tell me about a time where you had to deal with conflict on the job?"

Don't let this question make you nervous!

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Use the STAR Method to answer this question with a real-life situation:

  • Situation: Briefly explain the issue in a positive, constructive way.

  • Task: Describe your role in the situation.

  • Action: Discuss what you did to fix or address the situation.

  • Result: Say what you learned and how your actions had a positive outcome.

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It's important to emphasize the resolution that took place, and not dwell on the conflict itself.


Scenario #1

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If you're simply asked, "How do you handle conflict?" you can say:

"When faced with a conflict, I like to ask questions and understand my coworker’s perspective. This helps keep the situation calm and helps them feel like they’re being heard. After this, I’ve found it’s much easier to come to an agreement or compromise so we both stay a lot calmer.”

Scenario #2

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If you're asked, "How do you handle conflict with a co-worker?" you can say:

"In my last job, I contacted a new client via email. I didn’t know that one of the other sales associates had already talked to this person. My coworker was initially upset, but I explained that they'd forgotten to log the activity, and I had no way of knowing because the system hadn’t alerted me that they'd been in contact.

They were both honest mistakes, so we decided it would be fair to split the commission. We proposed this to our team leader, who agreed that this was fair."

What Not To Include In Your Answer

As you give your answer, try to avoid:

  • Talking about how you don't handle conflict well

  • Saying that you've never experienced conflict

  • Providing a general or unclear answer

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Take Action

Everyone experiences conflict on the job at some point. How you choose to respond makes all the difference.

Be positive and make the best of the situation. Your future employer will be impressed!

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