“What do I say? Why are they asking me this? I don’t want to mess this up!”
Joe was sweating and his mind was all over the place. The job interview had been going great until the interviewer asked “Joe, how do you deal with challenging office politics?"
Drama. Politics. Hierarchy. It exists in every office and workplace.
Luckily, there are a few strategies you can use to answer this tricky question!
It's All About Communication & Conflict Resolution Skills!
This is a loaded question. The interviewer is trying to find out:
How do you handle conflicts?
How do you make sure the bigger picture is kept in mind?
What is your communication style?
How do you advocate for yourself and others?
How do you work with others?
Do you participate in office politics?
Do you choose sides in conversations?
How To Answer
Reflect on past situations in which you showed empathy, authenticity, and active listening skills.
Highlight these skills and give examples of how you used them to manage conflicts.
There are also a few key phrases that you can incorporate into your answer:
Neutral stance — Allows you to showcase how you try to avoid taking sides
Positive mindset — Allows you to demonstrate how you try not to get caught up in any negativity or toxicity that may occur from the politics
Communicate and advocate for yourself and others — Shows how you value inclusion & equity
Look at the bigger picture — Allows you to show you're committed to helping the company succeed
Joe came up with two possible answers:
"When it comes to office politics, I like to keep a neutral stance and keep an open mind. I try to focus on the bigger picture and look for ways to work with everyone to achieve our company's goals!"
"First I like to hear everyone out and keep a positive mindset. I try to encourage others to advocate for themselves and stand up for what is right for the company."
Rayne is currently being interviewed at one of her dream companies. The interview is going great so far! The interviewer asks her one final question: "How do you deal with challenging office politics?"
Rayne has dealt with office drama in the past but she's unsure what to say. Here's how she's thinking of responding:
A. I usually side with whatever most people are thinking and doing.
B. I have a confrontational working style, so I try to get all of the details and support whoever is right.
C. I don't deal with it. I isolate myself and just try to get through the workday.
D. I try to keep a neutral stance and encourage peaceful collaboration so that we can achieve a particular project or goal.
Which answer would be the most effective for Rayne in the interview?
It's time to prepare for the interview: