Interview Answer: Tell me about a time you had a conflict at work and how you resolved it

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Example Answer

Belief: I firmly believe that open and effective communication is essential in any workplace. I also believe in addressing conflicts promptly and professionally to maintain a positive and productive working environment.


Situation: In my previous job as a project manager, I encountered a conflict with one of my team members. The situation arose when we were working on a critical project with a tight deadline. The team member, let's call him "John," had consistently missed his project milestones, which was causing delays and putting the project at risk.


Task: My task was to address this conflict with John in a way that would encourage him to meet his deadlines and ensure the project stayed on track.


Action: I decided to schedule a one-on-one meeting with John to discuss the issue. During the meeting, I began by expressing my concern about the missed milestones and its impact on the project's success. I made sure to use "I" statements to avoid coming across as accusatory, saying something like, "I've noticed that we've had some delays in the project, and I wanted to understand what might be causing them."

I actively listened to John's perspective, allowing him to explain the challenges he was facing and any obstacles hindering his progress. I asked open-ended questions to dig deeper into the root causes of his difficulties and offered my support in finding solutions.

Together, John and I identified some concrete actions he could take to meet his deadlines. We agreed on a revised timeline, and I provided him with additional resources and assistance, such as pairing him with a colleague who had relevant expertise.


Results: As a result of our open and constructive conversation, John was able to meet his deadlines for the remainder of the project. The project stayed on track, and we successfully completed it within the original deadline. Moreover, our working relationship improved, and John felt comfortable approaching me with any future challenges or concerns.

In this situation, my belief in open communication, my task of resolving the conflict, and my actions in addressing the issue directly led to positive results, benefiting both the project and the working relationship with my team member.

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