Interview Answer: Tell me about a time you had to communicate bad news to a colleague or stakeholder

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Example Answer (Using B-STAR Method)


I believe that honesty and transparency are crucial in any professional setting, especially when delivering bad news. It's important to approach such situations with empathy and understanding, recognizing the impact the news might have on the other person.


In my previous role as a project manager, we were working on a critical project with a tight deadline. Two weeks before the delivery date, we encountered unexpected technical challenges that significantly delayed our timeline.


As the project manager, it was my responsibility to communicate this delay to my team, including a colleague who had worked tirelessly and was counting on the project's on-time completion for a personal milestone.


I scheduled a one-on-one meeting with my colleague to ensure privacy and allow for an open conversation. I started by acknowledging their hard work and dedication to the project. I then explained the technical challenges we encountered, how these were unforeseen, and the steps we had taken to mitigate the impact. I emphasized that the delay was not a reflection of their performance and discussed our plan for moving forward. Throughout the conversation, I remained open to their feelings and reactions, offering support and discussing potential solutions to minimize the impact on their personal milestone.


Although initially disappointed, my colleague appreciated the straightforward and empathetic manner in which I communicated the news. This approach helped maintain trust and morale in the team. We worked together to adjust our plan, successfully completing the project with a slight delay but with high quality. The experience reinforced the importance of transparency and empathy in leadership, and my colleague and I continued to have a strong professional relationship.



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