Example Answer (using B-STAR method)
Start by stating your core belief about office politics. This sets the stage for your approach and mindset toward the situation.
"I believe that office politics, while often seen in a negative light, can present opportunities for constructive communication and understanding different perspectives. Navigating office politics effectively requires transparency, respect for all colleagues, and a focus on the common goals of the organization."
Describe the context in which you encountered office politics.
"In my previous role as a project manager, our team was assigned a high-profile project with tight deadlines. Midway through, there was a significant shift in the company's strategy, leading to disagreements among team members and stakeholders about the project's direction. The situation was further complicated by underlying tensions between departments over resource allocation, resulting in a politically charged environment."
Explain what your specific task or objective was in this situation.
"My task was to lead the project to completion successfully while managing the differing opinions and ensuring all team members remained motivated and focused. It was crucial to address the underlying issues causing the political tension without compromising the project's timeline or quality."
Detail the actions you took to address the situation and manage the office politics.
"I initiated a series of one-on-one and group meetings with key stakeholders and team members to understand their concerns and viewpoints. I emphasized the importance of open communication and encouraged everyone to share their perspectives in a constructive manner. By facilitating these discussions, I aimed to find common ground and align everyone's efforts towards our shared objectives. Additionally, I worked closely with department heads to negotiate resource allocation in a way that was perceived as fair and transparent."
Conclude with the outcome of your actions.
"As a result of these efforts, we were able to resolve the misunderstandings and align on the revised project goals. The team's morale improved significantly, and we completed the project ahead of schedule, under budget, and with excellent feedback from stakeholders. This experience taught me the importance of addressing office politics proactively and the value of clear communication and empathy in overcoming challenges. It also led to the implementation of a more transparent process for resource allocation in future projects."