Top Conflict Resolution Interview Questions (Sample Answers)

When you're interviewing for a new job, you get the chance to show off your knowledge, skills, and talents. Preparing well for an interview might help you stand out from the crowd. The recruiting manager may ask you questions concerning workplace conflict during your interview.

conflict resolution interview questions

How should you approach the topic of conflict resolution in your responses?

It's critical to emphasize that you have some crucial talents while constructing your replies concerning conflict resolution. Depending on what you think the interviewer is looking for based on the job description and business culture, you may utilize them to your advantage in your responses.

The steps for resolving disagreement in the workplace are listed below.

Maintaining positive body language and staying calm in the face of adversity.

It's critical to remain calm and keep good body language if you're involved in a fight. This shows everyone involved that you're willing to talk about any differences you may have.

In a private setting, discussing workplace difficulties.

In a quiet atmosphere, where everyone can openly communicate their points of view and feelings, the best location to handle conflict issues is. Conflicts at work may influence coworkers as well.

Recognizing that there is a problem.

When you locate a quiet area to talk about the disagreement, everyone involved must acknowledge that there is a problem that must get fixed to go ahead.

Everyone should be involved to reach an agreement on a solution to the problem.

Once everyone acknowledges a problem, everyone concerned should agree that it must be remedied. If you're the mediator in a dispute resolution process and one or more parties aren't ready to talk about the problem, it's better to pull them aside and have a private conversation with them. Determine why they feel the way they do and how you may urge them to take an active role in the resolution process.

Recognizing the perspectives of all parties involved.

Misunderstandings are the root of the majority of workplace conflicts. As a result, take your time to listen to everyone and understand why they are thinking or feeling the way they are. It will be simpler to clear the air and find a solution to the problem due to this.

Identifying the cause of the problem.

When everyone is ready to express their points of view, it's critical to figure out what triggered the problem in the first place. Conflicts can arise due to various circumstances such as competing deadlines, misunderstanding, stress, or any other cause.

Identifying possibilities for reaching an agreement

To overcome workplace issues, everyone will need to compromise in some way. When resolving disagreements, it's critical to concentrate on areas where individuals may agree.

Make a deal to come up with a plan for resolving the problem.

You may turn a compromise into a dispute resolution strategy if you've achieved an agreement. Depending on the topic, a resolution plan might get devised to ensure that the disagreement does not recur.

Compliance with the agreement is being monitored.

Several check-in points can be established to ensure that everything proceeds according to the resolution plan. These can happen within a few days or weeks, for example. The purpose of these check-in points is to ensure that everyone sticks to the action plan.

If the disagreement persists, you'll need a backup strategy.

A dispute resolution strategy must have a backup plan. If someone fails to implement the plan or another issue emerges, the human resources department or someone from a higher leadership level can be consulted.

How to answer common conflict resolution questions in a structured manner

A step-by-step guide to preparing good responses to interview questions concerning resolving disagreements may be found below. However, while responding to questions, make sure you come across as genuine as possible; avoid repeating responses because the interviewer will notice.

When the interviewer asks you a behavioral interview question, make sure you respond with a rationally planned scenario where you had to deal with a dispute.

Explain the conflict scenario you encountered and how you dealt with it. Include some of the processes outlined above in interview questions to address the dispute resolution process.

conflict resolution interview questions

STAR Method

The STAR interview strategy is the simplest way to structure your response. A scenario (S), your task (T) in that circumstance, the actions (A) you did, and the results (R) you obtained as a result of your activities are all abbreviated as STAR (STAR Method).

The method gets used to answer behavioral interview questions—especially those about handling conflict. Hiring managers will ask an open question using a previous work example.

Demonstrate the talents and abilities you'll need to do the job well. Make sure your qualifications match the position's requirements and competencies, as stated in the job description.

Expect follow-up questions based on your replies to the interviewer's inquiries. Interviewers use this to go deeper into the issue you supply them with to assess your dispute resolution abilities. They are more than likely to ask follow-up questions based on the facts you supply.

Interview questions and answers about conflict resolution (sample answers)

Conflict interview questions are meant to evaluate how you respond to and resolve workplace conflict. Employers ask these questions to get a sense of how effectively you operate under pressure and handle stress, as well as your ability to resolve disputes with people professionally and politely.

An interviewer could ask the following five questions on conflict and conflict resolution skills (how you handle conflict):

  • How do you deal with disagreements?
  • Describe when you had a workplace issue and how you handled it.
  • When working in a group, how do you resolve conflicts? Give a specific example.
  • Explain when you had a conflict with your supervisor and how you handled the matter.
  • Explain how you addressed a scenario in which you disagreed with a rule or policy.
  • Briefly describe a prior disagreement you had on a team project.
  • Explain the last time you were involved in resolving conflicts between team members.
  • How do you ensure that future disagreements don't arise again?

How do you deal with disagreements?

Working with others is a requirement of most employment, and variations in personalities, views, and beliefs can lead to conflict. Employers want to see whether you can handle these situations professionally and responsibly. Be honest about how you handle these circumstances while answering this question. If you have a problem with conflict, accept it and describe how you're striving to improve your conflict resolution skills.

Example answer

"In most circumstances, I'm a good handler of disagreement." I embrace variety and recognize that various individuals hold different viewpoints, leading to disagreements. When confronted with a problem, I try to work with others to find a good solution to all parties involved. When I try to communicate myself, I might feel defensive at times. I'm working on strategies to control this habit, such as pausing to take a deep breath and thinking about what I'm saying before replying."

Describe a time when you had a workplace issue and how you dealt with it.

This question gives an example that employers may evaluate your dispute resolution abilities based on a real-life situation. It allows them to determine how you handle disputes with coworkers and function as part of a team. It also provides you the chance to talk about how you've dealt with a dispute in the past.

Give an example of a time in your work history when you disagreed with a coworker to answer this question. Using the STAR method for your response might be beneficial.

The acronym STAR stands for:

  • Situation: Describe the conflict or problem in the situation.
  • Assignment: Describe your part in the conflict.
  • Action: Talk about what you did to resolve the disagreement.
  • Result: Explain what happened as a result of your activities.

Example answer

"One of my team members consistently disputed every proposal I gave when working on a project for a former company." He also had a habit of interrupting and talking over others without listening to what they had to say. When he interrupted others without listening, it was challenging to keep my tolerance. It got to the point where our different supervisors gave us advice on behaving.

"I had to accept that I couldn't modify or control his conduct to end this problem." I also acknowledged that both of our actions were likely the result of stress brought on by the project's heavy workload. As a result, I changed my communication approach to foster empathy, eliminate triggers, and develop patience with interruptions. We were able to finish the project and maintain cordial communication whenever we needed to collaborate in the future."

When working in a group, how do you resolve disagreements? Give a specific example.

When working as part of a team, conflict can emerge amongst members at any time. Your answer to this question can reflect your capacity to work well with people who have different working styles.

When answering this question, please explain how you handle multiple-person arguments and how you try to settle them to achieve the team's goals. Give an example from your own experience that demonstrates how you handle team member differences. To develop a complete response, try utilizing the STAR approach.

conflict resolution interview questions

Example answer

"In my prior experience, I was working with a group to produce a leadership presentation." The group was in charge of developing a concept and providing a project plan to put it into action. We chose a topic and devised a strategy for completing the presentation. Two team members want daily meetings to discuss the process and its development. Other team members, including myself, were against this strategy since the team kept track of work progress and completion in a log.

"We didn't think we needed to divert time for meetings that didn't drive the project ahead as long as everyone knew their allocated roles." We also believed that these meetings would eat up time better spent on the project. We got everyone together to discuss their arguments for their side, rather than initiating a debate over the meetings. We eventually agreed to convene a daily meeting for no more than 10 minutes each day to deliver brief updates on task progress."

Describe when you had a disagreement with your boss and how you handled it.

You may have argued with a boss in the past, just as you may have clashed with team members. This question may influence how you handle conflicts with authority figures and how they affect your capacity to complete given duties.

Your reaction demonstrates your ability to follow directions and how you handle a conflict with your boss or supervisor. When answering this question, give a simple example of when you disagreed with a boss and how you dealt with the situation.

Example answer

"A supervisor instructed me to erase data entries for projects that were less successful when I was preparing data regarding the performance of earlier projects to secure financing for a new project in our department." I was well aware that erasing these data would bias the outcomes and portrayal of our previous performance. I voiced my worry to my boss, but she urged that I delete the information.

"I chose to raise the problem with the next level of management after careful thinking, and they ignored my concerns and backed the decision to erase the data." To ensure that I appropriately reflected the information, I eliminated data as directed and updated the phrasing in the report to clearly emphasize that the reported data represented successful programs. In the case of a question or an audit, I additionally documented the incident, including data records excluded from reported findings.

"I could understand my supervisor's choice, but I couldn't sacrifice my ideals." I attempted to strike a balance by removing the data and adding the language. Based on the findings, we were able to get finance for our project."

Explain how you addressed a scenario in which you disagreed with a rule or policy.

You may have encountered guidelines in previous jobs that you didn't feel comfortable obeying. This question allows you to explain why you would or would not execute given responsibilities, even if you disagree with the duty's regulation or policy.

To answer this question, give an example of a regulation or policy with which you disagreed, how you communicated your dissatisfaction, and how you addressed your differences so that you could complete your tasks.

Example answer

"In one of my former positions, the human resources director wanted to collect personally identifying information on job applications, such as social security numbers." He was adamant that the information would be safe, and while I trusted him, I disagreed with his method. I acknowledged that human resources needed to acquire this information at the time of hire to verify employment eligibility, but I disagreed that every candidate should collect it.

"I presented my concern that requesting this information on the application may harm our talent pool, but I also noted that I am not a human resources specialist and that I did not make the decision." The human resources director recognized my point of view but insisted on following best practices. As an experienced expert, I trusted him to make the best decision."

conflict resolution interview questions

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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