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Job Interview Question Database:
Situational Job Interview Questions & Excellent Sample Responses, 1-10


 

Compare your responses to the excellent sample responses below. These samples come from a variety of job-seekers interviewing for a variety of jobs. Remember that you should never try to duplicate someone else's interview responses. For more suggestions on how to respond to these types of questions that test how well you can think on your feet, read our article, Situational Interviews and Stress Interviews: What to Make of Them and How to Succeed in Them.

 

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Displaying Job Interview Questions 1-10

 

1. What would you do if the work of a subordinate or team member was not up to expectations?
    Sample excellent response:
    Luckily, I have quite a bit of previous team experience, and have faced this situation a few times in the past -- so let me tell you how I've learned to handle the issue. The most important first step in dealing with an underperforming subordinate or team member is honest communications -- talking with the person can lead to some surprising discoveries, such as the person not understanding the assigned tasks to being overwhelmed with the assignment. Once I discovered the problem, I could then forge a solution that usually solved the problem and allowed the work to move forward. So often in situations like this, the problem is some combination of miscommunications and unrealistic expectations.

 

2. A co-worker tells you in confidence that she plans to call in sick while actually taking a week's vacation. What would you do and why?
    Sample excellent response:
    I would tell this co-worker that being dishonest to her boss, as well as her co-workers, is not wise, and being dishonest in her job is wrong. I would say how we all want more vacation time, but we have to earn it -- and that taking this extra time hurts everyone in the department because the person's absence will affect productivity.
    [contributed by Danielle S.]

 

3. Describe how you would handle the situation if you met resistance when introducing a new idea or policy to a team or work group.
    Sample excellent response:
    The best way to convince people is to be able to understand where they are coming from and address their questions and concerns about the new idea directly. It is also important to stay confident and believe in yourself because if you don't buy it, no one else will either.
    [contributed by Alexis]

 

4. What would you do if the priorities on a project you were working on changed suddenly?
    Sample excellent response:
    I would notify everyone working on the project of the changes. I would then want to know why the priorities have changed, and if there is risk of them changing again in the future. I would then meet with everyone involved with a new strategy to address the new priorities.
    [contributed by Andra]

 

5. How would you handle it if you believed strongly in a recommendation you made in a meeting, but most of your co-workers shot it down?
    Sample excellent response:
    I would continue to explain why the recommendation was good, giving concrete examples what the benefits of my recommendation could be. Ultimately if my co-workers continue to resist my recommendation I would have to let it go and move on.
    [contributed by Alexis]

 

6. In a training session, you find that the trainer has a thick accent, and you can't understand what's being said. What would you do?
    Sample excellent response:
    Certainly not call the trainer out on it. I would try my best to understand what the trainer is saying, ask many questions to clarify any unclear parts about the session and compare notes with someone in the session afterwards. This way I could make sure that I understand what was being explained and discussing it afterwards would help reinforce the things I learned in the session.
    [contributed by Alexis]

 

7. List the steps that you would take to make an important decision on the job.
    Sample excellent response:
    1. How would the company benefit from this?
    2. How does it relate to the company's values and beliefs?
    3. What are the negative and positive impacts this decision has on the company?
    [contributed by Danielle S.]

 

8. What would you do if you realized at deadline time that a report you wrote for your boss or professor was not up to par?
    Sample excellent response:
    Hopefully this would never happen to me since I always make sure to plan my time properly to ensure that my work is always done. If it ever did happen I would meet with my boss and explain the situation and request an extension. I would also evaluate my actions and identify what I did wrong to not complete my work and make sure that it did not happen again.
    [contributed by Andra]

 

9. How would you deal with a colleague at work with whom you seem to be unable to build a successful working relationship?
    Sample excellent response:
    This situation would certainly be unique to me. Ever since I can remember, I've had a knack for finding something in everyone that then becomes common ground for a friendship and/or good working relationship. Certainly there are all types of people, some less motivated to work in teams or simply unhappy in their jobs, but we're all people when you strip away titles and such -- and it's at that base level in which I find a connection that results in some degree of rapport -- even when few others can do so. For example, in my senior year of college, I was placed onto a team that had one member that the rest of the team disliked. This team member was kind of an outcast, but I knew we needed this full commitment to make the project work. Even though I was not the team leader, I took it upon myself to forge a connection -- and discovered we had a mutual passion for horses. We did not end best friends or anything, but through our common interest, I was able to build enough rapport to connect and engage him as a key team member. There is always something that bonds us all together -- it is just harder to find with some people than with others.

 

10. You disagree with the way your supervisor says to handle a problem. What would you do?
    Sample excellent response:
    I would evaluate why I disagreed with my supervisor and come up with a different way that I think the situation should be handled. I would then sit down with my supervisor -- in private -- and discuss the problem with him and how I think it should have been addressed.
    [contributed by Andra]

 

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