How To Answer “How Do You Handle Conflict?” (Interview Question)

When you are going to an interview, you become quite excited and have a lot of questions running through your head about what they might ask.

Imagine going to an interview where there are many candidates; you would want to promote your values strongly to increase your chances of getting the job.

Now, the majority of people who respond to interview questions do so without remembering that the employer is looking for uniqueness, someone who can speak from their own experiences, and someone who can express themselves as they would in any circumstance.

Employers may ask, “how do you handle conflict”. Follow through as I would be showing you how best this question can be answered.

Read also: How To Foster Employee Motivation

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How to Answer “How Do You Handle Conflict?” In An Interview

This inquiry concerns your capacity to resolve conflicts amicably and professionally.

Employers are particularly interested in how you handle conflicts with coworkers in varied business contexts when cultural differences are a factor.

This question is also used by interviewers to assess your interpersonal abilities, including your ability to communicate and listen.

It’s inevitable that you’ll experience interpersonal difficulties at work, but knowing how to deal with them will assist to keep tensions under control and promote a more positive workplace culture.

Read also: How to Answer “Are You a Leader or Follower?” (Interview Question)

1. Give An Honest Description Of How You Approach Conflict.

The easiest method to respond to a question like this is to provide a general explanation of your conflict resolution strategy. This will initially inform them of your level of tolerance.

Describe a strategy (or a few strategies) you use to resolve disputes or conflicts.

This is significant because the employer wants to work with someone who approaches unavoidable disagreements with maturity rather than just reacting at the moment.

Consider how you might respond to certain circumstances at work and briefly describe your responses.

You could describe your capacity for handling conflict as follows:

  • Actively attempting a compromise
  • Taking the time to carefully hear the other viewpoint
  • Remaining composed and speaking neutrally while considering the true nature of the conflict
  • if the situation allows, agreeing to disagree, Keeping the conflict among the parties involved (not gossipping)

2. Share A Conflict You Experienced In Your Former Job

Next, talk about a challenging scenario or conflict you handled in your previous employment.

Consider instances at work where you were stressed or moments when you worried about how others (coworkers, clients, or your supervisor) would respond.

This is significant since your interviewer wants to see examples of how you’ve used your techniques in the past to demonstrate your ability to do so.

It ought to be a disagreement you had that resulted in a gain.

Conflict situations at work could result from:

  • failing to meet a crucial project deadline
  • avoiding or arriving late for work
  • accidentally following a customer’s or coworker’s lead
  • being scolded by a client
  • being denied a promotion you had hoped for
  • working together with a coworker who failed to finish their job.
Read also: How To Answer Interview Questions About Your Experience

3. Explain The Action You Took To Resolve The Conflict

As you describe your response, make sure to keep it consistent with how you previously handled the conflict. All the actions you took to solve the problem at that time.

It demonstrates that you not only successfully practice what you preach but also do so.

Using the strategy you outlined in the first section of your response, remind the interviewer of the particular steps you took to collaborate with the other party.


You could also utilize the “STAR” method to respond to questions like these at an interview to make it simpler for you to respond and for memory’s sake.

“STAR” means Situation, task, action, and results.

Example of how to use the star method:

  • Situation(S): Describe the contentious or difficult circumstance.
  • Explain your part in the conflict in Task (T).
  • Discuss the steps you took to resolve the issue in Action(A).
  • Result(R): Describe how your actions turned out.

You could also say that you handle conflicts by :

  • Saying sorry even when you’re not at fault, just to promote peace.
  • working late to make up for the time missed
  • Using “I” phrases to clarify certain situations
  • generating ideas for defenses against a repetition
  • offering a solution to make up for a mistake
  • Changing your goals if they’re not realistic

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