Behavioral Interview Question – How To Handle A Difficult Person
You know you want to know how to answer that question.
Tell me about a time you dealt with a difficult person.
In this post I’m going to walk through an example of exactly how to do that.
I’m going to be using myself as the example, so stay tuned.
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There was a time in my career where I was the difficult person. And I had someone handle it really, really well.
After chatting with this person, I found it very difficult not to cooperate with her. I want to share how she handled it because I don’t think you can go wrong with this approach.
The situation was that I was withholding information.
I wasn’t helping her out. This was a new girl and her name was Laura. She was really nice and honestly, I was a bit jealous of her. I thought that she was prettier than me and I was honestly just feeling jealous.
I was purposely not acting very well and I was withholding information from her.
It’s not something that I’m proud of, but at the time, that was a long time ago and I think this story could really help.
So, how did Laura handle this?
The first thing she did was she asked me if I’d like to go for coffee with her. She wanted to take me to one of her favorite coffee shops where we could chat. At first, I didn’t really want to, but I felt like if I didn’t, she was going to continue to ask and eventually I was going to have to.
I didn’t really want to go, but I agreed to go because it was the right thing to do.
What happened was, we went for coffee and she said to me the following thing: “I know I’m new here and that you don’t know me very well yet, but I would like to help as much as I can.”
She added, “I’m happy to do whatever it is that you need for us to make our working relationship smoother for both of us. And if there’s something that I did that bothered you, please let me know because I’m kind of feeling like you don’t like me very much.”
And she left it at that.
So, me as the difficult person, didn’t really know how to reply to that.
I was kind of thinking, “Oh, well poor girl. She actually wants to do her best and I’m getting in her way.”
So this was difficult for me to react in any other way than favorably.
And I said, “No, I’m sorry, it has nothing to do with you, I’m having a hard time.”
So then she just talked.
We didn’t talk about work anymore. She just talked about the things that she liked to do and invited me to go to yoga with her.
She’s like, “You know, I’ve been under a lot stress too and something that really helps me is yoga.”
And I did not want to got to yoga with her so I declined her offer, but I did think it was nice of her to ask.
What happened in the end, was that I softened up.
I started work better with her. We started to have a better working relationship and to this day, even though we don’t work at the same company, we still talk and we still help each other out.
That’s what can happen when you deal with a difficult person effectively. And I know, because I was the difficult person. So as long as the person is being genuine, then it is the best way to go.
Let me ask you, have you ever been a difficult person before?
And if so, how have people handled you?
Has someone else been able to get you to go from a tough spot to change your perspective?
If so, I’d love to hear about it.
So, if you’d like to dive deeper with me…
If you have ever blanked when asked one of these questions…
I’ve got you covered in my famous downloadable guide.
All you have to do is click on the image below to get it.
What you’ll get inside the guide:
Top-ten examples of stories that have proven to be impressive interview answers
The S.A.R.I. formula breakdown of how to answer these questions
The step-by-step of why it works
Fill-in-the-blank templates for each question so, you’ll be able to fill in the blanks and get going!
Now you’ll need to come up with your own stories! (You can steal the ones in the guide if they apply to you though too, I don’t mind)
If you are still getting stuck because you can’t think of your own stories…
I’ve included 25 questions that you can ask yourself to come up with your stories much quicker!
You’ll get all this in a beautifully designed workbook prepared specifically for you to prepare for your interviews.
By the end of working through this guide, you’ll be feeling confident and ready for any situational interview that comes your way!
Here is some feedback I’ve gotten from this guide, and I get new emails like this every day, and they NEVER get old!
Do you know one person who could benefit from the information in this post? If so, do your friend a favour and share this info with him/her.
And remember, the current system isn’t perfect, but you can outsmart it. I’m here to prove to you that you do have what it takes.
I’ll see you next time and I can’t wait!
In Work & Life
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