In this blog we will explain why the interviewer is asking you the tough behavioural interview question, ‘tell me about a time you worked with a difficult person”. If you understand why the question is being asked, you can give a top-scoring answer! We will then tell you how to structure your answer to this and other challenging behavioural interview questions.
Finally, we will give you an excellent scripted example answer that is guaranteed to impress the hiring manager!
WHY IS THE INTERVIEWER ASKING THE QUESTION, “TELL ME ABOUT ABOUT A TIME WHEN YOU WOKRED WITH A DIFFICULT PERSON”?
They are asking you this interview question because they want to see whether you were mature and professional when working with the difficult person.
They also want to assess whether you are able to build positive working relationships with people who are difficult. If you can build good, productive working relationships with anyone, you are far more likely to be a great fit for their team!
THE NUMBER ONE BEST METHOD FOR STRUCTURING YOUR ANSWER
Using the STAR method is a great way to organise your response to this and other behavioural interview questions. The acronym STAR refers to the four components of the STAR method: situation, task, action and result.
To begin your answer, describe the SITUATION that prompted you to respond.
The next step is to provide a brief summary of the TASK that was required.
ACTIONS taken to complete the assignment are then described in detail.
Finally, you inform the interviewer the RESULT of your actions.
“TELL ME ABOUT A TIME WHEN YOU WORKED WITH A DIFFICULT PERSON” (SCRIPTED ANSWER)
SITUATION: When I started work in my previous job, a member of the team made it difficult for me. He was dismissive of my ideas during team meetings, and when I asked for his advice and assistance, he kept saying he was too busy to help.
TASK: I had two options. I could either ignore him, or I could work hard to build a better relationship with him for the sake of the team. I chose the latter option.
ACTION: During a break at work, I spoke to him about what he was interested in outside of work. As it transpired, we both supported the same sports team. This was my opportunity to talk to him about something we were both very passionate about and this had a significant impact on our working relationship.
RESULT: From that moment on, things improved greatly and when I next asked him for help, he did all he could to assist me.
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