Compromise is a necessary skill in any personal relationship. It’s also important in the workplace. You and your coworkers are not always going to get along, especially professionally when you are bound to run into problems when working on projects together.
That’s why many employers will ask you behavioral questions about how well you get along with coworkers, whether or not you are comfortable with the different personalities you find in the workplace, and how easily you adjust to change.
Behavioral Interview Question: Tell me about a time when you had to adjust to a colleague’s working style in order to complete a project or achieve your objectives.
The most important thing to note about this question is that “colleague” shouldn’t mean “boss.” Although theoretically adapting to a boss’s style is also important, if you start to discuss your previous supervisor as though their style was different than yours it may come across like complaining, and that can come back to bite you. Focus instead on a coworker, and as always try to make sure that it never sounds like you’re bitter or that the coworker was 100% wrong.
How to Answer
“Bill and I got along great as people, but I often found his work style a tad frustrating. He was extremely bright, but he was the kind of person that would get frustrated when rushed, and I was the kind of person that wanted to hurry and get things done. Since I knew he wasn’t the type to respond well to prodding, I decided to try a more relaxed approach. I could tell what he really wanted was to be more stress free, so even though I was in a hurry, I’d go up to him, joke around with him, and make sure it was a more relaxed environment for him. Turned out that’s all he really wanted, and he actually got me his side of the project before I was even ready for him.”
Lots of information is here – from you being someone that likes to get things done to you complimenting your coworker and implying that there is nothing wrong with their work style. You also adapted, and you adapted in a way that makes you look like a great coworker. Few employers are going to see anything wrong with this type of answer, and chances are if you think back, you’ll be able to find an example just like this.
See Also Related Post: Do You Prefer a Structure Routine or One With New Experiences?
See Also Related Post: How do You Handle Change?