There are some people you hate, go on admit it. There are people in your life that you wish had no phones or internet and spent all of their time alone and away from you. Your potential employer knows this. They want to see if you’re someone that will still communicate effectively, and will still treat the individual with respect.
You may be asked a question similar to the behavioral interview question below that is specifically related to whether you can communicate well with those you do not like.
Behavioral Interview Question: Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully communicate with another person even when that individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa).
Rather than break directly into an answer, the following are tips to answer this question effectively:
Remember, you want to be a positive person. Don’t say you didn’t like someone. If you had a disagreement, you can share that, but never say there was someone you hated, or someone you didn’t like – especially in your old workplace.
Choose Universal Answers
Don’t name a boss, or a coworker, or someone that plays a pivotal role in your future job. At the same time, do not name your family or friends. Try to find a universal answer. The best example is an angry customer – especially if they were not angry at you, but took their anger out on you.
Never make any situation sound as though the person would never be close to you or was hopeless to talk to. Always sound like you believe you could be friends with that person someday.
What did you do to make the situation better? What did you learn? Focus on positive gains rather than negative emotions.
An example of a good answer for this is going to be very person specific, but you may be able to remember a story like the following:
“When I was working customer service answering consumer enquiries and complaints, a customer called asking for help. I could hear she was quite irritated, and when I tried to help her she shouted and yelled, demanding to speak with my manager. Still, in a professional environment there isn’t someone you ‘like’ or ‘don’t like.’ Every person is a character that needs to be adapted to. In this customer’s case, I provided her with all of the information, then allowed her to speak with my manager. I also sent all of the information that she needed to my manager to make sure that they were able to communicate with her more easily, and when it was over I called her back, took the blame for the conversation in order to reduce any stress or pressure on her, and reiterated what she needed to hear.”
In this example, the person didn’t like you but it wasn’t necessarily personal, you communicated openly both with her and with your boss, trying to help her get what she needed, and you were strong enough to face the customer’s wrath again without fear. These are examples of showing positive, likeable qualities.