Common Behavioral Interview Question: When have you seen your tenacity or resilience really pay off in a professional setting? What was the outcome?
The good news about this question is that it’s actually very positive. It asks about something that succeeded, which is exactly the type of question you want to be asked at an interview. The bad news is that it’s easy to accidentally sound like you’re pushy or annoying in a professional setting. Interviewers want to understand your passions and your ideas, and whether or not you are someone that turns ideas into reality. They also want to be reassured that you are not overly aggressive and difficult in the workplace. In fact they want to be reassured that you can work with other difficult people in the workplace.
The key to answering this question well is to tone it down a bit. This would be a good time to either discuss an achievement and talk about how hard you worked on it or choose a safe answer, where the payoff isn’t as great but the process to get there won’t seem negative. One idea is to focus on the customer, rather than the workplace, that way you do not have to make it sound like you might be difficult to work with.
“Almost any time I talk to a customer on the phone there is a bit of hesitancy on their part, especially if the service they’re requesting will add to their costs or is something they haven’t used before. I remember one time I was on the phone with a customer for over 90 minutes explaining why our pest control service was preferable over the others. It took a lot of convincing, but I was able to win the customer, and thanks to the time we spent on the phone that individual became a recurring client that as far as I know is still using the service today.”
Here you show you valued the customer. You didn’t give up, and you didn’t decide it wasn’t worth your time. Perhaps most importantly, you succeeded. Overall this type of answer has all of the qualities that the employer is looking for, even though the accomplishment isn’t necessarily that impressive.
Some other situations that would provide good examples include:
- Group projects or tasks where you inspired/ encouraged the group to achieve a goal
- Difficult individual assignments such as developing software programs
- Learning new skills such as internal systems and project management tools
- Any cost reduction achievements
- Analysis of data and market research
All of these are goals that require you to keep working at difficult tasks but they avoid you having to explain direct conflict with your peers.
Share Your Comment Below:
What have you done in the past that could be used to answer this question?