“The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from a mental illness. Look at your 3 best friends. If they’re okay, then it’s you.” ~Rita Mae Brown
Everyone has their own unique personality and off course you will get along with some personality types better than others. That said, it’s your responsibility as an employee of any company to get along with all those around you. Employers are looking for people that show the right attitude and handle challenges with ease since these people will ‘fit well’ within any organisation. This is why employers often ask you to demonstrate exactly how you work with difficult people/personalities.
Behavioral Interview Question: Give an example of when you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with. How/why was this person difficult? How did you handle it? How did the relationship progress?
The key to answering this question is to make sure you avoid anything too negative. You need to sound hopeful, understanding, and willing to take on any challenges. Here is an example of a great way to answer this question.
“I don’t know if anyone is difficult to get along with. People are different, and certainly I was closer to some than others, but I can’t necessarily think of anyone that was especially difficult to get along with. I do recall working with a man named Joe. He was a very strong personality, and was occasionally prone to saying things that some might find offensive without necessarily thinking about the consequences of his words. He had made an inappropriate comment in the workplace, and I told him he needed to be careful about what he said because he may offend others. He was apologetic. He had a few slips since then but we never had any misunderstandings afterward.”
This is one of the few questions where it is okay to act a little confused. Try to choose someone that you are friends with or close to, and point out a character trait that some may find difficult, but that you found easy to deal with in the end.
Avoid anyone that you genuinely hated or someone that did something so offensive or awful that you’re going to seem like you’re complaining about them. Choose a safe answer for this question instead, and you’ll impress the employer with your ability to sound like a great personality.
Sometimes the question may be asked a little differently like:
“What Types of People do You Find it Hard to Get Along With?”
This is a slightly different spin because it asks about a standard trait rather than just one example.