Behavioral Interview Question: Describe a situation where you found yourself dealing with someone who didn’t like you. How did you handle it?
Did you know that not everyone thinks you are great? Believe it or not, it happens! There are those out there that you are going to rub the wrong way. That’s okay! You do not have to be loved by everyone! But you need to show the interviewer that you are mature enough to work with everyone, even those who you know don’t like you very much.
The most important factor in answering this Common Behavioural Interview Question really well is to make sure that you don’t accidentally make it obvious why they don’t like you. For example, this would be a bad answer:
“Bill didn’t like me. He was kind of pushy, and every so often I would call him on it, and he hated that I called him out on his attitude.”
In this answer, you are the one that has the attitude. They do not know Bill. They do not care about Bill. They care about you, and you alone. So you don’t have any reason to defend yourself against Bill’s accusations. Instead, focus only on what you did to resolve the situation.
“I’ve worked with some great organizations and had some amazing coworkers. I do recall a time a while back where a coworker mentioned that the IT manager, Bill, wasn’t fond of me. I didn’t recall any specific reasons that he would feel that way, so I went up to him and asked him if there was anything I did that I could apologize for, and if he needed anything from me. He did give the impression that he may have been uncomfortable around me, but he said ‘no’ and shrugged me off. I felt like it would be unfair to push the matter, so I simply made sure to monitor my own behaviors around him and stay positive and friendly. After a while he seemed to open up. I never did find out why he hadn’t liked me but I felt like it wasn’t fair to him to push the matter, and all that was important to me was that I did my best maintaining a friendship with him.”
Always talk about something that had a positive outcome at the end. Notice that you didn’t imply anything about yourself with this answer, nor did you say anything negative about Bill. You confronted the issue head on, and you gave a satisfying conclusion.