1. Have you ever been on a team that was going through major changes?
When a business makes changes, some people adapt quickly while others struggle. Your answer should show that you’re in the first group. If you have a professional example of going through change, talk about that. How did you adapt to the new way of doing things? How did you support your colleagues? It’s even better if you can talk about benefiting from change. For example, if your old employer was making a change and you saw an opportunity to implement a long-overdue process improvement.
2. Have you ever interacted with a colleague in a way that you regret?
We’ve all snapped at colleagues who didn’t deserve it or bitten our tongue when we should have said something. It’s okay to talk about mild conflict with former workers, as long as you’re not too negative. If an interviewer ever asks about regret, you should focus on what you learned from the experience and how it helped you to improve. Are you a better communicator now than you were before? If you really don’t want to admit to a fault like this, you can swerve the question slightly by saying you regret not thanking someone enough for their help in the past.
3. Have you ever had to deal with a customer or client who didn’t speak the same language as you?
Be careful with a question like this, because you could really get yourself in trouble if you say anything that’s even remotely discriminatory. Also, remember that customers must always be treated with the utmost respect. Focus on how you solved the problem. What steps did you take to communicate with the person? Were they happy with the outcome? If you don’t have an example of dealing with a language barrier, it’s okay to talk about an occasion where there was any kind of communication issue. Communication is vital in every job and employers want someone who can overcome these barriers.
4. Have you ever said the wrong thing to a customer?
If you have an example of this, you need to focus on why you knew it was the wrong thing, how it affected the customer, and what you did to rectify the situation. Don’t worry about casting yourself in a negative light (as long as your story isn’t too terrible). The interviewer is really more interested in how you fixed your mistake, rather than the mistake itself. Talk about what you learned from the experience and how you now avoid saying the wrong thing.
5. Have you ever had to change your hair or clothes for an employer?
Lots of people have run up against dress codes, either in school or at work. If you have a practical example of this, you can discuss it with the interviewer. A question like this is sometimes more about conflict resolution and teamwork. How did you discuss the issue with your manager? How did you arrive at an agreement? Your answer should show you as a reasonable, co-operative person. However, if you do have a red line such as a piercing that you are not willing to remove, it’s best to be upfront about that with the interviewer.