How to Answer “What Type of Person Do You Find Most Challenging To Work With?” in an Interview

flat art illustration of a two people having a conversation

Why do employers ask "What type of person do you find most challenging to work with?"

As a job seeker, it's important to understand why employers ask certain questions during an interview. In the case of "What type of person do you find most challenging to work with?", employers often ask this question to gauge your conflict resolution skills and to see how you handle difficult personalities. It's important to note that the employer is not necessarily looking for a negative answer, but rather wants to see how you respond and handle challenges.

How to answer the question

Answering this question can be challenging, but it's important to stay positive and focus on the learning opportunity. Here are a few tips on how to effectively answer this question:
  1. Choose a minor issue: Instead of discussing a major issue that you had with a specific person, it's best to choose a minor issue that you were able to overcome or learn from. This shows the employer that you are able to handle challenges and come up with solutions.
  2. Discuss the resolution: Instead of dwelling on the negative experience, focus on how you were able to overcome it or what you learned from it. This shows that you are proactive and able to take initiative to resolve problems.
  3. Keep it general: It's important to keep your answer general and avoid naming specific people or getting too personal. This shows that you are professional and able to handle difficult situations without getting overly involved.

How to prepare for the question

To effectively answer this question in an interview, it's important to prepare in advance. Here are a few steps you can take to prepare:
  • Reflect on your past experiences: Take some time to reflect on your past experiences and think about any minor challenges or difficult personalities you have encountered. Choose one that you were able to overcome or learn from.
  • Practice your answer: Practice answering this question out loud to get a feel for how it sounds. Make sure to focus on the resolution and the learning opportunity.
  • Stay positive: It's important to stay positive and avoid dwelling on the negative experience. Keep the focus on the learning opportunity and how it helped you grow as a professional.

Common Mistakes

  • Dwelling on the negative experience: It's important to keep the focus on the learning opportunity and not dwell on the negative experience. Some interviewees may spend too much time discussing the negative aspects of their experience, which can be off-putting to the employer.
  • Being overly critical: While it's important to provide constructive feedback, it's also important to avoid being overly critical. Some interviewees may come across as too critical or negative when discussing their negative experiences, which can be a red flag to the employer.
  • Naming specific people: It's important to keep your answer general and avoid naming specific people or getting too personal. Some interviewees may make the mistake of naming specific people, which can be unprofessional and may offend the employer.

Sample Answers

  1. "I find it challenging to work with people who are not open to new ideas or ways of doing things. However, I have learned to handle this challenge by trying to understand their perspective and finding common ground. I have found that by showing empathy and being open to their ideas, I am able to effectively communicate and collaborate with these types of individuals."

  2. "One type of person that I find challenging to work with is someone who is disorganized or lacks attention to detail. In the past, I have overcome this challenge by offering to help them create a system for organizing their work and providing additional support and guidance. This has helped me to build a stronger relationship with these individuals and improve the overall efficiency of the team."

  3. "I find it challenging to work with people who are unwilling to compromise or collaborate. In the past, I have overcome this challenge by being open to their ideas and finding ways to meet in the middle. By showing flexibility and a willingness to work together, I have been able to effectively resolve conflicts and build stronger relationships with these individuals."
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