The question “Have you ever faced conflict with a coworker? How did you resolve the situation?" is a situational interview question designed to uncover an applicant's interpersonal skills.
A good answer to this particular interviewer question can get you a higher chance of getting hired. Here are the answers to the STAR interview questions.
We disagreed on a project management decision
S - The situation was that my coworker and I disagreed on a project management decision. However, we had worked together for a while and were good friends outside of work, so I didn't want to burn any bridges or make things awkward between us.
T - My role in this situation was as the project manager on the team. My duties were to make sure that all tasks were completed on time and within budget, as well as help other members of my team when they needed it.
A - My action was to openly discuss why we disagreed about this particular decision with my coworker, without blaming him for anything or getting upset myself. I also tried very hard not to take anything personally—it's easy for an argument like this one to get personal when you've been working together for so long!
R - The result was that we were able to come up with an alternative solution that both of us could live with. It took some time for everyone else.
My coworker was not performing at the same level as me
S - I have faced conflict with a coworker before. The situation was that my coworker was not performing at the same level as me, and I felt like my work was being held back because of it.
T - The task I had to carry out in this situation was to find ways to motivate my coworker to work harder so that they could meet expectations and complete their tasks on time.
A - I approached the situation by first checking in with my coworker and asking them how they were feeling about the project. After listening to what they said, we then went back to my supervisor and explained that I felt like our working styles were not compatible and that we should consider switching roles if possible. I also asked if there were any other responsibilities that could be given to me so that my work would not suffer as much while they worked on improving their performance.
R - My action paid off when my supervisor agreed upon swapping roles so that both of us could learn from each other's strengths and weaknesses. As a result, our working styles became more complementary which led to an increase in productivity for both of us individually as well as for the team as a whole!
Disagreement over the direction of our department
S - I've had several conflicts with coworkers in my time here at [company name]. The first was a disagreement over the direction of our department.
T - My boss wanted to focus on one area, and I knew that we should be working on another.
A - I brought my concerns up at a meeting, where I spoke openly about why we needed to change course.
R - The result was that my boss agreed with me, and we started working on the new project. We worked together to find a solution that would help us achieve both goals and make sure we were still making progress on the original project as well.
We were both responsible for creating a report
S - The situation was one where I was working on a project with a coworker. We were both responsible for creating a report that was due in a few days, and we had been working on it for about three weeks.
T - The task was to create the report, and our actions involved going through different steps of the process together.
A - In order to ensure that the report would be completed on time, we decided to split up the workload between us so that each of us would have more time to focus on one task at a time.
R - This resulted in both of us completing our portion of the report sooner than anticipated, which allowed us to meet our deadline and complete it successfully.
One of my collage felt that the logo was too similar to another brand's logo
S - I am a designer at my company and recently designed a new logo for our product line. It was well received by all parties except for one of my coworkers who felt that the logo was too similar to another brand's logo.
T - My duty as a designer is to create designs that meet the needs of clients and match their expectations. The client wanted something simple, so I created this logo design that fit their requirements.
A - When I showed my coworker my work, he immediately pointed out the similarities between our company's logo and another company's logo. He then proceeded to tell me that we should change it because of this issue.
R - After consulting with our manager, we decided that while there may be some similarities between our logos, they were not enough to warrant changing anything at this point in time. We did decide however that we would keep an eye on how things progressed from here on out and make adjustments if needed later down the road.
My task was to get my coworker to understand that her work was not up to standard
S - The situation I faced was a conflict with a coworker, who had been with the company for longer than me.
T - My task was to get her to understand that her work was not up to standard and that she needed to improve.
A - The action I took was to speak to her about it in private.
R - The result of my actions was that she became more cooperative and I could see her making improvements in her work.