How did you sort out the problem when you faced a difficult moment at work?
'Describe a time when you faced a difficult moment at work. How did you sort out the problem?' This is a typical STAR interview question asked by many employers. Being prepared for this is the key before sharing your experiences in the job interview.
A good answer to this particular interviewer question can get you a higher chance of getting hired. But, it will only come if you prepare for this question. Here are answers to the STAR interview questions like this one.
My client was refusing to pay us
S - When working at [company name], I had to deal with a difficult situation. One of our clients was not satisfied with the work we did for them and they were refusing to pay us.
T - My role in this situation was as a project manager, and my duties included managing the quality of the product we delivered, ensuring that our team followed through on all deadlines, and making sure that we communicated effectively with our client.
A - I acted by communicating with my team members about the issue and asking them to double-check everything they did so that there would be no mistakes. We also made sure to meet every deadline so that there would be no delays in getting paid by the client.
R - The result of my actions was that we were able to solve this problem successfully after providing evidence that everything was done correctly, which helped us get paid for all the work we did for this client."
I was going to be reporting to a new manager
S - In my previous job, I had a difficult moment at work when my supervisor told me that I was going to be reporting to a new manager. This was unexpected, and it meant that I had to make a lot of changes in how I went about my duties.
T - I had to talk with the new manager and learn what her expectations were for me. This meant lots of meetings and conversations, which could have been very awkward if not handled properly.
A - I quickly realized that the best way for me to handle this situation was by being open-minded and flexible. I wanted to show the new manager that I was willing to work with her, but also make sure she knew she could count on me as an employee who was always willing to go above and beyond what was expected of me.
R - The result of this situation was that my supervisor's replacement felt comfortable working with me, which helped her feel more confident in her role as well as helped me feel better about mine.
The system was not working as expected
S - I faced a difficult moment at work when I was a part of a team that was tasked with implementing a new system. This system was to be used by our client base, who were all very excited about it. However, we quickly discovered that the system was not working as expected and needed to be fixed.
T - My role in this situation was to monitor the progress of the team and make sure everyone knew what their duties were, as well as keep track of any issues that arose and make sure they were dealt with appropriately.
A - I carried out my task by ensuring that everyone knew what their role was within the team, and made sure they understood what they needed to do in order to accomplish those goals. I also made sure that any issues were quickly dealt with so that we could continue moving forward with our implementation plan.
R - This resulted in a successful implementation of this new system because it worked exactly as intended once it had been fixed. The client base loved it too!
We were responsible for creating an app
S - I was working as a project manager with a team of four developers. We were responsible for creating an app that would allow users to order pizza from their phones, so they could avoid waiting in line at the store.
T - The task was to come up with a solution that would allow users to place an order and pay online, but still get the same quality service as if they had ordered in person. We needed this solution by the end of the month, which meant we had one month to complete it.
A - I decided that we should break up into two teams: one team would work on creating the app itself, while another team would create a website where users could place their orders and pay online. This way, we could test out our product before it went live on both platforms, as well as make sure everything worked smoothly before it went live.
R - We ended up having some technical difficulties when trying to merge both platforms together into one cohesive product (this is why you shouldn't try and do everything yourself), but after about six weeks we finally managed to get everything working properly! The app was ready for launch right before our deadline.
We had to make a video for our new website
S - I was working in the marketing department when I found out that we had to make a video for our new website. The video was meant to be a promotional piece and therefore we needed it quickly so that we could start marketing it right away.
T - My task was to write the script for the video and create an outline for how it would be filmed.
A - I worked closely with my manager and we came up with an outline for the video. We decided on a scene-by-scene basis what would happen throughout the video and what kind of shots would be used at different moments. We then discussed which actors would be suitable for each role (we didn't want just anyone because we wanted a certain look and feel), how long each part should be (so that everything flowed smoothly), what props were needed (such as costumes) etc…
R - After about two weeks of planning, we had our script ready for filming! We planned everything out so well that filming went very smoothly and it only took us another week or so to finish editing everything together into one cohesive product!
My team was in charge of new product launch
S - I have had a few instances where I've dealt with difficult situations at work. In one case, my team was in charge of getting a new product out to market. It was a very important project that we had been working on for months, and it needed to be completed by the end of the year—but there were still some bugs in the product that needed to be worked out.
T - My boss came to me and asked if I could stay late to work on these bugs. He said it would only be for another week or so, but he was not sure how long it would take since this was the first time we were releasing this particular product. The task seemed impossible: how could we get it done in less than two weeks when we hadn't even finished testing everything yet?
A - I decided to meet with each person on the team individually, break down what they needed to do in order for us all to accomplish our individual tasks, then set up weekly meetings between us where we could check in with each other and make sure everyone knew what they were doing and if they needed help or extra training (which they did).
R - We ended up finishing everything just under the wire—and now whenever there's an important project due by deadline date, my boss knows he can count
The team had been tasked with creating a prototype
S - I was working with a team of five people on a project that involved the creation of a new product. The team had been tasked with creating a prototype that would help us understand how well our customers would use the product once it was released, but we were having trouble getting everyone to agree on how to build this prototype.
T - As the person responsible for leading the project, I needed to find a way to get everyone on the same page about what we were doing and why we were doing it. I decided that the best way to do this was by bringing everyone together for an informal meeting where we could discuss our plans for building the prototype and address any concerns or questions that people had about what they were expected to do.
A - I set up this meeting by sending out an email asking everyone who was involved in creating this prototype to attend so we could discuss what had been accomplished so far and what still needed to be done before we could begin testing our product with actual customers.
R - During this meeting, I explained what each member of my team was responsible for doing in order to create this prototype—which included designing aspects of it as well as writing code—and then asked them whether or not they felt comfortable with their current roles within this project's development process before moving ahead