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What do you do when you disagree with others?

 

Disciplines > Job-finding > Interview questions > What do you do when you disagree with others?

The question | What they are looking for | How to answer | See also

 

The question

What do you do when you disagree with others?

What happens when you fall out with your colleagues?

Tell me about a time when you disagreed strongly with someone.

What they are looking for

This is a question designed to find out how you handle situations of conflict and general disagreement with other people.

The interviewer will first look for whether the disagreement is controlled or acrimonious. They will also note whether you fight, give in or seek proactive resolution.

How easily you disagree is also important. Whilst it is important to stand up for your ideas, it is also important to

The time taken to identify

How to answer

Pause to think of an example, as if you do not disagree that often. Do not say 'oh, that's easy' and dive into a description of your favorite wars.

Mmm. Other than when people disagree with me, I fall out most when people are preventing me from doing my job, for no clear reason.

Show that you are considered and rational and seek to manage the situation avoid destructive confrontation whilst also not conceding just to keep the peace.

I do try to find out why this is, and usually it is something like conflicting objectives, which can be addressed. When we cannot sort it out ourselves, I seek help elsewhere, for example from HR or my manager, although this happens very rarely.

See also

Emotions

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