This one shouldn’t be too difficult to answer, I am sure we have all dealt with our fair share of difficult situations!
This is not the time to bring up personal situations, whilst they might have been difficult and you handled yourself incredibly well – this is about business. How can you handle a client screaming at you? How can you handle making a big mistake? How can you handle having to fire someone? How can you handle difficult situations – and does the way you handle them fit in with how they want you to!
You don’t want to highlight that you are not able to deal with an uncomfortable task or discussion as it could lose you the job opportunity. It’s possible for everyone to handle difficult situations so no stressing if you find it challenging!
Take some time to think what the most challenging thing you experienced has been. For me? It would certainly be having to terminate someone’s employment. OMG it is legit the WORST thing in the entire world for me to experience. I wish everyone could have a job, be paid well & never have to do any difficult work. Unfortunately that isn’t the case, we have to work hard. If we slack off, the company suffers and the client suffers, the rest of the team picks up the slack. Ultimately, after going through the ropes of trying to help someone and get them to where they need to be and they still don’t perform where you need them to it leads to terminating their employment. If they don’t care about the job, clients, staff and their future it certainly makes it easier because they just aren’t invested. It’s when they are invested, but still don’t perform where they need to. It truly breaks my heart.
The most difficult situation I have ever faced was when I had to terminate this lovely girl’s employment. She had potential & I thought of just how well she could do with our clients. I used to conduct the training myself at this point – I spent a lot of time going through the ropes, example files, training exercises, the whole kit. It usually took about 2 weeks for training, but 6 weeks in to her employment I was still finding many mistakes and still running training exercises to help her get on top of it all. It became apparent the work load, although not heavy, was becoming too overwhelming for her. I truly saw potential in her so I persevered and gave her a performance plan for improvement. 3 months later after regular training, performance reviews and ongoing discussions it still wasn’t getting any better. It was time to move her on so the clients & business stopped suffering & I could get the right employee who could handle the job.
We sat down at her final warning meeting where we would discuss her termination. There was confusion, tears, she didn’t understand what was happening. We couldn’t see how that was possible given all the training, meetings and performance reviews. It was clear, but right at this point in time it was a mess for this poor girl. It was horrible, she truly cared and wanted to be there but it just wasn’t working. In the end we talked it out, I helped her get her belongings and say goodbye to the staff she had become friends with. I walked her to her car and we said goodbye.
That was my difficult situation, because she cared so much about the job. I have been through a few terminations, but none quite like this one.
Explain your situation, even how you handled it. Show your compassion, your strength, your quick thinking and your intelligence. They don’t want to hear that you can’t handle it, or that you handled it poorly – so keep any negative parts out of the story. No anger, no lashing out, no walking away from the situation, no ignorance.
Show them how you shine through in any situation lovelies!