How to answer "How did you solve a conflict?"

behavioral interviews
New answer on Oct 31, 2021
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Oct 12, 2021

How to answer "How did you solve a conflict?"

I didn't recall any major conflict at work.

Moreover, is it possible to just make up some scenarios when you don't have one story that fits?

It is so hard to have examples for so many behaviral interview questions.

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 13, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Please don't make up a scenario! If you get pressed with follow-up questions they'll know you're lying.

Here's a tip: Your conflict doens't have to be work related! It could be at school, it could be for a side-venture, etc. 

Additionally, the “conflict” doesn't have to be someone yelling at you like in a Spanish Soap Opera! At some point in your life, I'm sure someone has been upset, or obstinate, or slacking, or anything in between - think through your life and grab one of these examples!

 

These Q&As/examples should help inspire you for ideas!

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/managing-conflict-7148

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/mckinsey-pei-what-does-conflict-in-a-team-mean-8194

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/advice-on-fit-questions-dealing-with-conflict-11393

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/mckinsey-pei-team-conflict-7122

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Cristian
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replied on Oct 13, 2021
#1 rated and most recommended McKinsey Coach | 97% success rate (tracked) | Honest feedback: no sugar-coating

Hi there, 

For sure don't come up with an example that's not real. Interviewers sniff that faster than you'd think. Do try to spend some more time and think of your previous experience. The example doesn't only have to come from your professional experience. It could be from when you were in university, at your sports club or even from your personal life. I kind of doubt you never came across a conflict in your life and took an active role in handling it. 

Let me know if you need help on this one. With candidates who struggle with this point I try to create a matrix of examples and question types and dig for the right sort of examples in their CV. It's a structure that's easy to follow and helps them loads during the interviews. 

Good luck!

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Pedro
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replied on Oct 12, 2021
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Market Sizing | Former Head Recruiter

My suggestion is that you try to read some examples of answers to that question, or talk with other people you know that have prepared for interviews.

Experienced coaches should also be able to provide several examples of answers to that question.

In my experience if you hear enough answers at some point you will realize that you went through a similar situation ;)

Hope this helps,
Pedro

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Antonello
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replied on Oct 12, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi!

It is important that your story is relevant, structured, and well-communicated. You should also focus on your impact in that specific scenario.

Interviewers will dig deep into your story, so I don't recommend making up situations that have never happened.

As per your specific story, feel free to send me a message with a draft and I'll do a quick review.

Best,

Anto

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Marco-Alexander
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replied on Oct 31, 2021
Former BCG | Case author for efellows book | Experience in 6 consultancies (Stern Stewart, Capgemini, KPMG, VW Con., Hor

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Agrim
CoachingPlus Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 16, 2021
BCG Dubai Project Leader | I will transform your thinking about Consulting Interviews
  • It is not advised to fabricate stories. Try to stay true to yourself as much as possible.
  • It is also unwise to fabricate stories. Interviewers can sense if a story is fabricated and once they start splitting hairs and get into detailed questions - fabricated stories can fall apart.
  • Conflict does not need to have happened necessarily at work. It could be during a college project, a volunteer activity, a personal conflict etc.
  • Conflict does not need to be people shouting, fist-fighting etc. Conflict can be born out of a difference of opinions, differences in cultures, difference in objectives, difference in incentives.
  • If you think deep enough - you must definitely have faced some conflicts in life. If you ‘feel’ that you have never had a conflict - its probably because you have inherently good conflict resolution skills that pick-up before you even realise it. Happy to help you out with framing the right story here.
  • Typically you should have 5-6 stories that cover a broad range of scenarios. This way you don't end up with super-specialised tales and can also mould them into adjacent questions during the interview.
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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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