Did you know that ‘stress coping’ is a muscle? Some people have it and some people don’t. If you don’t, it actually shows in how you handle stress and disappointment at workplace. You know that you are going to be faced with disappointment in any work environment, how you handle it shows a lot about your character. This is why the following behavioral interview question is often asked.
Behavioral Interview Question: Tell me about a particular work-related setback you have faced. How did you deal with it?
Negative behavioral interview questions can be tricky to answer. There are 3 key steps needed when answering negative behavioral questions. For this question in particular you need to show that yo can deal with disappointment and move on positively. When you share a disappointment you have experienced, make sure that you:
- Don’t just tell them you handled it well, show them how you did it.
- Avoid bragging or saying anything overly negative.
- Don’t accidentally make it sound like your incompetence brought on the disappointment.
- Try to avoid any disappointments related to money or promotions.
You can answer this question very effectively and still not give out too many details. Have a look at this sample answer:
“That’s an excellent question. I remember a while back I had this idea that I thought would save the company money and help us attract more clients. It was a personalized follow up email to some of our SalesForce leads, since our previous email wasn’t performing. It looked like it was a go, but the VP of sales vetoed it for an email they wrote.
I was disappointed, because I really thought I had a great idea and I’d seen evidence that it performed, but those decisions are not my call, and I was happy to give their new draft a go since we could always try my idea with future leads. It turned out the VP’s follow up email was successful, and that was great for the company so everything worked out in the end.”
Why is this good? Well, it implies you have good ideas. It doesn’t whine or say anything negative. It shows positivity and ambition, and it closes by showing you value the company’s success. You may not have any answer that is quite so thorough, but no matter what field you work in, there is usually something you can point to that was both disappointing but still shows your positive attitude and values. A good answer to this type of question will go a long way towards impressing an interviewer.