Conflict Management

Use conflict management questions to figure out how candidates deal with workplace issues and complaints.

Why you conflict management skills are key

Candidates with great conflict management skills are pros at dealing with arguments, complaints and differences of opinion. Conflict management superstars make every team sparkle ✨ because they can:

  • Resolve team issues quickly
  • Handle customer complaints 
  • Connect easily with team mates
  • Deal with objections like a pro

Conflict management interview questions

  • Describe a time you disagreed with your coworker’s project idea. How did you show you didn’t approve and what happened?
  • How would you deal with negative feedback on the way you approached a problem?
  • How do you deal with disagreements in your team?
  • How do you deal with angry customers?
  • Have you ever had a disagreeable team member? How did you manage them?
  • How would you mediate between two team members who didn’t get on? 
  • What would you do if you had a conflict of interest during a cross-departmental project? 
  • How would you approach an aggressive or arrogant team member?
  • How would you cope if you were accused publicly of doing something wrong?

Candidates to look for

  • Calm candidates: Look for candidates who stay calm even when you ask tough questions. These are the ones who think conflicts through before confronting anyone.
  • High empathy: These people have the magic touch when it comes to keeping coworkers calm.
  • Great communicators: Candidates with A++ conflict management skills should be able to confidently express themselves. 
  • Great team players: How have they collaborated with their previous colleagues to make decisions? Do they feel comfortable asking for help? 
  • They’re ace at role play: Add role-play to your interview process to test candidates’ abilities to resolve issues.
  • They’re super chilled: Look for candidates who don’t take things personally and understand the importance of being patient.

Things to avoid

  • They focus on the small stuff: If they turn each disagreement into a conflict, they’re gonna struggle listening to different opinions.
  • They cause conflicts: You’re looking for someone who solves conflicts, not starts them. Avoid argumentative, highly-opinionated people. 
  • They look uncomfortable: Check in on their body language for some extra clues on their stress levels. If they get stressed out just talking about this stuff, they ain’t gonna cut it in the real world. 
  • Quick, generic answers: If a candidate can’t describe specific situations, they’re probably trying to avoid answering the question.
  • Unprofessional or impolite: Avoid candidates you think might not be the most empathetic future hires.
  • They avoid conflicts altogether: You need a balanced candidate. If they can’t approach conflict at all, nothing’s gonna get resolved. 

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