Will You Get Along With Others?

1. Describe your previous supervisor. Describe your ideal supervisor.

What the employer really wants to know:

Employer will want to see if you will criticize the former supervisor, and will also be looking for a match between your ideal supervisor and the actual supervisor in this job.

What you want to do:

Select something sincere to praise about the former supervisor.

“One of the things I appreciated about my last supervisor was his high standards for the quality of work that we did. This is important to me.”

Next, describe an ideal that is not unrealistic and that is focused on your performance.

“My ideal supervisor would be one who takes the time to communicate to me clearly about expectations and how I am doing, and give me a chance to improve my performance on a regular basis.”

2. If I asked your former co-workers to describe you, what would they say?

What the employer really wants to know:

The employer will be reading your body language to see if you are comfortable with the question and will want to be reassured that you can get along with others.

What you want to do:

Phrase your answer as a report of what your co-workers actually said.

“My co-workers used to tell me…”

You give a specific example that shows you are a team player.

“…that they appreciated how I was so willing to help others whenever I finished my own work.”

3. Describe a situation where you had a conflict with a co-worker and tell me how you handled it.

What the employer really wants to know:

The employer probably wants you to give an example, and not to say that you never had a conflict with a co-worker. They will be evaluating whether the way you handled the conflict is the way they would want you to handle it in this job.

What you want to do:

Make a brief opening statement that you don’t often have conflicts on the job.

“I seldom have conflicts with co-workers because I think it is important to get along with people on the job.”

Then, describe briefly a specific example, including what you did…

“There was one time I had a conflict with a co-worker who was on the shift following mine. She was regularly late, causing me to have to stay past my scheduled time. First I told her I would appreciate it if she would arrive on time and told her how it affected my commitments when I had to change my schedule to wait for her. When that didn’t work, I suggested to her that she and I go together to the supervisor to get help in resolving the conflict.”

…and what resulted.

“That worked, and she did start arriving on time. If she hadn’t, then I would have gone to the supervisor on my own, but I prefer to try to work things out with the other person before involving the supervisor.”