Tell Me About a Time You Had to Give Someone Difficult Feedback

Tell Me About a Time You Had to Give Someone Difficult Feedback

First, it’s important to know whether you will be asked this question in your interview.

If you are applying for an entry-level role, let me save you some time and recommend that you move on to another question. It is one of the 16 Most Common Interview Questions And Answers.

However, if you are interviewing for a position that will require you to supervise or manage others, you are almost guaranteed to be asked about a time where you had to give someone difficult feedback.

Why you are being asked how you handle negative feedback

Unfortunately, managing or supervising others often call for difficult conversations. So, if you are uncomfortable with approaching others in these situations, you probably wouldn’t make a great manager. Your interviewer wants to determine your management skills. Are you awkward? Or do you have the abilities to address issues and motivate others during difficult times?

How to answer this question

Focus on your distinct personality traits that make you a great people person. Managers, at least good managers are great with other people. They are well liked, honest, trustworthy, and most importantly, they have the ability to lead in difficult situations. Make sure you emphasize these traits when providing your example. Here are some techniques that a great manager would practice during this situation.

Prepare

Showing your interviewer that you prepared a strategy before you offered the negative feedback is a great way to show that you care. Not only does it show that you care, it shows you are not an impulsive manager. Lack of preparation in a situation like this could be devastating for yourself, and the person you are offering feedback too.

Stay Constructive! 

Although you are having to give someone difficult feedback, make sure to stay positive. Negative feedback is hard enough to hear, make it a little easier by starting the conversation with something good the employee is doing. Many people teach the sandwich approach.Start with positive, then proceed to the negative feedback, then end with something positive. The positive is the bread, and the negative is the meat/cheese.

Be Specific

One of the worst things that you could do during your interview is give vague responses. Feel free to provide specifics wherever possible. You should tell the whole story, so the employer knows the situations leading up to your negative feedback, as well as the positive outcome that resulted from your feedback.

Act Comfortable

I cannot tell you how many people get awkward in these sorts of situations. Even if you are a little awkward with the actual negative feedback, DO NOT make it seem that way in the interview. The hiring manager is going to want to know that you are extremely comfortable in these sorts of situations. Someone who second guesses their judgment and feedback will not make for a great leader. Be firm with your feedback, but remember to keep it constructive.

You got this!

Don’t worry, this question is a walk in the park! You are going to do just fine. If you only remember one sentence from this article, remember to Prepare, Stay Constructive, Be Specific, and Act Comfortable.

For more interviewing tips, make sure to check out the 50 Top Job Interview Questions And Answers

If you would like some expert advice on interviewing, resumes, LinkedIn, and job searching, check out Find My Profession today!

  • Career Skills and Lessons Crucial for Long-Term Success

    Career Skills and Lessons Crucial for Long-Term Success

    This quote comes to mind whenever writing about career skills and career lessons learned too late in life: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." - Maya Angelou. The reality of every career is that, at some point, we take a stand for what we believe, defying the advice given by others.

    Find My Profession by The FMP Contributor
    Read On
  • This Weekly Activity Will Give Your Job Search a Boost

    This Weekly Activity Will Give Your Job Search a Boost

    Looking for a new job can be one of the most stressful experiences in life. It's made even more stressful when you do not have a job. It's also hard to tell what you have accomplished throughout the week when you are still unemployed as the weekend rolls around. Here are some tips on a weekly activity that will give your job search a boost.

    Find My Profession by The FMP Contributor
    Read On
  • How to Tell You are Doing Great at Your Job

    How to Tell You are Doing Great at Your Job

    Is it more common for your job mention areas of improvement more than tell you, “Great job!”? Yet, as you work you often want to know if the direction you are moving in is on the right track. After all, if you are on the wrong track, your boss will point it out. So, how can you tell if you are doing great at your job when no one says so?

    Find My Profession by The FMP Contributor
    Read On
See All Articles