How to answer an Interview Question: "Describe a Challenge You Overcame"

First, we need to set the stage.

You might begin answering this interview question by explaining the context of the difficulty you overcame. Use vivid examples to help the recruiting manager see themselves in your shoes. Give the hiring manager permission to ask you questions so you can address any concerns they may have.

Here's one example: "When I worked at Barneby's Books before, we organized a book launch party that included a wide range of merchants and interested parties. It was the first time a business of ours had ever held such an event, and we were happy to play host. Describe a difficult situation that you were able to overcome.
To help you better frame your response to "Describe a hurdle you overcame," here are some examples:

presentation during a meting

Please explain the procedure in detail.

Next, please explain the nature of the difficult assignment, project, or job. Describe the difficulty of the work and the other people's contributions.

The book launch was scheduled for a Friday night, for instance. One of the food sellers called me on Wednesday night. Due to a problem with their supplier, they were unable to offer the food we required for the party. We picked this vendor's food since it fits with the book's theme (which all of the vendors were following).

 Describe the steps you took.

After explaining the challenge you faced, be sure to detail exactly what you did to complete the project or assignment.

I promptly contacted some other local caterers to see whether they could handle the menu items we required. Since I couldn't locate a single firm that could provide all the required things on such short notice, I sought out three companies to furnish each menu item that we were lacking for the book release. To make sure we could get the food and have enough, I arranged logistics with my coworkers.

Show the result.

Finally, elaborate on how you added value to your employer. The advantages to your team, your colleagues, and the firm as a whole are highlighted as appropriate. Don't forget to draw attention to any responses that were very helpful.

Customers at the book launch, for instance, raved about the cuisine. They loved how we included many restaurants rather than just one and how the book's concept was reflected throughout the menus.

A recent college graduate
A recent college grad who lacks relevant job experience provided the following response: Instead, they draw on their prior learning to respond.

My computer crashed as I was nearing the end of a long paper for a professor in my junior year. I was heartbroken since I had to rewrite my work from scratch the night before it was due. I performed some research online and didn't find anything that helped me get my files back.

After sending an email to my professor about the situation, I brought my laptop to the college IT office. The lucky on-duty tech was able to retrieve the data. I finished making changes and corrections to the paper in time for the deadline. My lecturer appreciated that I brought the problem to their attention, found a solution on my own, and turned in the work on time.


woman that is stressed having two men on both her sides
A lady having difficulty focusing

 Illustration: A Personal Test
Here's an instance when a teacher had difficulty with a pupil but found an answer on their own:

I had a kid in my previous classroom who was chronically tardy. They complained that they were often running late because their former instructor kept them in the room. Other students from the same class had come on time, so I knew that wasn't the problem.

Instead, I invited the kid to lunch and used the opportunity to probe into the underlying reason behind their tardiness. The kid admitted to me that they were often late because they loved to talk to their mother in the halls between courses. Together, we came up with a solution to the student's problem of how to stay in contact with their mother while still making it to class on time. The kid appreciated that we were able to meet in private rather than having to bring up their issues in front of the whole class.


Departmental Issue:

Here's how a marketer may rally the troops to fix a customer's issue:

"I was working on a rebranding project with a client a few years back. Our primary client contact departed the company while the project was still underway, and the customer brought in a replacement. The new point of contact had other ideas for where to take the rebranding, which may mean a lot of additional work for my team.

We arranged a meeting with the customer to present the findings of our preliminary investigation at the first point of contact. We successfully argued for the maintenance of the existing rebranding plan. The rebranding was a huge success, and our customer and their organization experienced a significant boost in revenue as a result of our efforts.



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