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How to Answer What Do You Do If You Disagree with Someone at Work

Posted by Tarik | Jan 26, 2021

At some point in an interview, you will be asked the tough question about the time when you disagreed with your co-worker.

Everyone has had their disagreements with a co-worker at least on one occasion.

It would be unnatural if you didn't.

The interviewer is not going to be judging you based on the conflict, but this question is aimed to determine whether you are a team player who is flexible enough to handle conflict amicably.

Handling conflict is an everyday thing. Most jobs require us to work in diverse workplaces, interacting with different personalities. Their perspectives may not always align with your opinion, and this may lead to a disagreement.

An employer wants to assess how you handled this situation, so it is best, to be honest about it.

Not everyone is good at conflict resolution, and if you are one of them, be straightforward about it. Tell that you don't manage conflict too well, but you are improving.

To get a better understanding of conflict resolution, the interviewer will throw in the question of asking you to describe a situation where you had a conflict at work and how you handled it.

The question is tricky, but it provides you with an excellent opportunity to bring out your strong suit. You can take a conflict in the past and then describe your experience of how you responded.

When you bring an example out of your past experiences, it is always helpful to use the STAR method.

The STAR method components: Situation, Task, Action, and Results, breaks down your answer into much more relatable parts, making the interviewer get a wholesome idea of what you want to convey through your example.

Here is an example workplace conflict situation described in the STAR Method.


One of my team members in my previous place of employment challenged every solution I presented. He interrupted to talk over me when I used to voice my concerns and often ignored listening to the rest of the team.

It challenged my patience, but I held it together and developed an amicable solution since it ended up affecting my work.


At least 9 out of 10 solutions presented at team meetings were challenged by him, and we often got into heated discussions. I made a move to reconcile the conflict and progress in our work to better the both of us.


To resolve this conflict, I knew that I could not change or control his behavior. The friction between the two of us affected our work, with our heated disagreements halting the meeting flow.

Therefore, I adjusted my communication styles to increase empathy and build a lot more patience when dealing with this situation. This way, no constant disagreements were popping out.


As a result of this, I was less stressed when working with the team, which allowed me to build a better polite work relationship with the person I often had run-ins.

I took the high road and adjusted my behavior. My behavior change helped improving efficiency for both of us, and we didn't come in the way of inconveniencing other people's work.

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