Describe a time when you were faced with a difficult situation and how you handled it?


3 Answers

Danae Hitch Profile
Danae Hitch answered

This sounds like a question on a job application or one you've encountered during a job interview.

They need to know how you handle a difficult situation. Do you lose your cool and yell at the customer? If you work in a restaurant and the customer complains about their meal, what do you do? If you're selling clothes and the customer wants you to discount the price even more than it's already discounted, what do you do?

I'll give you an easy example. I live in a big city (about 750,000 people). I went to visit my aunt and uncle in a very small town (about 15,000 population).

My aunt had a photograph that I wanted a copy of. I went to Walgreens to make a copy. An old married couple were having a wonderful time monopolizing the two machines that could copy photos. They had over 200 copies to make. I went to the guy in charge of the camera area and explained the problem. Asked if he knew of anyone else in town that could make a copy of this photo. He thought for a moment, then told me that if I left the photo with him, he would make the copies and call me when they were done.

Instead of directing me to another place to go, he offered to make the copies himself and call me on my cell phone when he was finished. It took only 30 minutes for him to do this for me. I asked to talk to his manager so they would know how helpful he was for me.

This is thinking outside the box, helping the customer and helping your business succeed all at the same time. That's what they are looking for.

Ray Dart Profile
Ray Dart answered

I was out in the jungle in South Africa with my mother-in-law, we'd become isolated and I saw her standing just a few yards away from a lion, ready to pounce. What a dilemma.

Anyway, I had to let things take their course. Fortunately the lion was able to escape without too much in the way of injury.

Linilla Schmidt Profile
Linilla Schmidt answered

A senior at a private (Christian) college I had inadvertently witnessed two situations that could have gotten two professors fired, but I opted to keep silent & not judge them: 
one:  Late one evening I was roaming the art department halls  and I saw my otherwise happily married art instructor /advisor being way too intimate with another student.
His own  grown daughter, a freshman at the college, was my assigned "Little sister" in a social program we had. I had to meet with her several times during her freshman year but said nothing to her about what I saw. Ever.

The affair blew over and no else one apparently ever took notice.

two: My college boyfriend's history professor /advisor sat next to him on a long bus ride on a male chorus tour and a couple times, while feigning sleep, the professor made passes at him under a blanket. My boyfriend was really put off by this, but neither of us said anything or he'd have probably been fired. This was in the late 1960s. The professor had a Downs syndrome 6 yr old daughter and everybody felt sorry for him to begin with / worshipped him,

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