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12 How Did You Overcome One of Your Greatest Challenges?

Employers will ask you about the obstacles you overcame or your biggest challenge to make sure you can cope with them. This way, if you tell them about when you completed a task, they will feel it is less risky to hire you.

Possible answers for “How did you overcome one of your greatest challenges?”:

“One of the biggest problems at work that I have overcome happened at my last job. Two team members were fired, and I was left with a workload of three people. I fell behind and knew I couldn’t keep up in the long run, so I turned to my manager for help. We found a solution that involved hiring, getting temporary help from another team, and streamlining our team’s processes to make it more efficient.”

Tips for answering the question “How did you overcome one of your greatest challenges?”:

  • Focus on giving details of a concrete problem you faced in a working environment.
  • After briefly describing the challenge, explain exactly how you used your logical skills and creative thinking to ensure a positive outcome.
  • Focus on actions, not emotions. Talk more about the specific steps you have taken.
  • An HR-specialist is interested in how you made decisions, what rules you followed and what priorities you set.

What mistakes should not be made when answering the question “How did you overcome one of your greatest challenges?”:

  • Giving nebulous or vague replies.
  • Telling about a serious mistake that directly affected your work.

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