Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
INTERVIEWS / DEC. 14, 2014
version 5, draft 5

How To Answer: What Is The Most Difficult Decision You’ve Made and How You Came to That Decision?

Workplaces are challenging environments, and you’ll often be confronted with difficult tasks and decisions. In a job interview, behavioral questions pertaining to decision-making may come up to gauge your competence and your capability to resolve such situations when they arise.

See Also: How to Answer ’What is the Biggest Mistake You Have Made in Your Career’

Give concrete examples

Talk about difficult situations you’ve had to confront at the workplace. Before the interview, refresh your memory to best place events and actions while using them to frame your responses. Consider special situations where you’ve been challenged and use these as a narrative through which your interviewer can see how you overcame them. This not only contextualizes your responses, it reveals positive traits that your interviewer can attribute to your personality.

Keep your answers positive

Being positive about all the challenges you come across makes you open-minded, a trait that your interviewer will take a good note of. Discuss how you look at the bigger picture by taking into account the things that may be affected by any decision you make. Also talk about how you make decisions that try to limit losses or maximize gains by considering possibilities and outcomes. This shows that you do not make unfounded assumptions. Your interviewer will also be able to see that you are holistic in your approach.

Show that you’re not emotional

One of the things your interviewer would like to assess is your emotional investment in a decision. While your initial response is emotional, perhaps in the form of anger, anxiety or excitement, demonstrate that your consideration of a decision comes from a sober perspective. For instance, you may be upset that you make a close friend redundant, but you could talk about how you have to put the company’s interests first and carry out your duties. Your professionalism will be taken note of.

Do not show uncertainty or inconsistency

The most important thing you need to illustrate is that you are a decisive person. While there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers, your interviewer is interested to know how firm you are in any resolution you make, even when they are tough or unpopular. Always maintain calmness and confidence in your response. If uncertain about what to say, do not use fillers such as ‘um’ or ‘uh’. Instead, you could take a moment to be silent and consider the question and make notes. This way, your interviewer sees that you are thoughtful and critical.

Take integrated advice

In any work environment, tasks are carried out together with various other individuals. Demonstrate that you are inclusive of everyone’s opinion when faced with a particularly difficult task that requires input from different quarters, even if you are the one in charge of the situation. Your interviewer will note that you are considerate in decision-making.

See Also: How to Answer ’What are Your Hobbies?’

Always contextualize your responses within the working environment so that your interviewer can see how well you apply yourself to the job at hand. This will also make you a relatable and memorable interviewee as you’ll have put in a bit of your personality.

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