How to Answer "How Do You Feel About Taking No For an Answer?"

How to Answer "How do You Feel About Taking No For an Answer?" iStock

How do you prepare for a job interview? One way that you can prepare for the interview is to research various types of questions that a hiring manager would ask. This article will address how you should answer the question how do you feel about taking no for an answer. It is a behavioral type question that can provide important information to the hiring manager during the candidate interview process.

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1. Why This Question is Asked

Hiring managers need to wade through the variety of different candidates that apply for positions. These questions give the hiring manager insight into the job prospect’s possible workplace behavior. The hiring manager can differentiate between the various similarly qualified candidates by the responses they receive during the interviews.

This specific question—how you would feel about taking no for an answer—will give the hiring manager insight into your compatibility with their management. Additionally, candidates will be “weighed” to ascertain their compatibility level with the specific job tasks they would be asked to complete. For example, if you cannot take no very well, that can become a problem in the prospective employment position. You can then become a negative liability to the productivity of the workplace.

2. How to Respond to This Question

When you are preparing to respond to this question, you need to consider why the hiring manager is asking it and how to demonstrate your behavior in the best light. There are several factors to consider when crafting the most effective response.

  • Evaluate – The first step in the response-crafting process is to evaluate specifically how you actually would respond if you received a no in the workplace. For example, if you wanted to work on a new project and were rejected from the team, would you react in a negative manner and exhibit bad behavior? If you brainstormed a new idea for your department, which was consequently rejected by your manager, how would you react? When you can ascertain your specific behavior level (whether positive or negative), you will be better able to craft the most effective response.
  • Crafting – Once you know how you would actually react under such circumstances in the workplace, you then need to craft the perfect response. The factor that makes the response perfect is that you need to demonstrate how well you would behave in the workplace when receiving a no. For example, your response should show that you would behave in a professional manner and strive to maintain workplace productivity at all times.
  • Proving – During the crafting process, you will need to create an example that basically proves your viability as an effective candidate for the job. For example, you need to demonstrate that you are able to professionally handle receiving a no by describing an incident. This incident should be something that you experienced in the workplace and shows that you were able to effectively handle the rejection and turn the situation into a positive circumstance for you at work.

3. Sample Responses to Give

Concerning the sincerity of your response, you need to provide convincing examples of how well you handled the situation. You can utilize some of the following examples and adjust them to your specific workplace experience.

  • I learned how to turn a negative situation into a positive one when I received a no with regard to seeking inclusion on a team project. I asked the project manager to give me suggestions on how to improve in order to get accepted on the next team assignment.
  • I was told that I could not take a personal day on the date that I had requested because another colleague in my department had already secured that day off. I created a positive situation out of the negative by accepting the decision and requesting to schedule another personal day.

Remember to provide examples that show a definite no that you received and a positive way in which you handled the situation. Keep your tone positive while explaining the situation.

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It is important to properly prepare for all types of interview situations. Have you ever had to handle a situation at work when you received a no? How did you turn the situation from a negative into a positive?