adversity interview question: “Tell Me About a Time Your Faced Adversity.”


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    If you’ve ever been interviewed for a job, you know that it can be stressful. Interviewers come up with all sorts of questions to make sure they get a good read on you as a candidate. They’ll ask you about your strengths and weaknesses, your skills, and even share personal details about yourself. But sometimes an interviewer will throw an adversity interview question at you–a question designed to see how well you handle adversity or difficult situations. Let’s explore what these questions are and how best to answer them!

    What is an adversity interview question?

    An adversity interview question is a situational question that asks you to describe a specific event where you faced adversity. The interviewer wants to know how you handled the situation and overcame the adversity.

    Why are you asking me this?

    You’re being asked this question because you are applying for a job that is difficult, and the interviewer wants to see how you handle adversity. The interviewer wants to see if you can think on your feet and come up with an answer quickly.

    How do I answer the adversity interview question?

    When you’re asked this question, you want to start by telling a story about a time when you faced adversity. You can use the STAR method:

    • Situation: Describe what happened and where it took place. Was there anything unusual about this situation? What were the circumstances surrounding it?
    • Task: Explain what it was that required your attention or action at this time (and then go on to explain how well and quickly you performed).
    • Results: How did things turn out for both yourself and others involved in your efforts? Did any unexpected benefits come from these efforts as well? Were there any negative consequences as well–and if so, what did those look like?

    What if they ask me to describe two or three times?

    The interviewer may ask you to describe two or three times, so be prepared.

    • If your interviewer asks for two examples, it’s best to choose one from each category: a time when you had to improvise and be creative, one where you dealt with a difficult person or situation, and another project that was especially challenging.
    • If they ask for three examples (or more), use the first two as described above but then pick one more example from any other category that shows off your skills.

    Do I have to share personal details in my adversity story?

    You don’t have to share personal details. You can share a story about a time when you overcame adversity, or a time when you were faced with adversity and succeeded in overcoming it. You might also choose to share how you overcame adversity in your life, even if the situation wasn’t necessarily related to work or school.

    For example: “I was recently fired from my job at XYZ Company because my boss didn’t like me.” Or: “When I was 17 years old, my mother died unexpectedly from cancer.”

    You can answer this question by talking about a time when you had to improvise and be creative.

    You can answer this question by talking about a time when you had to be creative and improvise.

    For example, let’s say that your team was working on a project and they hit an obstacle that prevented them from completing it. You could talk about how you worked with your team members to come up with different solutions until one was found that worked for everyone involved.

    If you’re looking for a job and have been asked this question, try to think of a time when you faced adversity. It can be difficult, but it’s worth it! You don’t need to share personal details if they aren’t relevant or helpful to your story. Just be sure that whatever example you choose shows how resilient and resourceful you are when faced with difficulty.

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