When interviewing for a new job, we can often be asked to speak on difficult topics such as reasons for leaving a previous position or challenging situations that we faced in previous roles. When answering these questions it is essential to keep the tone of the conversation positive and to focus on our accomplishments in light of what may have been a trying situation . For example, if you left a previous job due to a toxic work environment, you could approach this topic by explaining what you learned from the situation. Choose to focus on what you gained such as the importance of having a customer service mindset when dealing with difficult personalities and how to diffuse escalated situations. From here be sure to remain goal oriented, mentioning what you are now seeking such as a positive work culture with mentors who can stimulate your professional growth.

Situational questions such as, “Tell me about a time when you had to deal with an upset customer?” can be another opportunity to demonstrate your ability to persevere in stressful circumstances in the workplace. The important takeaway in each of these situations is that you were able to take a daunting situation and turn it into an opportunity to grow your professional skills. Reflection on past jobs and preparation prior to an interview can help you feel confident when facing these topics.

Answering these questions successfully and in a positive light can set you apart from the competition. It will show that you are a team player with a great attitude who is not afraid to face difficult situations head on. It will also demonstrate that you are a problem solver who makes the most out of every opportunity.

Best of luck in your job search!