Job Interview Question & Answer: What Was the Most Difficult Period in Your Life and How Did You Deal with It?

Showing Interviewers You Can Handle Challenging Situations

When interviewers ask questions such as, “What was the most difficult period in your life and how did you deal with it?” the aim often remains to determine if candidates possess experience dealing with personal and professional adversity. Employers need to know workers stand capable of persevering through challenging situations and circumstances which may arise on the job. Employees in all professions regularly must balance job duties with stress factors in personal lives. In general, replies should center on successes and triumphs. Focus answers on results achieved despite hardships rather than emphasizing the difficulties of what occurred.

Keep Responses Relevant and Current
Avoid falling into the trap of rambling or revealing too much difficulty adjusting to new circumstances. Employers often ask questions about life difficulties to find out if applicants may prove able to overcome similarly related obstacles as employees. To best use the opportunity to show fit for positions, answer with brief anecdotes related to the industry at hand, if possible. Responses should also generally fall within a reasonably recent timeframe. Job seekers typically refrain from giving answers related to work events of several years prior.

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