Interview Question: "How Did You Manage a Problem Employee?"

Businesswomen are meeting and interviewing in the company office

If you're a candidate making use of for a manager role and you are asked to explain how you managed a trouble employee, you may want to demonstrate which you are capable of control all types of humans.

Anyone can manipulate a self-inspired, a success worker, however managers who convey out the exceptional in struggling workers are highly valued for his or her ability to create extra productiveness for his or her organisation.

What the Interviewer Really Wants to Know

Your interviewer wants to see your control style and get a feel for a way you cope with difficult interpersonal situations. This question additionally famous what you outline as complicated conduct.

Ideally, you will share an example wherein the worker shows a turnaround.

Discussing situations in which the end result changed into the worker's termination does now not necessarily placed your talents on display.

However, if you did have to terminate an employee, it is clever to run via the method and give an explanation for the way you (and the Human Resources department) decided that termination changed into the satisfactory course of movement. 

How to Answer "How Did You Manage a Problem Employee?"

When answering this type of query, purpose to offer a selected instance that emphasizes how your control fashion helped improve an employee's overall performance. Be organized to give an explanation for how you decided to address the problem the way you did.

In your reaction, display the steps you took and the way you approached the situation. Also, share the quit end result and why it turned into a hit. This will help interviewers get a experience of your control style.

Examples of the Best Answers

Review examples of the first-class solutions for interview questions on managing difficult personnel.

At my previous job, I had an worker who turned into constantly past due whilst competing duties, which bogged down the complete department. I spoke to her in personal and gave her a warning, such as a cut-off date for improvement. When I noticed no development, I spoke to Jane again and allow her realize that I could be reporting her to Human Resources. I additionally gave her every other deadline for improvement. This became the worker’s very last cut-off date. Happily, after a three-week duration, she changed into completing her duties in a timely fashion. Not handiest turned into the problem solved, but her accelerated productivity helped the branch whole initiatives beforehand of time table.

Why It Works: This reaction suggests how the candidate turned into able to efficiently ramp up the strain, making it clear to the worker that some of her behavior changed into unsuccessful. This solution additionally makes it clear that the candidate is inclined to take serious steps—and contain different departments—as vital.

A yr ago, I had an worker who struggled with the customer service aspect of his process. He constantly obtained low marks from customers for his incapability to listen empathetically to their concerns. I had a one-on-one communique with the employee in which he and I seemed over his purchaser opinions. By searching at his poor evaluations, the worker changed into capable of discover the problem on his very own. I required him to attend a customer service re-schooling workshop, and I furnished one-on-one feedback on his customer support requires a week. After the communique, retraining, and personal comments, his customer assessment scores advanced significantly. He is now receiving normal excessive marks on his purchaser feedback forms.

Why It Works: This solution factors to a actual success story: The turnaround is tremendous and very positive. The reaction additionally shows the candidate's style. Rather than yelling or shaming the employee, the candidate helped them see the problem on their own.

I changed into the supervisor of an after-faculty program for K-12 children, and I had a new worker who struggled from her first day. Her co-teachers stated that she had low strength within the lecture room, and she seemed unhappy to be there. I sat down together with her and our Human Resources consultant. We had a communication approximately how her first couple of weeks had been, and she or he explained that she was struggling to interact with her class of older students. After a protracted verbal exchange, we found out that she was much greater interested in working with our more youthful college students. We shifted her to a role running in the after-college magnificence for kindergarten students, and she flourished. She acquired pinnacle marks from her students and co-instructors.

Why It Works: Some managers would have long past straight to a warning, however this candidate suggests a willingness to engage with employees and definitely apprehend their motivations. Showing a control style is part of an excellent reaction, as is having a effective outcome.

Tips for Giving the Best Answer

Prepare earlier. Prepare for this form of question via reflecting on a number of your maximum hard subordinates. Take the time to put in writing your mind on paper. Identify two or 3 instances in that you handled a problem worker. Reflect on what the hassle become, how you labored to remedy the issue, and what the result was.

Use the STAR interview response method. During the interview, use the STAR approach to reply the question. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result. In your response, first describe the scenario you were in and what you needed to do to respond to it. (For example, an employee become chronically late and also you needed to get them to enhance their conduct.) Then, describe the action you took. (For instance, giving the worker a proper warning and looping in HR.) Finally, give an explanation for the outcome.

The STAR approach will assist you offer enough element and data for the interviewer, and it will help you spotlight your function in assisting the worker obtain achievement.

Be unique. Be targeted when explaining how you handled a trouble employee. For instance, you would possibly describe a state of affairs in which you needed to have a couple of conversations with an employee and saw incremental improvement in their performance. You must in brief explain all of those steps. This form of specificity will assist the interviewer recognize the situation and see the stairs you took to clear up the hassle.

Remain advantageous. Do not be insulting or poor whilst describing the employee. This will make you appear as in case you appearance down to your personnel or aren't empathetic or affected person. One way to keep away from sounding poor is to consciousness at the employee’s conduct instead of the employee himself. Also, make certain to emphasise how you worked to solve the hassle with the employee, with a view to make your solution extra nice.

It’s okay to mention an unmanageable worker. If you have got any beyond experience with difficult personnel who did now not reply undoubtedly on your suggestions, describe how you outlined a reasonable plan for development, after which share the way you dealt with their continued noncompliance. Typically, this involves collaborating with Human Resources and organising a performance plan with a chain of warnings if the worker does not improve. Remember, no longer each person is adaptable to alternate.

Highlight your creative thinking. You may describe a time while you coached an worker towards a shift to a task more suitable to their heritage, talent set, or character. Managers who employ this strategy can frequently save their company from the financially and administratively taxing method involved with a firing. It's no longer your job to be a psychologist, however as a supervisor, you're within the position of getting to address extraordinary personalities. If you are able to address the hassle head-on and take movement that demonstrates exchange, you may be reputable for choosing not to comb the problem underneath the rug.

What Not to Say

Don't horrific-mouth the employee. Don't get personal or complain about the trouble worker (or behavior). Instead, truly and professionally establish the trouble.

Stay away from indistinct responses. The exceptional solutions to this query information the situation and steps taken. Be unique! The STAR technique can help you formulate your response.

Avoid controversial intricate behavior. Some worker actions are sincerely problematic, such as being past due or supplying negative customer support. Other matters may be more arguable. For instance, a few companies fee opinionated employees, whilst others might not. Make certain which you highlight elaborate behavior that everybody agrees is a motive for challenge.

Possible Follow-up Questions

Key Takeaways

Use the STAR interview method. This will assist you provide a clear and coherent response.

Show your paintings. Interviewers need to peer a fantastic final results, but they are also interested in understanding your technique. Sharing the stairs you took will help make your control fashion clear.

Keep it wonderful. Be expert on your dialogue of the situation in preference to complaining or being terrible approximately the worker.