How to Answer, “Tell me about a time you had to make a difficult decision” Interview Question

In this post article, you will learn how to answer the tough interview question, “tell me about a time when you made a difficult decision.” Now, this is a really hard interview question to answer correctly, but if you have a job interview coming up for any role whatsoever, this article will help you to pass it.

This is what will be covered during this interview article

  • Good explanation why the interviewer is asking you the tough interview question.
  • Three really important tips for answering this question professionally
  • Two brilliant example answers that you can use in your interview.

Why is the interviewer asking you the question, “Tell me about a time when you made a difficult decision.”

“Well, the bottom line is we all have to make difficult decisions at work. But if you can make difficult decisions that are in the best interests of the organization you are working for, you are far more likely to get hired.”

3 Important tips to answer the interview question, “Tell me about a time when you made a difficult decision.”

  • Make sure you show you have the confidence to make difficult decisions when needed.
  • In your answer, make sure you demonstrate that you always put the organization first.
  • When you make difficult decisions, show that you always consider your options carefully.

How to Answer, “Tell me about a time you had to make a difficult decision”

So here are two example answers to that difficult interview question.

Answer #1: “In a previous role, I was looking after a client who had been using our services for many years. When we first started working with him, he was great to work with, he was responsive, and he was respectful of our prices.

However, as time went on, he started to complain that our prices were too high, and he was becoming increasingly demanding and difficult to work with.

Now, in the end, I had to decide to stop working with him because the profitability we were seeing through the work he put our way was minimal compared with the resources and the time we had to put in.

I informed the client of our decision to stop working with him in a professional and respectful manner, and whilst he was disappointed, I knew this was the right thing to do for the business.”

So that’s a really good answer to that difficult interview question, “Tell me about the time when you made a difficult decision.” Let look at another answer to that interview question.

Answer #2: “I was managing a team of people in a previous organization and an opportunity came up for one of them to attend a really important training development course. This course was going to be good for their future career, but I could only choose one person out of the team.

Now, I had two people within that team who could both have attended the course, done a really good job, but I had to decide on just one of them. It was a really difficult decision because I knew one member of the team was going to be very happy and the other person was going to feel de-motivated and disappointed.

So to make my decision, I needed to assess the organization’s needs against the strengths of the individual that I was going to choose. So I sat down and I went back through previous performance reviews that I’d carried out to decide who was the best person based on the organization’s needs to attend that course.

I then decided on the person and I spoke to them in private to explain the reasons why they had been chosen. I also explained the delicate nature of the fact that their team member, who was also just as qualified as they were, was going to be denied the opportunity and they were going to be disappointed.

So when I sat down and informed the person who wasn’t being on the course, I was open with them. I was honest with them. I explained the reason why they had not been chosen. Of course, they were very disappointed, but they respected the fact that I had been honest with them. And I mentioned without giving them assurances that if opportunities came up in the future, then I would certainly consider them to attend a course in the future.

So I’m not afraid to make difficult decisions within an organization as a manager, and I will always do it by applying logic and making sure that the decision I make is based on the organization’s needs.”

So that’s the second answer to that interview question, “Tell me about the time you made a difficult decision.”

Thanks for reading this post article and I wish you all the best for passing your interview.

by Scholars Hub

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