What has been the most difficult situation you have had to face?

Avoid discussing difficult situations that were directly caused by you. Make sure it is a situation that most people would consider difficult or tough.

Think of specific problems that tested your skills and abilities and had positive outcomes. Highlight the way you analyzed the situation, the skills you used to professionally deal with it and what your particular contribution to resolving it was. Always try to end on a positive note

Examples of difficult situations include having to discipline an employee, unreasonable goals and deadlines, unreasonable customers and clients, adapting to change and facing unethical work practices.

Job skills that should be highlighted include common sense, perseverance, diplomacy, maturity, stress management and assessment skills.

For example: "I have faced a number of difficult situations, but the one that comes to mind now is ...... ( describe the situation). I was able to deal with it by assessing the situation, determining the possible different approaches and deciding on the most effective one. I had to remain unemotional and objective and focused on a solution."

Preparing your answers to job interview questions like these sets you up for interview success. Click on the table above to view more standard interview questions and good sample answers.