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Conquer Job Interviews – Answering: Describe A Time Navigating Conflicting Priorities in a Project Team

This interview question is a common one, but it can be tricky to answer well. That’s because it requires you to think on your feet and demonstrate your ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. But with a little preparation, you can nail this question and impress the hiring manager.

What is the hiring manager looking for?

By asking this question, the hiring manager wants to see how you handle conflict and prioritize your work. They also want to know how you communicate with others and how you work under pressure.

How to structure your answer

A good way to structure your answer is to use the STAR method:

1. Situation: Briefly describe the situation you were in, including the project you were working on and the team members involved.
2. Task: Explain the specific task you were responsible for and the conflicting priorities you faced.
3. Action: Describe the steps you took to navigate the conflicting priorities, including how you communicated with your team members and how you resolved the conflict.
4. Result: Explain the outcome of your actions and how you successfully completed the project.

Remember, the hiring manager is looking for specific examples of how you handled a challenging situation. So, be sure to provide as much detail as possible.

Tips to answer this interview question

Here are some tips for answering this question:

* Be honest: Don’t try to sugarcoat your answer or make yourself look perfect. The hiring manager will be able to tell if you’re being dishonest.
* Be specific: Provide specific examples of how you handled the conflicting priorities. Don’t just say that you’re good at multitasking or that you’re able to handle stress.
* Be concise: Keep your answer to the point. The hiring manager doesn’t want to hear a long, rambling story.
* Be positive: Focus on the positive aspects of the situation. Don’t dwell on the challenges you faced.

Here are some things to avoid when answering this question:

* Don’t blame others: Don’t try to blame your team members or your boss for the conflicting priorities. The hiring manager wants to see how you handled the situation, not how you blame others.
* Don’t make excuses: Don’t make excuses for your actions. The hiring manager wants to see how you take responsibility for your mistakes.
* Don’t be vague: Don’t be vague about your answer. The hiring manager wants to know exactly what you did to handle the conflicting priorities.

Example interview answers to this question

Here are some sample answers to this interview question:

Sample Answer 1:

Situation: I was working on a project to develop a new product for my company. The project was on a tight deadline, and there were a lot of different stakeholders involved. Each stakeholder had different priorities for the product, and it was difficult to get everyone on the same page.

Task: My task was to lead the project and ensure that we met the deadline. I had to find a way to navigate the conflicting priorities and get everyone working together towards a common goal.

Action: I started by talking to each of the stakeholders individually to understand their priorities. I then held a meeting with all of the stakeholders to discuss the different priorities and to come up with a plan that would meet everyone’s needs. I also made sure to communicate regularly with the stakeholders throughout the project to keep them updated on our progress.

Result: We were able to successfully complete the project on time and within budget. The product was a success, and it met the needs of all of the stakeholders.

Why this answer is strong: This answer is strong because it provides a specific example of how the candidate handled conflicting priorities. The candidate also explains the steps they took to resolve the conflict and how they communicated with their team members.

Sample Answer 2:

Situation: I was working on a project to launch a new marketing campaign for my company. The project was on a tight deadline, and there were a lot of different tasks that needed to be completed. I had to prioritize the tasks and make sure that the most important tasks were completed first.

Task: My task was to lead the marketing team and ensure that we launched the campaign on time. I had to prioritize the tasks and make sure that the most important tasks were completed first.

Action: I started by creating a list of all of the tasks that needed to be completed. I then worked with my team to prioritize the tasks and to develop a timeline for completing them. I also made sure to communicate regularly with my team to keep them updated on our progress.

Result: We were able to successfully launch the marketing campaign on time and within budget. The campaign was a success, and it resulted in a significant increase in sales.

Why this answer is strong: This answer is strong because it provides a specific example of how the candidate prioritized tasks and managed their time. The candidate also explains the steps they took to communicate with their team and how they ensured that the project was completed on time.

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