Take a free practice interview

  • Practice answering questions and get real feedback to improve
  • Get job-specific questions at the company you want
  • 95% say this improved their performance

How to Answer “Can You Discuss a Project Where You Negotiated with External Partners?”

Negotiating with external partners or vendors is a common interview question, yet tricky. Learn how to answer effectively and get the job!

What is the hiring manager looking for?

Hiring managers want to know if you can handle negotiations, build relationships, and get the best results for your company. They want to see how you handle pressure, collaborate with others, and solve problems.

How to structure your answer

To answer this question well, follow the STAR method:
– Situation: Briefly describe the situation you were in and the project you were working on.
– Task: Explain the specific task or goal you were responsible for achieving.
– Action: Detail the steps you took to negotiate with external partners or vendors, including any challenges you faced and how you overcame them.
– Result: Describe the outcome of the negotiations, including any benefits or positive impacts it had on the project or your company.

Tips to answer this interview question

– Do not focus solely on the outcome. The hiring manager is more interested in the process you went through to reach the outcome.
– Do not be vague or superficial. Use specific examples and details to illustrate your points.
– Do not talk negatively about the external partners or vendors. Maintain a positive and professional tone throughout your answer.

Example interview answers to this question

– Strong Answer 1: “In my previous role as a project manager, I was tasked with negotiating a contract with a new vendor for our company’s software development. I started by thoroughly researching the vendor’s background, reputation, and pricing. I then reached out to their sales team and arranged a meeting to discuss our needs and expectations. During the meeting, I was able to build a rapport with the vendor’s representatives and establish common ground. We engaged in a series of negotiations, where I skillfully balanced our company’s interests with the vendor’s. I was able to secure a contract that met our budget and included favorable terms and conditions. The successful negotiation resulted in a long-term partnership with the vendor, contributing to our company’s ongoing success.”

– What makes this answer strong: It clearly outlines the situation, task, actions, and results using the STAR method. The candidate demonstrates their ability to research, build relationships, negotiate effectively, and achieve positive outcomes.

– Strong Answer 2: “As a marketing consultant, I was involved in a project to launch a new product for a client. We needed to negotiate with several external partners, including manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. I took the lead in coordinating these negotiations by gathering information about each partner’s needs and priorities. I developed a negotiation strategy that focused on building consensus and finding mutually beneficial solutions. By actively listening to the concerns of each partner and addressing them with empathy, I was able to create a collaborative environment where we could openly discuss our interests and reach agreements that satisfied all parties involved. The successful negotiations resulted in a smooth product launch and exceeded our sales targets.”

– What makes this answer strong: This answer showcases the candidate’s ability to coordinate complex negotiations, build consensus, and create a collaborative environment. They demonstrated strong communication and interpersonal skills, and their focus on finding mutually beneficial solutions led to a positive outcome for all parties involved.

Like a phone call interview – with your own AI interview coach.

Enter job title and company

Practice effectively for your dream job.

Get asked job-specific questions

Your AI interview coach will speak and ask you questions.

Speak back and view private feedback

Your coach will listen to you speak and reply with follow-up questions and private feedback.

Interview Feedback

Improve from real feedback

Frustrated by never hearing feedback from your interviews? We get it. Interview Smile is your way to get real feedback on how you did and to help you answer questions better. Come into your next job interview empowered with superhuman interview readiness.

Go from nervous to confident

Practice with your AI coach as much as you want to calm your interview nerves. Hone your pitch and boost your confidence with Interview Smile.

Interview Practice