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How to Answer: Discuss a Time You Managed a Team Crisis or Unexpected Issue?

Many job interviews ask this question to test your leadership, problem-solving, and communication skills. Being ready with a great response is essential.

What is the hiring manager looking for?

The interviewer wants to know if you’re someone who can remain calm and collected under pressure, someone who can think on their feet and make good decisions, and someone who can communicate effectively with your team.

How to structure your answer

To answer this question well, you should first briefly describe the situation you faced. Then, explain the steps you took to resolve the crisis or issue. Finally, discuss the outcome of your actions and what you learned from the experience.

Tips to answer this interview question


* Be specific and provide details. Don’t just say you “handled a crisis.” Instead, describe the specific situation you faced and the actions you took to resolve it.
* Focus on the positive. Don’t dwell on your mistakes. Instead, focus on the things you did well and the lessons you learned.
* Be confident and enthusiastic. Your interviewer wants to see that you’re someone who is excited about your work and who is confident in your abilities.

Things to avoid:

* Don’t ramble on. Keep your answer concise and to the point.
* Don’t be negative. Don’t complain about your team or your company.
* Don’t lie. Be honest about your experience and your mistakes.

Example interview answers to this question

Sample answers:

“I was once leading a team of software engineers when we were tasked with developing a new product. The deadline was tight, and we were all working long hours. One day, one of my team members came to me and said that he was having trouble understanding a particular piece of code. I sat down with him and helped him work through the problem. Once he understood the code, he was able to finish his part of the project on time. I was proud of my team for being able to work together to solve a problem and meet the deadline.”

Why this answer is strong:

This answer is strong because it is specific, concise, and positive. The candidate provides details about the situation they faced and the actions they took to resolve it. They also focus on the positive aspects of the experience, such as the fact that they were able to help their team member and meet the deadline.

“I was once working as a customer service representative when a customer called in to complain about a product they had purchased. The customer was very angry and upset. I listened to the customer’s complaint and then apologized for the inconvenience. I then explained the company’s return policy and offered to process a refund for the customer. The customer was still upset, but they appreciated my willingness to help them. I was able to resolve the situation and the customer left the conversation feeling satisfied.”

Why this answer is strong:

This answer is strong because it demonstrates the candidate’s ability to remain calm and collected under pressure, to communicate effectively with customers, and to resolve problems. The candidate also shows that they are willing to go the extra mile to help customers.

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