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Interview Attitude

10 Attitude Interview Questions

Many interviewers ask questions to determine your attitude. Questions about attitude are typically similar across industries, so you can easily prepare your responses to stand out from other candidates. Your responses to these questions can show your positivity and ability to contribute to an encouraging environment. In this article, we review 10 attitude interview questions and provide sample responses.

Common attitude interview questions with sample answers

Here are some attitude questions you might hear in an interview, along with examples of how to answer them:

1. Tell me about yourself.

Interviewers might use this question to find out the basics about you. Telling a potential employer about yourself not only gives them your work history, but they also get to see your confidence level and mindset about your experiences. Consider mentioning a professional achievement or skill that relates to the job listing.

Example: “I always knew I wanted to work with books, but it wasn’t until I lost my job at my local library that I considered working in publishing. My experience as a librarian gave me insight into what teens and young adults were most likely to read, and I used the last year to bring that knowledge to the publishing team at Big Book Press and increase YA book sales by 25%. In my free time, I still read the latest bestsellers, but I try to wait until they show up at my local library so that I can always support the position that brought me here.

2. Describe a time that you faced a major obstacle and how you overcame it.

Employers are interested in how you respond to obstacles that could occur in the workplace. Describing a challenging situation is a positive way shows that you can learn from a struggle. 

Example: “During my job as a campaign assistant, the office printer broke while I was printing flyers for an election candidate. I was supposed to give the flyers to canvassers that evening, but no one was around to help fix the printer. I quickly emailed myself the flyer file and drove to the nearest office supply store, where I printed the flyers on half sheets of paper to save time. Thankfully, I finished printing all the flyers and made it back to the office before canvassers arrived. That night, I ordered a second printer for the office.

3. Tell me about a time when you wanted to give up but chose not to.

This question, like the previous one, gives employers an idea about how you respond to stress and how strong your commitment is to reaching a goal. Try to answer concisely while describing the situation optimistically.

Example: “When I was in college, I had to do a presentation on the effects of gendered toys on children. I had the presentation prepared, when my laptop crashed and I lost the file. At first, I panicked about having to redo everything, but when my laptop turned on again, I redid the presentation and saved it on a flash drive every few minutes. The new presentation turned out better than the first, and I got an A+!

4. How do you react when asked to do something beyond your capabilities?

Employers ask this question to understand your ability to ask for help when necessary. A person who can ask for help is likely confident and committed to getting the job done. Try to explain your steps for approaching this type of situation so interviewers can understand your thought process.

Example: “When asked to do something beyond my capabilities, I first look at the task and determine the aspects I can’t complete. Then, I look for guidance from my coworkers. If I really couldn’t complete the task, I would discuss it with my supervisor so that I wouldn’t affect my team’s workflow, and I would ask for learning resources so that I could complete the task next time.

5. When were you last energized by a project?

Employers might ask this question to find out your attitude toward work. Describing a project eagerly shows your enthusiasm for work and willingness to learn.

Example: “Last month, my team at Bluebird Tech Company began drafting plans for a new web-based app that would help people find the best time of day to take a walk. I was really excited about getting to design the interface for the first time! There was a bit of a learning curve, but my coworkers helped me through it. Now I’m confident in my design ability and ready to take on a new project.

6. How do you handle a situation where you are becoming overwhelmed with work?

This question lets employers know how much control you have over your emotions in a stressful environment. Handling those emotions maturely is vital to maintaining professionalism.

Example: “When I become overwhelmed at work, I try to walk away from the situation when possible and take a breath somewhere calm. If I can’t do that right away, I make a mental note to do it later. Taking a break, even a short one, can help me recollect my thoughts and approach work from a renewed perspective. Communication with my coworkers and supervisor are key in these situations, so I would also talk to them about my workload if it became too much.

7. Tell me about a time when you made a mistake in your workplace and how you resolved it.

Employers ask this question to know how well you recover after doing something wrong. A person with a positive attitude toward resolving mistakes will admit when they are wrong, and that is an asset to a smoothly operating workplace.

Example: “Once, I forgot to charge a patient while working at a chiropractor’s office. The patient left before I could reach them. As the receptionist, I needed to charge any patients who were paying out of pocket for treatments. To solve this, I spoke with the doctor about the issue. He was glad I let him know, and he told me to discuss it with the patient when they came in for their next treatment later that week. After the patient’s next appointment, I apologized for forgetting to charge them and let them know they would pay for two treatments that day. I learned from my mistake and put a reminder on my desk to charge patients before scheduling their next appointments.

8. When was the last time you worked with a difficult person, and what did you learn from the experience?

Employers might ask this question to determine how you interact with colleagues and clients. Cooperation is crucial to the workplace and a valuable skill for all careers.

Example: “The last time I worked with a difficult person was in the summer. A customer came into the store to return an item. As the cashier, I told the customer they could only get store credit for the return, but they asked me to get the manager. The manager was away on a break, so I talked with the customer about why they disliked the product. They told me the size of the item was wrong, so I asked a coworker to work the register while I helped the customer find a new item that fit them.

In the end, the customer accepted the store credit for the return and purchased the new item. I learned to handle situations without my manager present and became a more independent employee.

9. If you were at work and a customer spilled hot coffee on you, how would you react?

This question is a great way to gauge a person’s attitude toward customers and coworkers. Employers want to know how you react to events that could negatively impact you. Consider how you would maintain professionalism and compassion to answer this question.

Example: “If someone spilled hot coffee on me, my initial reaction would probably be anger. However, I would quickly realize that it was probably an accident, and I would definitely forgive the person who spilled the coffee.

10. Describe the perfect work environment for you.

Employers ask this question to find out your attitude toward the workplace itself. Describing a positive but professional environment shows that you think work can be a nice place to get things done.

Example: “My perfect work environment would be clean and comfortable. My coworkers would be committed to doing the best work possible. There wouldn’t be excessive noise. The projects would be fun and fulfilling, and maybe there would be a snack machine, too!

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