Interview Questions

Tell Me About A Time When You Influenced Someone Else – Interview Question

People sometimes find it difficult to be motivated by their own talent or skill to get work done. Sometimes, when they are overwhelmed or exhausted by the work or some task they have been assigned, they tend to lose confidence, regardless of their experience. At times like these, there is always that one person who jumps in at the most unexpected moment rejuvenating everyone and bringing back confidence. Sometimes, it is surprising when you realize the person who is motivating you is a new person in your team and has very little experience than you. Still, they have the knowledge or sanity to bring you all back to the course and help you complete your assignment. Such influential people always become an important part of any company because there will be the right kind of guidance coming from them.

Influencing people in a good way can be an achievement for you because you will be, in a way changing the person’s life. When you positively impact someone’s life, there is always that reputation you have of being an influential person for someone. So influencing someone is in a way a good thing because your words become the most important thing that person needs at the moment. The same thing is applicable even in a company when your colleague is unable to complete work or is under pressure from some presentation. You came to their rescue, not by helping with the presentation but with words of wisdom and positivity. These words can actually help them nail their presentation and come out feeling more confident than ever.

Tell Me About A Time When You Influenced Someone Else

It is completely unexpected how one can influence someone or a group of people. It might one day be your manager who all the employees are afraid of. Still, a day comes when your manager speaks words of wisdom and positivity that your impression of him changes. You start understanding why he puts pressure on everyone, the reason behind his serious behavior. But, a simple talk of motivation can make you release a little stress and open about your inhibitions with him, and even there, he might help you. Such influential people always help you grow professionally in any field.

Why Does An Interviewer Ask This Question When You Are Applying For A Job?

Now wanting to know how much influence you had on one person in your personal life is one thing, but when you are in an interview, the employer asks whether you have influenced someone, it is because the employer wants to know whether if you are a person with positive vibes or you are also the one at the receiving end of an influential person’s motivational words. Also, it depends on what position you are applying for because the company needs to know how good you are working with a team.

Also, your employer wants to know whether you are patient enough to deal with a hectic schedule. But some of the primary reasons why an employer asks you this question is because:

  • If you are an employee with persuasion skills, then there is a major benefit for the company. Negotiating or having logical arguments is always a plus point any employee in their company can have. When they ask about your influence on someone, your persuasion skills might motivate them to hire you.
  • They wish to know if you are capable of professional credibility and admiration from others. For example, if you are an employee who has had an influence that changed already made plans and your opinion was considered, then that respect is admired by your new employers as well.
  • They want to know if you know the right way to communicate. For example, suppose you are a candidate who doesn’t superimpose your opinion but has the right way to communicate it by telling a small, successful anecdote that catches everyone’s attention. During your interview, this will also catch the employer’s attention, and this can persuade them to give you the job.

Tips to Answer How You Influenced Someone Else?

Learn the company culture
This is one of the most important aspects to remember when you are going for an interview. You should know what kind of a company it is and how the employees are as well. Knowing this helps you develop a better idea of how you want to answer this question. Looking up the company online will help you better, to know the company’s goals, motives, and its work environment makes you more aware of your thoughts.
Give your personal example
Use the STAR method
No matter what you talk about, how you explain, whatever details you give to answer the question, maintaining a positive attitude is important. Your tone, your expression, and in fact, even your body language should be relaxed and confident, which shows how truthful you are about your influential skills.
Express Positively
No matter what you talk about, how you explain, whatever details you give to answer the question, maintaining a positive attitude is important. Your tone, your expression, and in fact, even your body language should be relaxed and confident, which shows how truthful you are about your influential skills.
Trust in your Persuasion Skills
As a candidate, you are giving an interview in this particular company for the first time, but you have interacted with interviewers previously and persuaded them to believe why they should hire you, so remember that primary persuasion skill of yours and approach in the same manner. Knowing that you have an impact of that kind can always surprise the interviewer. In addition, being motivational with your thoughts and convincing the employer why you are eligible to change the company always works.

Sample Answers for a Time When You Influenced Someone Else

Sample 1:

This one time, a year ago when I was working in a marketing company, there were some major projects and the deadline was decided on very short notice. This got all my other teammates really worried because the project needed a lot of research, and it was also very hard to understand the concept. I was a new employee who had only completed six months, but still, I knew more about the project details and had my own ways to complete it. Because I know something doesn’t, it is wise to keep to myself because I am a new employee and watch my colleagues go through a rough time. So, I decided to gather them for a moment and suggested an alternative way.

Most of them from my team were comfortable switching tasks because they knew how to do it better, so I asked them to do it and not worry about what to explain to the manager. To my surprise, my team agreed on doing so, and they immediately switched tasks and got it completed way earlier than expected. There was no one to give the presentation. The PPT wasn’t ready as well, so I decided on completing that. My team insisted that I should do the presentation, which also went pretty well because I was more aware of the project details and could explain them better. This was my significant experience on other’s actions which resulted positively.

Sample 2:

There was this one time I and my team members with the team of another department had to collaborate and create a new marketing strategy because the previous plans hadn’t worked so well. There was a dispute between the web developing team and the content team because both had a valid point in their own perspectives, but neither of them was concluding.

So, I decided to step in and ask them to diffuse this quarrel by focusing on their own respective clients for a few days until everything seemed normal. So, one day, I gathered them all during lunchtime and started casually asking about their strategies for the new marketing strategy. Being in a more relaxed atmosphere, the conversation went pretty smooth, and I made notes. Finally, I suggested that both the content and web designing team have to come halfway and accept that we will incorporate both ideas and then process ahead. Surprisingly, both the teams agreed on the same, and we proceeded ahead with the project, which also had a greater impact on the client’s company

Sample 3:

For a few months, there has been a difficulty with the 10th standard History subject, and the students weren’t able to understand what the previous lecturer taught them. There were no changes even though the students had talked about this to the principal, and the History lecturer continued with the same teaching pattern.

One of the students told me this during English class, and I decided to do something about this because it is a subject that is very difficult to understand until you can narrate it to them rather than teach it. So, during lunch break, I made sure to sit with my other lecturers, and the history teacher sat with us as well. At that moment, I talked about how difficult the subject is and teaching it as if telling a story would certainly have the student’s interest. The history teacher heard this and talked to me personally about how to do this. First, I instructed that, whatever is the historical fact, tell the story behind it; in that way, the students will already have your attention. Then, once the story ends, you will find them answering your questions because they paid attention.

Sample 4:

There was once a very difficult situation during the 2020 Farmer’s Protests, and one of my team reporters was very worried about going into a place of such tension. I did not insist on her going in unless she felt safe but then decided on going along with the rest of the team even though I had joined recently.

We went into the scenario, talked to a few farmers, heard them communicate their thoughts, and saw the protests’ situation throughout the day. All this time, my colleague was with me because I had gone with her as a support and made sure she felt safe. The other reporters were doing exactly the same thing we were doing, but they pursued it individually. Me staying with her and doing the interviews together gave us more information because I was asking the questions, and she made notes and suggested what else I should ask. Finally, she felt confident enough after an hour of being around the protest, and when she finally decided to ask questions, and I made the notes.

Sample 5:

A friend of mine had to deliver a TEDtalk on literature, and it was his first time speaking on the subject as he was only associated speaking about movies and his experience working in cinema. Now, as speaking about movies isn’t hard for him, speaking on classic literature and how he adapts literary stories into movies was a task he didn’t know how to explain in front of a crowd filled with literary enthusiasts.

So, as I was from a publishing background, I made a list of classic novels which are adapted into movies and highlighted the points on how accurately the descriptions in these novels are portrayed in the movies. This gave him confidence because now he was supposed to be speaking only about classic books but those adapted into movies. I wrote down all the important aspects about the novels and the movies he should talk about because making a cinema person talk about novels can help avid readers get a little influenced towards watching movies as well

Summing Up on Answering Time When You Influenced Someone Else

Having influence on people, which will lead to positive results, always develops a respect for the person who influences them. Like there are motivational speakers and popular people who speak the right words to motivate people, there are also those who are from the regular walks of life, and even they can motivate to greater extents. Sometimes, when you are least expecting, you will find the most influential person in your life. Pursuing life can be very difficult, and at such times there are people to guide you through your rough times. The same goes on with your professional life as well, where you might find that one important person who will guide you through the work and also motivate you to trust in what you are doing.

Persuasion skills are very important if you are planning on influencing someone. It is like the advertisement of a product you don’t need, but the commercial grooms you in a manner that you will end up using it. Influence can be good and bad, but in a company, if an influential person sees people struggling with some task, or a teacher realizes there is any difficulty in comprehending topics, then guiding them in the right direction with understandable examples helps them regain confidence and draws their attention back to work. Persuasion is not a bad trait; it is the person who uses it in the right manner, due to which you get influenced and follow their lead.

If you have good persuasion skills, you should certainly take advantage of them to influence people in the right direction. You will be remembered and respected for the change you brought in someone’s life, in a company, the tension you helped get rid of due to disagreements, bringing people together, and then doing the right teamwork. Such influential behavior gains you a lot of respect in the company and your personal life as well. You don’t always have to influence a large group of people to be influential, but just small acts of motivating people to build confidence and work hard will make a great difference in the person’s life.

About the author

Atish Ranjan

Hi there, I am Atish Ranjan! I have been into work and business for more than 11 years now; I have given and taken numerous interviews over the years.
Thus, I started to share my knowledge & experience with you! Hope you enjoy reading here.

About the Author

Hi there, I am Atish Ranjan! I have been into work and business for more than 11 years now; I have given and taken numerous interviews over the years. Thus, I started to share my knowledge & experience with you! Hope you enjoy reading here.