Interviewers are nowadays extremely smart. They want to extract every bit of information from you. They like to see your strengths, weakness, and how you conduct yourself in the office. For many, especially one who is in a leadership position, one of the questions that is directly posed is how have you dealt with making an unpopular decision?
This is a trick question considering it has a multitude of layers to uncover. If you are applying for a managerial post and you are confirmed for that post, all the office workers expect you to lead them on their cause.
And if you are ethical enough, the conundrum of choosing the bottom echelon workers over higher authorities does make you look shallow. So, how much you need to maintain parity between mincing your words matters enough here. Always answer in favor of your employer. Try to keep your employees happy and gain their trust to soften the blow. So, in this piece, we will deal with and talk about various manners in which you can answer the question on unpopular decision of yours in a job interview. Let us start:
How to Answer The Question “Tell Me About An Unpopular Decision Of Yours”, In An Interview?
As far as preparing an answer to this question is concerned, from personal experience, I can tell you it is better if you go with an example that is personally close to you. Once I was in a similar situation and I chose an instance where despite popular support for yellow journalism by fellow workers in my company. I thwarted attempts of my publishing house to take that direction, by solely focusing on social issue-based stories. I was able to do that since I felt too deeply and personally related to the job and the position.
Anything personal will give you an edge by knowing the story in and out. Try to always look for a decision that you took that had a positive outcome. See, the truth is many people want to embed a lot of idealism, but the truth is a giant corporate house will only care about how you perform, they do not care that, much about other avenues. If I have to sum up you need to understand these pointers briefly:
- Show leadership skills and decision-making ability in making the right choices for the greater good.
- Always focus on decisions that have been opposed at the first but have turned glorious later.
- Do not show off your strengths especially gloating that you were right and the rest were wrong, you knew that you were right all along.
What Are Behavioral Questions?
Behavioral questions as the name suggest target specific areas of the behavior. They look deeply rather than through abstract means to weed out behavioral specificities in you. It tries to analyze integrity, honesty, commitment, and determination among a few traits. It focuses solely on the analysis of the traits that will work for the company. When someone asks you about an unpopular decision the interviewer is testing you in the areas given below:
Fundamentals of Answering Behavioral Questions
There is a proper framework in place to answer the behavioral question. In that sense, even the unpopular question will have some basics in place. Now the fundamentals are there not only to finish your answer with better resonance and meaning but also exists to assist you in stressful and anxious situations.
Anxiety is a very big issue and an endemic problem and it really gets the best out of anyone. So how do you deal with the unpopular question decision then? The best approach to dealing with it lies in the acronym STAR. STAR refers to-
- S for Situation (Name and place where you enacted the unpopular decision)
- T for Task (Actions that were expected from you)
- A for Action (List of actions you have taken to deal with the problem)
- R for Result (How did you fare in your outcome in regards to the steps taken)
Example Answers of Unpopular Decisions Made In Your Career
Following are the different situations in which you generally tend to make unpopular decisions during your job. Let us see sample answers that can be given in such different scenarios:
This was all about answering what unpopular decision have you taken in your life. However, once you answer that, therre are some obvious questions lined up in the interviewer’s mind. Here are a few instances.
How Did You Feel After Taking An Unpopular Decision?
While talking about your feelings when you took an unpopular decision, simply state in accordance to feeling light and you had a breeze while doing it. You need to not feel guilty as guilt can provide a spark in you to go a mile extra and that can be dangerous in the long run, hence it is very important to control feelings. Speak positively and tell them you feel good you contributed positively to the discussion.
How Did You Handle The Feedback On An Unpopular Decision You Took?
While answeing how did you handle the feedback on unpopular decision taken by you, emphasize that you were open to criticism and you believed at that time it was good. However, you did not contact the company head position holders because they were in the top echelon. In case it’s good feedback, mention how that did not stop you but instead motivated you to do better in life going ahead.
How To Show The Interviewer That You Can Make Unpopular Decisions With Courage?
Well, making an unpopular decision is not a normal thing, it takes courage and sense of doing things right. Following are the points that would show that you were courageous while making such a decision.
- By letting them know you did not bow down to daily musings about you from fellow employees.
- By sticking to the other higher authority members’ narrative.
- Honesty in work and carrying out the decision for the greater good, not just belief but in reality.
In an interview, it is hard to tackle behavioral questions especially when you are asked about going against your own people. The trick is balance. You do not want to stretch too thin or tear it out. You will get the sentiment if you have read my writeup properly.