How Do You Handle Working With People Who Annoy You

How To Answer: How Do You Handle Working With People Who Annoy You?

The interview stage is one of the most crucial aspects of the recruitment process. It avails firms, organizations, companies, and recruitment agencies the opportunity to have a closer look at applicants and candidates. Interviews are also designed to enable applicants to showcase their core and relevant skills, expertise, competencies, and abilities in relation to the advertised role. In the course of the interview process, interviewers ask general and specific questions; among which is the critical question- How do you handle working with people who annoy you?


What The Question Entails

This question appears to be a trap when asked initially, however, the interviewer is looking for or wants to know how good of a team player you are or can be. At some point in the working endeavor, you will have that one colleague who will annoy you, irritate you, or get you angry. Annoyance may spring up from his/her perceived bad work ethic, poor communication, laziness, incessant late coming, or even persistent complaining. Handling such co-workers without generating conflicts will set you apart as an employee. Also, every employer wants to minimize organizational and human conflicts as best as they can, therefore, answering this question well will boost your chances of getting hired. In addition, the interviewer wants to know and see your problem-solving skills, as well as know how good you are at dealing with and managing frustration in the workplace. Relatively, the interviewer also wants to know if you will be a good fit for the organization and team, the interviewer also wants to know if you will be easy to get along with at work.


Answering The Question-How Do You Handle Working With People Who Annoy You?

There are several ways of answering this question; Below are some tips and steps in answering the question;

  1. The first tip is to give a specific example when answering, this may be in the form of an experience from a previous job or school. When you give your interviewer an example of a situation where you handled an annoying co-worker at a previous job or a hypothetical situation, he/she gets to see clearly what you may find challenging at work, and your ability and expertise in dealing with such challenges.
  2. Also, your answer should show and display your experience and professionalism. Giving a professional example of an act, attitude from a co-worker that may be termed annoying will show the interviewer how experienced and professional you are or can be. Showcasing how you will handle a team member that does not contribute equally at work will increase your chances of getting the job more often than not.
  3. Another essential tip in answering this question is displaying honesty, sincerity, and positivity. It is easy to tell your interviewer for example, that nothing bothers, disturbs, or annoys you, however, the statement seems and appears insincere. Everybody has one or more things that irritate them, denying this fact will paint a negative picture to the interviewer, and present you as a pretentious and deceitful candidate.


Examples Of Answers To The Question

  1. I will maintain a Positive Attitude: Staying focused and positive will go a long way in handling annoying co-workers. Addressing the annoying situation and co-worker without negativity will aid in salvaging the situation without affecting your work or productivity. The reverse is the case when there is an aura of negativity in the workplace, it creates tension and limits productivity.
  2. I will find a common interest with the annoying co-worker: More often than not, finding common grounds with annoying situations and co-workers helps increase efficiency at work. I will find something the annoying co-worker and I both have an interest in, such as interior design in the workplace for example. This will enhance tolerance at work and invariable ease the tension.
  3. I will try to ignore the flaws of the annoying co-worker: At times, we are best served when we ignore the obvious and supposed flaws of the annoying colleague or co-worker. If I have a co-worker that displays arrogance, for example, I will turn a blind eye to it and allow my boss to handle the situation, when he/she eventually discovers it. Ignoring the flaws reduces or stops you from becoming frustrated and annoyed at the situation. This will in turn prevent workplace conflict and increase productivity, thereby enhancing the growth and development of the company.
  4. I will treat them with kindness: Being kind is another way of handling people that annoys you at work. When you show kindness and empathy to an annoying co-worker, be it a bully, a consistently negative person, or astute gossip, you minimize the chances of conflict at work.  Even if a co-worker persistently tries to bring me down, I will always put up a smile and avoid all forms of confrontations that will breed negativity in my work. Also, it is vital to avoid arguments that might result in unhealthy competition with the said annoying co-worker and focus solely on getting the job done, meeting deadlines, and helping the team in the best possible way.
  5. I will reject their attention politely: You may have that colleague that regularly disturbs you to walk home together at the close of work every day. That can be very annoying especially if you are a private person or introvert. This may be another reason to get annoyed. However, it is imperative that you constantly reject the proposal in a polite manner. I will politely and calmly tell such co-workers to please respect my space. Also, when an annoying co-worker incessantly distracts you with non-work-related conversations, thereby interrupting your work, politely tell them to allow you to concentrate and only engage in work-related conversations.
  6. Be assertive: Assertiveness is another way of handling a person that annoys you at work. After being polite and kind, I will become assertive if the problem persists, especially if the distraction is reducing my work output. Being assertive is meant to let the annoying co-worker know that the persistent distraction is reducing your productivity at work.


What Not to Answer When Asked The Question-How to Handle A Person That Annoys You At Work

As much as we want to give the best answer possible to this question, it is vital to avoid some answers that may appear vague and indecisive on your part. You don’t want to turn the interviewer off. Some of these answers include;

  1. I will report the co-worker at the slightest provocation.
  2. I will tell the co-worker to never talk to me again since the distraction affects my work.
  3. I will ask to be transferred to another unit or department.


Interview Questions

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