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“What Obstacles Have You Overcome?” Ideas & Examples

“What obstacles have you ever overcome?” is an interview query that journeys up many candidates. However as soon as you understand what the interviewer is on the lookout for, it’s truly fairly simple to reply.

What obstacles have you overcome

This information will educate you find out how to give you an efficient response to this query..

Why Interviewers Ask, “What Obstacles Have You Overcome?”

Interviewers ask many questions that assist present extra perception into who you’re as an individual, and “What obstacles have you ever overcome?” is a superb instance of this. However why do interviewers ask them?

Finally, it comes down to making sure you can deal with adversity.

Life is stuffed with many challenges, and also you’ll face obstacles that appear not possible to take care of all through your profession. Some require stepping outdoors your consolation zone and dealing arduous to resolve complicated challenges. Others will shake you to the core and make you need to stop on the spot!

Nobody stated that having an awesome profession can be simple. Nonetheless, an employer desires to rent somebody who stands as much as challenges or moments of slight resistance. Corporations need to rent people who find themselves keen and capable of confront challenges as they arrive.

It’s not solely about fixing each drawback completely. Whereas this query is a superb alternative to place your problem-solving abilities on full show, it’s a lot deeper than that. Not each impediment is price dealing with, and a few mountains are unclimbable.

Hiring managers perceive that, so a very powerful factor is your angle. It’s about realizing find out how to reply and being assured sufficient to handle the challenges that come your approach.

Whether or not you resolve that it’s greatest to regroup and take a special strategy or stick to the technique and struggle till you discover a constructive consequence, the secret is staying resilient.

Speaking about what obstacles you’ve overcome can provide hiring managers extra data than you understand. Along with exhibiting your energy, confidence, and talent to confront obstacles in stride, it additionally highlights your self-awareness and communication skills.

You’ll be able to’t face each problem alone. Being self-aware of what you may and might’t do makes a distinction. The identical goes for realizing when to succeed in out to others for the appropriate resolution.

How you can Reply This Query

The standard of your response issues for this query. It says lots about who you’re and particulars the way you strategy your work.

Listed here are just a few ideas for creating a solution that works in your favor.

1. Make Positive Your Reply is Work-Associated

One of the crucial necessary tricks to bear in mind when speaking about obstacles you’ve overcome is to maintain your response work-related. Hiring managers need to hear concerning the obstacles you’ve overcome at work, not your private life.

You might have handled many challenges in your private life. But when they don’t relate to work in any approach, what’s the purpose in bringing them up? Moreover, sharing the way you overcame a private challege runs the chance of delving into the “an excessive amount of data” territory in a short time.

Sticking to skilled obstacles is one method to keep away from that from occurring and turning your interview into a clumsy mess. Bear in mind what this query goals to unveil. It’s about studying the way you strategy difficult conditions at work and exhibiting hiring managers how you’d reply in an identical approach if given this job alternative.

Speaking about private points doesn’t present the knowledge that interviewers search.

You’ll be able to fall again on just a few exceptions in the event you don’t have any viable examples out of your previous work expertise. As an illustration, you could possibly focus on challenges when pursuing health objectives, studying new abilities, or finishing college tasks. So long as these examples put your skill to beat obstacles whereas highlighting your resourcefulness, they are often efficient.

However bear in mind, interviewers at all times choose to listen to about work-related challenges when attainable.

Mirror in your profession and select moments that you just’re pleased with. Focus in your real-world challenges and the way you overcame them to succeed.

2. Select a State of affairs That’s Associated to the Job You Need

One other method to earn factors together with your reply is to decide on examples that relate to the job you’re attempting to get. This will appear powerful at first, but it surely’s usually attainable to attach the dots together with your work historical past.

Begin by researching the place. Study as a lot as you may concerning the distinctive challenges folks working such a job face. For instance, customer support professionals may need to handle demanding prospects. In the meantime, managers usually take care of tight deadlines and preserve giant groups on monitor.

You don’t have to offer a one-for-one instance. As a substitute, take into account how overcoming this job’s obstacles requires abilities you have already got. As an illustration, you would possibly discover that widespread obstacles on this job require vital considering and fast decision-making. Use that as your basis to decide on an identical second out of your previous.

The purpose is to attach the dots as simply as attainable for interviewers and hiring managers. You need to present you have got what it takes to confront the limitations you’ll face. Your response ought to reassure hiring decision-makers that you just’re up for any problem and might confidently meet the unknowns of the job.

Offering related examples out of your work historical past is an effective way to try this.

3. Showcase Your Perseverance & Flexibility

Interviewers need to hear many issues out of your response. However among the largest attributes you will need to show together with your reply are perseverance and flexibility.

Perseverance is a relentless drive to succeed regardless of how lengthy a problem will take or how tall the hurdles to success are. It’s about having tenacity and unwavering dedication. Employers love to rent candidates who exude this attribute as a result of it offers peace of thoughts that you just gained’t again down from a problem that arises on the job.

When discussing what obstacles you’ve overcome, select moments that spotlight your innate tenacity. Don’t be afraid to emphasise how tough these challenges had been or how others may need given up. Lean onto your sheer dedication to succeed and make sure that interviewers perceive you’re prepared and capable of finding options to no matter challenges you’ll face.

One other factor to spotlight is your flexibility and adaptableness.

When you know what to anticipate in your typical day-to-day, you by no means know what challenges will come up on the job. Issues come up on a regular basis for workers of all ranges. These points can range from minor inconveniences to very large issues threatening your organization’s backside line.

Interviewers need to see that you just’re versatile sufficient to pivot and take motion. For those who want a structured day by day schedule, it may elevate just a few pink flags as a result of it signifies that even minor inconveniences might have an effect on your efficiency. Select examples that present you may adapt when vital and are keen to take motion.

4. Make Positive It’s Clear That You Had been Capable of Handle Stress Successfully

One other necessary factor to recollect is that it’s essential discuss stress in a constructive mild.

Stress is an enormous deal in any job. It may severely hamper your efficiency and result in issues out and in of labor. Employers don’t need to see {that a} candidate folds below stress or has problem managing it.

One of the best job candidates are those that know find out how to unwind, deal with stress, and keep productiveness. Any indication of the opposite will solely hurt your probabilities of getting a job.

Make it clear that you understand how to take care of office stress. You’ll be able to discuss concerning the stress you felt throughout the instance you focus on. However be certain that there aren’t any doubts about whether or not you efficiently handled it.

Contemplate speaking about the way you used that stress to realize constructive outcomes. For instance, you would possibly thrive in high-stress conditions as a result of it motivates you to see outcomes. Alternatively, you may say you walked away to gather your ideas and discover a superb resolution to your issues.

Regardless of the case, flip stress into one thing constructive and make sure the interviewer is aware of it didn’t maintain you again.

5. Observe Earlier than the Interview

Lastly, observe your response earlier than you head to your interview. “What obstacles have you ever overcome?” is an interview query that requires some thought to reply correctly.

Discovering a solution on the spot is not going to work in your favor. This query has many complicated layers, and saying the unsuitable factor will paint an inaccurate image of your potential as an worker. Don’t make the error of considering it’s a straightforward query you may reply on the fly.

Observe giving your response in just a few other ways. You don’t need to have an over-rehearsed speech you recite verbatim. As a substitute, it is best to know what factors to hit and what you need to say.

Perceive the purpose you need to make and what instance highlights related abilities the most effective. Get snug saying your response confidently and delivering a solution that may depart a long-lasting impression.

Errors to Keep away from

Now that you understand what it takes to ship a superb response, let’s discuss some widespread errors. With questions as complicated and multi-faceted as this, saying one factor unsuitable can spoil your complete level you had been attempting to make.

There are various variables to think about, however listed here are some errors you will need to keep away from.

Lengthy Draw-Out Responses

“What obstacles have you ever overcome?” is an interview query that may invite some lengthy solutions. Due to this, attempt to preserve your response to 2 minutes or much less. Interviewers have many inquiries to ask, and also you don’t need this one to waste an excessive amount of of your time.

Lengthy solutions additionally paint a less-than-ideal image of your communication abilities. That’s why it’s necessary to observe beforehand. Persist with your key factors, deal with the talents you utilize to beat obstacles and finish on a constructive word.

Interviewers might ask follow-up questions, so that you don’t have to enter minute particulars.

Overt Exaggerations or Lies

It’s tempting to make one thing up or use hyperbole to make the reality sound higher than it was. Nonetheless, interviewers usually see proper by lies and exaggerations.

Maintain your reply truthful. Be trustworthy and open. There’s no must lie.

Doing so will elevate pink flags and will value you a job provide.


Opposite to how the query sounds, this isn’t an open invitation to be adverse. It’s not about getting sympathy factors.

Your response needs to be constructive, highlighting good outcomes and optimism. It’s nice to say that the impediment introduced you down a bit. Nonetheless, it is best to at all times emphasize that the stress didn’t stop you from getting issues completed.

Interviewers need to hear about the way you turned a adverse right into a constructive, so focus in your calmness and confidence.

Badmouthing and Blame

Right here’s a mistake that always journeys job-seekers up. It doesn’t matter what brought about the obstacles. By no means blame another person or resort to badmouthing.

It’s not look and can seemingly elevate flags with the hiring supervisor. Why would they rent somebody who can’t take accountability or somebody who’s at all times blaming others? That’s not one thing employers need within the office.

Watch out about the way you phrase issues. Many interviewees inadvertently lay blame on others when speaking about obstacles they’ve overcome. For instance, as an alternative of claiming {that a} report was incorrect as a result of a colleague included false data, it is best to say that the report was inaccurate due to useful resource inconsistencies.

The latter is extra constructive and doesn’t shift the blame onto anybody.

Unresolved Obstacles

Not each problem you face is price overcoming. Some obstacles are unmovable, and hiring managers know that.

Nonetheless, it is best to keep away from speaking about these moments. Whereas interviewers usually perceive, solutions with a adverse consequence don’t present a lot data for hiring managers to work with. They’re trying to find out about the way you strategy challenges as they arrive.

For those who present an instance of a problem with no constructive consequence, you’re not highlighting your problem-solving abilities. Nobody expects you to be excellent, however it is best to at all times lean on positivity.

Select examples that resulted in success.

Saying You’ve By no means Had Challenges

Lastly, keep away from saying that you just by no means needed to overcome an impediment. Not solely is that unfaithful, but it surely reveals a scarcity of self-awareness.

Everybody has confronted obstacles sooner or later of their profession. Saying you didn’t is dishonest. Plus, it doesn’t give interviewers something to work with.

Deal with this query as a chance to indicate perseverance, confidence, and suppleness. For those who don’t present an instance in any respect, you’re lacking out on an opportunity to indicate hiring managers what you’re fabricated from.

Instance Solutions

Do you want some inspiration to develop a solution to “What obstacles have you ever overcome?” Whereas everybody’s response needs to be distinctive to their experiences, we now have just a few examples to indicate you what reply seems like.

Instance 1

In our first instance, a candidate tried to take the initiative and skilled some resistance from higher administration. This reply works properly for just a few causes. First, it reveals tenacity and unwavering perseverance to perform one thing nice.

Secondly, it highlights necessary abilities which will apply to the job they’re attempting to get.

“I had an expertise at my final job that was a problem to beat. I used to be a junior developer with a singular thought for an app I believed would revolutionize how our firm interacted with prospects. After bringing it as much as administration, they hesitated to allocate a finances to this undertaking.

I understood why, however I made a decision not to surrender. I spent a number of weeks making a prototype in my free time and made a presentation full of data proving my thought’s validity. Administration was impressed with my presentation and finally gave me a modest finances to pursue the undertaking.

Whereas the ultimate product I created didn’t launch as a standalone app, administration applied my concepts into a bigger undertaking many senior builders had been engaged on. It ended up being a core characteristic of the app my former firm nonetheless makes use of at this time. The weather I got here up with had been an enormous hit and helped the corporate considerably improve buyer engagement.”

Instance 2

In our subsequent instance, we now have a candidate who discusses an impediment they’d speaking with others in a overseas language. This pattern reply is superb as a result of it reveals that the job seeker was proactive sufficient to keep away from main issues whereas being self-aware sufficient to know when to get assist.

“I used to work as an assistant for a staff of executives at my final job. I’d accompany group leaders to worldwide places for conferences. My job was to function a liaison and handle the staff’s schedule.

We had one journey to France that was well-planned. Nonetheless, we skilled a last-minute delay that put your complete schedule again by practically eight hours! At first, the prospect of reaching out to enterprise contacts, resorts, and transportation was overwhelming.

I didn’t communicate French, however I knew that calling everybody immediately was my solely choice to reschedule the whole lot final minute.

As a substitute of panicking and leaping on the telephone, I deliberate the whole lot I’d say. I wrote down what I wanted to say for each contact earlier than operating it by a translator.

I rapidly realized that many gate workers and airline customer support representatives spoke fluent French. So, I requested them to assessment what I had written. They helped me make modifications to enhance the grammar of my messages.

Then, they taught me find out how to pronounce the whole lot! These fantastic folks had been affected person sufficient to hearken to me observe earlier than I known as.

After about an hour, I known as all these French contacts and efficiently modified the staff’s schedule. I had no issues, and our journey was a hit.

I finally determined to take programs to be taught the languages of the nations we visited most. Whereas not fluent, I can now confidently get round talking French, Italian, and Spanish!”

Instance 3

Lastly, we now have a comparatively easy response overlaying a problem that many individuals face. This candidate needed to improve their workload after just a few colleagues left. Their reply displays what they did to keep up productiveness and what they discovered.

“The most important work problem I’ve ever confronted occurred when a few work colleagues left. Their departure left me with the workload of three folks. Whereas I did my greatest to maintain assembly objectives, it wasn’t sustainable long-term.

I reached out to my supervisor and recommended that we get non permanent assist from one other staff. My supervisor didn’t understand that I used to be scuffling with the workload and thanked me for letting them know they wanted to streamline the hiring course of for replacements.

I labored with a few folks from one other division who taught me many nice issues. It modified my whole strategy to work, and I ended up discovering new methods to maximise productiveness. When my firm ultimately employed replacements, I handed these abilities on to my new staff.

We turned very productive and carried out higher than earlier than! I discovered that speaking with my supervisor and asking for assistance is at all times a greater resolution than making an attempt to do the whole lot myself. That have led to nice outcomes, and I at all times consider it when confronted with challenges at this time.”            


There’s actually nothing to concern when speaking a few time you overcame a problem. The truth is, it is best to view this query as a chance to go away an awesome impression!

All it takes is knowing find out how to strategy your reply and a bit of observe.

Good luck!


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