How Do You Handle Conflicts? 10 Sample Answers

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Written By Editorial Team

Conflict handling is one of the most asked-about skills in interviews, regardless of the role or position. Conflict resolution is an important skill that helps solve interpersonal conflicts prevalent in work settings. It, therefore, makes sense for employers to establish whether a potential candidate can deal with interpersonal conflicts, reconcile emotions and reach an understanding after a disagreement.

Before we suggest ten great answers to this question, let’s first look at the benefits of conflict resolution in an office or work environment.

Benefits Of Conflict Resolution In A Work Environment

Conflict resolution is dealing with a dispute or disagreement and bringing it to an end by reaching a common agreement. Employees must invest in excellent conflict resolution skills to allow them to control their emotional responses, facilitate discussion and promote understanding. Some standard conflict resolution techniques to cultivate include active listening, emotional regulation, communication, assertiveness, and apologizing.

Now that you know how to go about conflict resolution, here are some of the benefits:

1. Building Relationships

Unresolved arguments caused by self-serving fairness interpretations, escalation, avoidance, blame, insults, and emotional versatility, among others, strain personal and professional relationships. However, communicating, being emotionally aware, and practicing empathy, which are all essential conflict resolution techniques, can help create more satisfying relationships even after an argument. Effective conflict resolution also ensures that the resolved issues do not happen again.

2. Generating New Ideas And Innovations

There is a positive side to conflicts that people don’t realize. Differing in perspectives can help us brainstorm new ideas and innovations. By applying the different conflict resolution skills, we can prevent escalation in disagreements and create an environment that accommodates helpful and healthy discussions around issues. Conflict resolution can also result in teaching and learning from others, which you need in your personal and professional life.

3. Can Be Used As A Show Of Commitment

The conflicting parties must come together and discuss how to end a conflict. Each party must be committed to the process for it to work, which can inspire loyalty and dedication in the times to follow.

Sample Answers

Here are some of the answers to give when asked how you handle conflicts by an interviewer:

Answer 1

I usually handle conflicts through active listening and practicing empathy. Whenever I disagree with a colleague or a friend, I give them my full attention as they explain their side of the story to understand their point of view. I may also ask a few questions that can help us find a beneficial solution and put the matter to rest. Additionally, I practice empathy by showing understanding and concern for their feelings, instead of prioritizing mine.

Answer 2

I have discovered from experience that the best way to handle conflicts is through clear communication. Whenever I have an issue with someone, especially my colleagues, I express my thoughts and feelings instead of keeping them to myself to prevent anger and resentment from building up. I also refrain from hostility or defensiveness, behaviors that prevent the timely resolution of issues. Lastly, I strive as much as possible to avoid misinterpretations and misunderstandings, which are inhibiting factors in conflict resolution.

Answer 3

I take the problem-solving approach whenever I have a disagreement I need to deal with. It means viewing the problem from a different angle, i.e., as a problem that requires a solution and not a competition one party has to win. By taking a problem-solving approach, I usually work with the other party to find the root cause of the issue and then work on a solution to put the matter to rest. Finally, I reflect on the experience and learn from it to avoid a similar occurrence from happening again.

Answer 4

Even though we are urged to strive as much as possible to prevent and avoid conflicts, they are occasionally inevitable. From experience, one of the best ways of handling disputes once they happen is to acknowledge and accept responsibility. Therefore, I usually take responsibility for my actions and my part in causing the conflict. By recognizing my actions’ impact on others, I can reduce tension and begin working to end the conflict.

Answer 5

One strategy that has always helped me resolve conflicts and end the occasional disagreements in my places of work is taking time to cool down before approaching the other party. It is a technique that prevents unnecessary escalation, which is one of the causes of unresolved conflicts. Cooling down also gives me time to obtain a different perspective that can bring the issue to rest once and for all. It also means avoiding impulsive decisions, which generally backfire in the end.

Answer 6

usually seek mediation and outside help to find a lasting solution to conflicts, which means finding a neutral third party who can listen and help us solve the issue. A different person or impartial third party normally brings in new ideas and perspectives that can help find a benefitting solution. For example, I used to seek the help of my former supervisor whenever I had a problem with a colleague. He’d summon us and allow us to explain our sides of the story before walking us through possible solutions.

Answer 7

One conflict resolution strategy that has always worked for me is compromising and negotiating. I usually work with others to find a mutually acceptable solution, even if it means adjusting, accepting, and accepting a different outcome. Negotiation also goes hand in hand with compromise as it allows us to work through various positions and needs, which I am glad has always worked.

Answer 8

I usually handle conflicts by focusing on common goals instead of differences. This means giving more attention to what we have in common and less to those we differ on. It is the best way of finding a solution that everyone can benefit from. It also prevents the disagreement or conflict from escalating, helping create the right environment for discussing possible solutions.

Answer 9

I usually handle conflicts and prevent them from negatively impacting the team’s morale by considering different perspectives. I take time to reflect on the issue at hand and look at it from different angles to find the best possible solutions. I also consider the perspectives of everyone involved, which also comes in handy in arriving at a solution that benefits all the parties.

Answer 10

I have learned that staying calm and professional is the best way to handle conflicts. Avoiding anger and feelings of resentment prevents the conflict from escalating, giving both parties time to come up with a good solution. Additionally, maintaining a professional demeanor promotes respect for better conflict resolution.

Standard Techniques For Conflict Resolution That You Should Work On

Here are some of the common techniques that can help you effectively handle any workplace conflicts:

1. Active Listening

Active listening involves giving full attention to the other party, reflecting on what they have to say, and incorporating their messages in one’s decisions or statements. Through active listening, we increase mutual understanding, facilitate discussions and ensure that the other party’s voice is heard. Some functional listening skills you should work on include stress management, decisiveness, negotiation, and articulation.

2. Emotional Regulation

Emotional regulation prevents any form of escalation, which is necessary for effective conflict resolution. Examples of emotional regulation skills include stress management, staying calm, self-awareness, patience, empathy, sincerity, and the ability to handle difficult personalities. It’s also worth pointing out that emotional regulation demands the application of emotional intelligence, anger management skills, and coming up with the right expectations if both parties are to find a lasting solution to their problems without letting emotional reactions get in the way.

3. Communication

Healthy relationships are usually built through communication, which explains why working on your communication is crucial if you want to handle conflicts appropriately. Regular communication also helps prevent similar occurrences from happening in the future. Some skills to work on in this regard are persuasion, verbal and nonverbal communication, and articulation.

4. Apologizing

Effective conflict resolution requires readiness to compromise, which may indirectly mean apologizing. However, you must know when to apologize to the other party. Offering an apology means accepting and taking responsibility for one’s action, which is necessary for finding a solution to a conflict.

5. Assertiveness

Assertiveness can help people communicate their expectations and address their feelings instead of keeping to themselves and inwardly building resentment. Some skills that help with assertiveness include fairness, management, self-control, decisiveness, and the ability to voice and accept opinions.

Remember that these methods can be used when privately resolving conflicts during party negotiations or using neutral third parties such as a mediator. Remember to work on all the above techniques for the best results.


Getting the right answer to ‘how do you handle conflicts’ can help you get the job you have been eyeing. Employers need people who can compromise, communicate, negotiate, listen actively, and regulate their emotions to find lasting solutions to conflicts. Ensure that you are articulate enough when answering this question, as confidence is vital during interviews.