As one of many common interview questions, this question seems to be a difficult one to answer. It’s always good to prepare yourself for questions like these before an interview so you can answer them effectively. Here are some tips to help you answer the question: 

“Tell me about a time you overcame an obstacle.”

Understand why they’re asking you this question

Employers or recruiters want to know what skills and attitudes you have in the workplace. Depending on the role, each employer will look for something specific in your answer. Some of the skills/qualities they might look for are: 

  • Problem-solving and decision-making skills 
  • Communication skills 
  • Resourcefulness 
  • Resiliency 
  • Self-confidence and self-awareness

Choose an obstacle to talk about

First, think about the role you are being interviewed for. What are some of the obstacles that you might face in this role? Tailoring your answers to the role you applied to can help you envision what you might experience if you get the role, but it can also help the interviewer determine if you are the right fit for the position. 

Use the STAR method 

STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Use the STAR method to explain a specific situation, describe the task you completed, outline the actions you took to get there and end with the results. 

Here are some extra tips to consider when providing an example of overcoming an obstacle: 

  • Be honest! Don’t make up an obstacle or lie about the details in the situation. 
  • Don’t exaggerate. Be specific about the situation and the outcome. 
  • Emphasize key soft skills. Examples of soft skills include creativity, leadership, quick decision-making, etc. 
  • Be concise. Keep it short and sweet. Only give the details you need to share, you don’t have to share everything. 
  • Don’t blame others. Try to remain objective about the situation. 
  • Stay positive! Show that you are still calm and optimistic in the workplace, regardless of any obstacles you may face. 

I hope this helps you when preparing for your next interview. You got this! In case you need more information, here are the original articles I read along with a few extra links you can check out. Good luck!