Prayer About a Difficult Work Situation
How to Answer ‘Tell Me About an Obstacle You Overcame’
Job interviews are one of the most challenging and nerve-wracking experiences we have to go through in our adult life. They can be stressful and uncomfortable, yet are necessary in order to secure a job and keep your head above water.
You have tough questions flying at you left, right and center and can find yourself stumbling, trying to answer them. The key to smashing an interview and coming across cool and collected is all in the preparation.
In this detailed guide, you’ll learn how to answer the tricky question ‘Tell me about a time when you faced a major obstacle at work’ to impress your interviewer and leave a lasting impression.
It’s often baffling when interviewers ask certain questions, but there’s a perfectly good explanation for ‘tell me about a time you faced a major obstacle at work’. This question is designed to help the interviewer discover what type of problem solver you are.
They want to know that they are hiring someone who has the ability to think on their feet and can demonstrate resilience in the face of a challenge.
It’s your chance to show that in tough times you turn to your inner strength and possess skills to find quick solutions. “Throughout the interview, keep in mind that employers don't really care about your past,” argues Business Insider.
“They only ask about it in order to try to predict your future (behavior) with them if they decide to hire you.”
How to Answer the Question
There are several approaches to successfully answering this question, but some key things to remember are:
Hiring managers can see straight through BS.
Make sure that you have a real-life situation in mind and be truthful about the difficulty of the conflict that you faced, but ensure you finish off with how you actually triumphed and overcame the obstacle.
Interviewers to see that a candidate is genuine and humble. From a skills perspective, a manager wants to hear proof that you can face adversity and still achieve your targets.Another important quality to show when answering this question is that you remained positive when overcoming a hurdle at work. It’s only natural that the majority of us will feel stressed, but you must show that you can come up with good resolutions. Constructive problem solving is important in keeping a positive company culture, and employers want to make sure each candidate is a fit.
An easy way to remember how to answer this question is to use the STAR approach. You must first explain the situation that you were in and how the task was challenging.
Then, explain the approach you took and the positive result it had.
Remember to keep your answer short and precise; many times candidates find themselves going off on a personal ramble about a situation that doesn’t show any problem-solving qualities.
- Show How You Work Well Under Pressure
An important quality to show is how you work well under pressure. When faced with an unexpected struggle, it’s important to show how you quickly resolved it within a limited period of time.
- Make Your Answer Relatable to the Role You Are Interviewing for
At the risk of stating the obvious, pick an example relevant to the position that you are aiming for. If you know the new job will involve a lot of teamwork, discuss a group project that wasn’t going well or a group task at work. If it is an individual position, then talk about a situation where you had to complete a task that was difficult alone.
The below examples can give you some inspiration on how to successfully answer this behavioral question:
- In my last job, we were all set to begin a project when everything that could go wrong, did. While some team members panicked and suggested a delay was inevitable, I suggested we all collect ourselves and lay out alternatives for each challenge. We spent the morning taking action on alternatives and were able to start on schedule. It turned into a very successful project.
- The greatest challenge I faced in my previous job as a travel consultant, was being on call when the terrorist attacks happened in Paris. I had to ensure all our clients that were currently in Paris were safe, and put them in touch with local representatives that could be at hand if needed. I then quickly devised a report to see who would be flying in the next week and put together two-week, tailor made alternatives for other destinations. Being able to do the above under pressure relayed trust into our clients and several even sent hand written letters to our managing director to thank me for my care and support.
- When working on a large event in my previous position, I had noticed that a colleague had booked the cake to be delivered a day before the actual event. I quickly found an alternative supplier that could prepare the same cake swiftly and rectified the mistake.
- When I was completing my first assignment for university, something happened to my laptop. It broke down the night before and I lost my whole assignment the day before I had to hand it in. I tried to download software to find where it had disappeared to but to no avail. Rather than offer up excuses, I stayed up throughout the night and re-wrote the entire assignment on a friend's laptop. It was challenging but I was so relieved that I managed to finish within the deadline.
Mistakes to Avoid
Mistakes do happen on a daily basis but in an interview, you definitely want to avoid making any kind of mistake; after all, one slip-up could cost you the entire job. In order for you to be fully prepared, here are some answers that you should definitely avoid:
Saying You Have Never Faced a Challenge: Not having faced adversity can suggest to an employer that you don’t set ambitious goals, avoid challenges and lack self-awareness. At some point in our career, we face difficult situations that need to be resolved in some shape or form, and if you haven't got any examples to draw on, then it shows that you are happy to coast.
Focusing on a Personal Achievement Rather Than a Professional One: Having survived through tough times is certainly something to be proud of. However, these hard times should be a situation at work that relates to your current or former role. Unless it fits the job, leave that example for outside the interview room.
Focusing on the Challenge Instead of the Solution: When answering this tough question it’s important to specify what the solution was, instead of focusing on just the challenge. Employers want to see how you can think on your feet and resolve arising issues.
Talking About a Time You Were Faced With a Challenge and Couldn’t Overcome It: Whatever you do, don’t tell a hiring manager that you couldn’t overcome the obstacle; it’s the interview equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot.
Remember, overcoming an obstacle' doesn't have to mean that you turned an entire department around and made the company a million dollars; it can be something relatively small and simple, as long as it shows that you were able to think on your feet and turn a negative into a positive.
Have you ever been asked how you overcame an obstacle in an interview? How did you answer the question? Let us know in the comments section down below…
This article was originally published in May 2015.
Does Prayer Work?
By: Joel Lindsey
Prayer can be an ongoing conversation with God, but does it make any difference?
When we talk to God, we’re praying. When God talks to us, we’re schizophrenic.Lily Tomlin
The idea of talking to God—praying—is kind of weird, isn’t it?
Usually when you talk to someone, you can hear his or her response to you. But prayer is different. Prayer looks you’re basically just talking to yourself.
How do you talk with someone who doesn’t necessarily talk back—audibly, at least? And if you believe that God not only listens to prayers but answers them too, how do you distinguish your own thoughts and feelings from God’s answers?
Then there’s the really big question: Does prayer even work?
What’s the point of praying if God already knows the future, orchestrates what’s going to happen, and knows what we need? And yet, billions of people all over the world practice some form of prayer. Why bother if it doesn’t make a difference?
Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Muslims, and adherents to many other religions share a common thread of prayer.
For instance, Buddhists believe not so much in praying to an external god but in praying to awaken their own abilities buried deep within. Muslims believe that their prayers, which are required five times a day, are a reminder of God and a calling to a greater purpose beyond themselves.
Christians, too, believe that prayer can powerfully change lives, that it should be practiced regularly, and that it can help us refocus our priorities. Christianity further teaches that prayer also has the ability to dramatically affect the world and influence how God chooses to interact with humanity.2
But how does that work? If God is a supreme, omnipotent being, won’t he work out his purposes however he wants? It seems unly that our measly little prayers would affect his plans.
Many Christians would describe it this: In mysterious but sovereign ways, God has decided to allow prayer to influence and accomplish his will. He chose prayer as the means through which to involve his followers in his plan. Prayer is one way God accomplishes his purposes in, through, and surrounding the one who prays.
A Changed Heart
Many of us pray to God as if he were a genie in a bottle. We hope that, if we’re lucky, he’ll hear us and act according to our wishes.
However, many faiths, including Christianity, paint a deeper and more intimate portrait of prayer. Rather than using God as a means to an end, within prayer God is the end. The believer prays, trusting in the character and power of God.One of the chief purposes of prayer, then, is to transform the heart of the person praying to more closely resemble the heart of God. It’s not so much about getting tangible “results” from God. It is rather an opportunity to know God more fully, to better understand what he wants of each of us, and to establish a lifelong relationship.
Prayer is a lifestyle of humble dependence, of living in community and harmony with God, the source of life.
Ask and It Will Be Given
This is not to say that there’s no place for making specific, personal requests for God’s direction and provision. In speaking to his disciples about prayer, Jesus said:
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!3
According to these verses, prayer is an opportunity to approach the greatest father of all time and openly express our needs and desires and directly ask for help.
But how could God, an entity massive enough to create the universe, really care about the little details of my tiny life?
This is the heart of the Christian message—God cares so deeply about each one of us that he has provided a way for us to have an authentic, intimate relationship with him. Prayer is one of the incredible blessings of the Christian faith, for the more we believe, the more God reveals himself.
anything worthwhile, prayer is a process. It takes time, commitment, and discipline.4 Prayer is not meant to happen only in times of desperation. It is meant to be an ongoing conversation.
And that’s where it gets fascinating. As someone invests in and becomes more comfortable with prayer, one of the ways in which it “works” is in the growing trust that person gains.Praying people have reported miracles and answers to prayers that they never would have imagined and certainly couldn’t have created on their own. They believe that prayer made the difference.
Imagine a miracle that you would to see—maybe the healing of sick relative, the repairing of a broken relationship, or the redeeming of a seemingly hopeless situation. Could prayer be your answer? Could miracles become your experience?
- Copy the following code and paste it into your website's code to display this article on your site. By: Joel Lindsey © ExploreGod.com Prayer can be an ongoing conversation with God, but does it make any difference? When we talk to God, we’re praying. When God talks to us, we’re schizophrenic.Lily TomlinThe idea of talking to God—praying—is kind of weird, isn’t it?Usually when you talk to someone, you can hear his or her response to you. But prayer is different. Prayer looks you’re basically just talking to yourself.How do you talk with someone who doesn’t necessarily talk back—audibly, at least? And if you believe that God not only listens to prayers but answers them too, how do you distinguish your own thoughts and feelings from God’s answers?Then there’s the really big question: Does prayer even work?What’s the point of praying if God already knows the future, orchestrates what’s going to happen, and knows what we need? And yet, billions of people all over the world practice some form of prayer. Why bother if it doesn’t make a difference?
Communicating in Difficult Situations
See also: Handling Difficult Conversations with Your Partner
Most people want to avoid conflict and potentially stressful situations – this is human nature.
People often find it easier to avoid communicating something that they think is going to be controversial or bad, putting off the communication and letting the situation fester.
A manager may hold off telling an employee that their standard of work is unsatisfactory. You may put off having that 'difficult' conversation with your partner, especially if it concerns some kind of wrongdoing, financial or emotional issues. A child may put off telling their parents that they are struggling with classes at school.
Most people can think of times when they have put off having that ‘difficult’ conversatio. Most people will also recognise that putting off the difficult conversation alleviates short-term anxiety.
However, constantly putting off difficult communication situations often leads to feelings of frustration, guilt, annoyance with oneself, anger, a reduction in self-confidence and, ultimately, more stress and anxiety.
By following some simple guidelines and by using some well-tuned communication skills, communicating in difficult situations becomes easier.
There are two distinct types of difficult conversation, planned and unplanned:
- Planned conversations occur when the subject has been given thought, they are planned as the time, place and other circumstances have been arranged or are chosen for a reason.Planned difficult conversations could include asking an employer for a pay-rise or perhaps telling your parents that you are leaving home to live somewhere else. Although these situations are, by their nature, difficult they are controlled and as long as time has been taken to prepare and think properly about how others may react they can often end up being easier than imagined.
- Unplanned difficult conversations take place on the spur of the moment; these are often fuelled by anger which can, in extreme cases, lead to aggression.Our pages: What is Anger? and Dealing with Aggression cover these topics in more detail. Often, after an unplanned difficult conversation we feel a surge of emotion – regret or shame if things didn't go too well or potentially a boost to self-esteem and confidence if they did. After such encounters it is wise to reflect and learn from our experiences trying to find positives and ways of improving future unplanned difficult conversations.
Certain jobs and roles require difficult communication to be handled professionally, with empathy, tact, discretion and clarity. Some examples are:
Politicians often have to communicate bad news, for example, failures in their departments, scandals, not meeting targets etc. As Politicians are in the public eye they may be judged by how well they communicate bad news. They will worry about their electorate and the repercussions for their self-image, their political party and their country.
It is not unusual for Politicians to use ‘spin doctors’ and ‘public relation gurus’ who can advise, alleviate personal blame and find positives in potentially bad news. Another trick sometimes used by politicians is to coincide the release of bad news with some other, unrelated big news story, with the hope that media and public attention will be focused elsewhere.
Doctors and other Health Care Professionals may need to communicate bad or unexpected news to patients and relations of patients, for example, diagnosis and prognosis. Such professionals will have received training and will have worked in practise scenarios to help them to deliver such news effectively and sensitively.
Police and other Law Enforcement Officers may need to communicate bad news to victims of crime or their family and friends. Such professionals will have received at least basic training in delivering bad news.
Managers in organisations may need to communicate difficult information on several levels, to staff who are under-performing or if redundancies are necessary. Managers may also need to report bad news upwards to directors or board members, perhaps profits are down or some arm of the organisation is failing.
Your Job. Whatever your line of work, there will be times when, you will need to be able to communicate difficult information effectively to others. This is an important employability skill, something that many employers will look for. You may be asked to give examples in a job interview or during some sort of appraisal or professional development programme.
See our pages: Employability Skills and Transferable Skills for more information.
Emotion and Change
There are two main factors that make communication seem difficult: emotion and change.
People tend to look at emotions as being positive or negative. Happiness is positive and therefore sadness must be negative, calmness is positive whereas stress and anxiety are negative.
Emotions are, however, a natural response to situations that we find ourselves in, and the only time that we need to be concerned is when we consistently feel emotions inappropriate to our current situation.
Emotions are therefore not positive or negative but appropriate or inappropriate.
When faced with unexpected news we may find ourselves becoming upset, frustrated, angry – or perhaps very happy and excited.
It is helpful to recognise how we react to things emotionally and to think of different ways in which emotions can be controlled if necessary.
Similarly, if we need to communicate information which may have an emotional effect on another person, it is helpful to anticipate what that effect might be and to tailor what we say or write accordingly.
See our pages: Managing Emotions and Understanding Others for more on being aware of your own, and other people's, emotions and how to deal with these sensitively.
Often difficult conversations are about some sort of change, for example, changes in your job or ways of doing things, changes in finances or health, changes in a relationship. It is important to remember that change is inevitable.
Our page Personal Change Management explains this in more detail.
Different people handle change in different ways, some respond very positively to a change in circumstances whereas others may only be able to see problems and difficulty at first.
If possible it is beneficial to think about the positive side of the change and the potential opportunities that it may bring.
It is better for an individual’s well-being if they are able to embrace change as positively as possible, thus helping to minimise stress and anxiety.
See our page: Stress: Symptoms and Triggers which includes a list of the most stressful life events – these are mainly associated with change.
Further Reading from Skills You Need
Conflict Resolution and Mediation
Learn more about how to effectively resolve conflict and mediate personal relationships at home, at work and socially.
Our eBooks are ideal for anyone who wants to learn about or develop their interpersonal skills and are full of easy-to-follow, practical information.
Dealing with Difficult Conversations
There has to be a balance between communicating something difficult and being as sensitive as possible to those concerned.
The skill set required to do this may seem somewhat contradictory as you may need to be both firm and gentle in your approach.
Recommended skills include:
Make sure you have your facts straight before you begin, know what you are going to say and why you are going to say it. Try to anticipate any questions or concerns others may have and think carefully about how you will answer questions.
See our pages: Questioning and Question Types.
Once you are sure that something needs to be communicated then do so in an assertive way. Do not find yourself backing down or changing your mind mid-conversation, unless of course there is very good reason to do so.
Visit our page: Assertiveness – Tips & Techniques for more information.
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and think about how they will feel about what you are telling them; how would you feel if the roles were reversed? Give others time to ask questions and make comments.
See our page: What is Empathy?.
Being Prepared to Negotiate
Often a difficult situation requires a certain amount of negotiation, be prepared for this. When negotiating, aim for a win-win outcome – that is, some way in which all parties can benefit.
See our pages What is Negotiation? and The Art of Tact and Diplomacy for more information.
Using Appropriate Verbal and Non-Verbal Language
Speak clearly avoiding any jargon that other parties may not understand, give eye contact and try to sit or stand in a relaxed way. Do not use confrontational language or body language.
Our pages: Verbal Communication and Non-Verbal Communication provide more information about how to communicate effectively.
When stressed we tend to listen less well, try to relax and listen carefully to the views, opinions and feelings of the other person/people. Use clarification and reflection techniques to offer feedback and demonstrate that you were listening.
Our pages Listening Skills, Reflecting and Clarifying can help.
Staying Calm and Focused
Communication becomes easier when we are calm, take some deep breaths and try to maintain an air of calmness, others are more ly to remain calm if you do. Keep focused on what you want to say, don’t deviate or get distracted from the reason that you are communicating.
See our pages, Dealing with Stress and Relaxation Techniques for some tips and advice on how to keep calm.
Prayer for a difficult situation
by Angie (Weslaco Texas)
please pray for me and the father of my wonderful son and stepson. our relationship has been difficult throughout our years of living apart. i love him very much and pray that someday we will finally mend. what has been broken.
i pray that the recent tragedy i have experienced in this relationship be healed for me.. my pain is his joy because he recently fathered a child with another woman.
im not sure what will now happen to,what i believed, for so long was my family but i ask for prayer to get through this again and find each other in love and trust that has since dissapeared. though we have separated, i ask for prayer to unite us with a bond beyond what we have known.
i love eugene williams and i pray for.the ability to get passed my hurt and find him again in love and faith for our future.
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A very powerful prayer for difficult situations
Friends, this morning I want to share with you a very powerful prayer. It is a prayer to the Holy Spirit to be prayed in difficult situations. I can truly testify that many miracles have been obtained through this prayer.
Last night a friend, Barb, commented on my blog about a serious situation regarding a procedure her husband needs and the insurance company won’t approve it.
(Please pray for them!) I just now read her comment, and was going to share this prayer with her, but I feel moved to share it with all of you.
I have always felt that this prayer is so powerful because the Holy Spirit tends to be the forgotten person of the Holy Trinity. We most often tend to pray to the Father and/or to Jesus. But if we think about it, The Father is, and has always been in Heaven; He sent His Son Jesus to earth.Jesus came to teach us the way to the Father, and to die and rise again to save us, and then to return to the Father. But before He returned to the Father, He promised to leave with us an Advocate (Jn. 14:16).
The Holy Spirit is here in the world with us, He is in each of us, and He is here to help us – to teach us, to guide us, and to intercede for us.
So here is the prayer. I learned it and pray it in Spanish, so I am translating it and you may want to adjust the language a little.
PRAYER TO RESOLVE A DIFFICULT SITUATION
May the Father command it, may the Son arrange it, and may the Holy Spirit appease the hearts of those who are against us.
Repeat 10 times:
Come, Holy Spirit, enlighten the hearts of those who can favor us. (or those who can help us)
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. Amen.
Then all of this is repeated four more times.
(We usually use a rosary to say this prayer, using the beads to keep count.)
It may sound long, but it really isn’t. It only takes about 7 minutes to pray.
I know some people question repetitive prayer, but really, quiet, thoughtful repetition calms the soul, and helps us enter into the presence of God.
I invite you to pray this prayer for Barb, if you feel moved to do so.
To maintain a working relationship with co-workers who are hard to get along with, use this prayer for them and for yourself.
Difficult to get along with co-worker’s prayer:
What about the difficult co-worker that everybody struggles to get along with, or at least you do. If you have lived long enough you already know that relationships in and the workplace can be difficult.
As Christians we are called to love all people, bosses, even those who seem to be difficult to get along with.
Matthew 5:46 says “If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.”
Here is a prayer to pray for difficult co-worker relationships:
Example: I know that you are well aware of the struggles I have with relating to is always so negative and it seems whenever I give a suggestion or say something there is always a loud and negative response that gives that goes against whatever I say. I can’t seem to understand why there is so much animosity between us and it certainly makes me want to stay as far away from as possible. I feel anxious and stressed out about even going into work knowing that I will have to deal with this situation.
After telling God about the difficult relationship, continue praying this prayer:
My first reaction when relationships are difficult is to just stay away and have no involvement with the individual but I know that you call me to set an example for Christ and to love all who I encounter.
I am asking for your help today and asking you to show me how to understand so that we can have a healthy work relationship that who knows may turn into a friendship because you work in mysterious ways.
I pray for today that you will show touch in a special way. I pray that you will bless and that would have an encounter with you today that will cause to be transformed.
I pray that you would heal the inner hurts and pains experienced in life that are having an effect on their means to relate and communicate with me and with others.
I pray that you would give a heart of flesh in replace for what seems to be a heart of stone.
I pray that through me and others in life that you would let your love be known to .
This seems such a difficult tasks when I look at it through my eyes but I know that it is not too difficult for you.I know that your works are perfect to perform in us what you desire to accomplish in and through us and I believe that you are working on and that you have a purpose and a plan for their life.
Your word is clear according to John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son so that whosoever would believe in him would not perish but have everlasting life”. I pray that if do not know you that they would find salvation through Jesus Christ and that through my life that the light of Christ would shine for to see that there is something different about me.
I pray for whatever may be going on beneath the surface with that would cause them to hurt or act out the way that does.
I pray for peace in the home, I pray for relationships in the home, I pray for financial situations, I pray for healing for any health issues or anything that may be going on that feels alone with or that it is too much to bear.
I pray that will find healing, deliverance, and wholeness that only comes through a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Father God, I know that when I pray that you hear me and that you will move in this situation.
No matter how long it may take for change to be noticeable, I pray that you would change me also in the process so that I do not feel overwhelmed or stressed or anxious around this person but that I will give it all over to you and allow you to work through me to love and to show kindness, and compassion to and this come through humbling myself under your mighty righteous hand. For, I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength”.
In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Other Helpful Articles:
Stressful work relationships prayer action plan
Prayer for bosses, supervisors and those in authority in your workplace
Prayer for co-workers
Family Problems prayer
Copyright Sondra Green 2014. All rights reserved.