Tough Interview Questions: How Do You Handle Office Politics?

How do you handle office politics?

Politics in the office usually translates into two people had different opinions about something and the other person’s opinion was chosen. The other way is credit grabbing. So I’m going to address both of these.

The first one. Two different opinions. “Well I try not to get involved with office politics but the fact of the matter is we all compete and, for some people, office politics is the sign that they lost the disagreement over how something should be done. It happens. My opinions are good but sometimes some one’s are better and I could have an opportunity to learn from what their thought process was and there’s nothing to be bothered or trouble about.”

Then, you can continue by saying, “but sometimes office politics also means someone credit grabbing or someone trying to take control of a situation that doesn’t belong to them and there I try and get support from management to sort things through because, yeah, we could argue and fight and what’s the point of that? The fact of the matter is management has an idea of who they want to handle things. Maybe I didn’t understand my side, but maybe they didn’t understand their side. So let’s get that sorted out as quickly as possible before the office starts taking sides before it becomes problematic,” . . . and that’s obviously if the other person and I can’t sort things through ourselves. So that’s how I’d address that kind of question. I think it’s pretty logical but you have to address both situations in answering the question.

So, again with the first scenario, you start by saying office politics often means two things. Number one is two people can disagree over which of their ideas is best. Management chooses the other person. Hence, its politics. I don’t see it that way. I see it as there were two good ideas. Management chose the one that they thought was best and I have something I can learn from them.”

The second one is, “I try and sort it out with my colleague. If I can’t, I go to management.”


Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2020



Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1800 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
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