Your manager is wrong but how do you handle the situation?

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It happens every so often that an interviewer will ask what you would do in such a situation.

This might seem like a trick question and might catch you off guard if you are not expecting it.

Nevertheless, there is no need to panic as you can answer this question in such a way that is both open and diplomatic.



The main reason the interviewer asks this is to find out how you respond to authority and how you tend to approach a difficult situation.


A skilled recruiter will want to see that, while respecting the manager’s authority, you are also capable of critical thinking and care about the outcome of your work.


Some might warn against pointing out your manager’s mistake in order to not defy his or her authority.


Nonetheless, there is a difference between defying your manager’s authority and simply being tactful and having a healthy working relationship with him or her.


So what is the best way to handle this question?


Firstly, it is always a good idea to introduce a similar example from your experience and use it to illustrate your approach.


If you are fresh out of school, there might still be examples that you can use to prove to the interviewer that you are mature enough to handle such situations – maybe instead of a manager it involved your teacher, coach or tutor.


This will help you to avoid being too general and deviating from the point you are trying to make.


How about an example?


Maybe you discovered an error in an important business contract that your boss was responsible for. You then approached your boss in private and suggested an amendment. It is a good idea to point out that thanks to your actions the contract was reviewed and the mistake avoided.


This will ensure that you leave a good impression with the recruiter and show him or her that you are able to handle a tricky question such as this in a professional manner.


Have you ever been asked this question during an interview?


Let us know how you responded below.


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Your manager is wrong but how do you handle the situation?

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