Tell Me About A Time You Disagreed With Your Boss? (With 10 Sample Interview Answers)

While being in employment, there are various situations, when we are not on the same page with our boss. The reasons may be umpteen, but every reason has something to tell about your personality. This is a common interview question to evaluate your personality and mindset. A well-structured and planned response can help an interviewer to gain knowledge about your preferences and priorities.

5 Best Tips To Follow

1) Accept Your Mistake

In most of the cases, it has been observed, that the juniors are wrong, barring a few exceptions. While narrating your experience, make sure that you accept your mistake and give an impression that you are guilty of it. Also, never forget to share the ways that you have adopted to improve your mistakes.

2) If Your Boss Is Wrong, Share In A Polite Way

No human is perfect, no matter whether the person is erudite or a person of high repute. There are cases when bosses are wrong and guide erroneously. If you have experienced anything similar then you do have the liberty to share the same. But remember, that you are not supposed to exaggerate it or use any disparaging language about your boss.

3) Always End Postively

It is necessary to close a tricky question on a positive or hopeful note. If you are on the wrong side of an altercation then share the ways, methods, or habits you have developed in yourself so as to ensure that a similar mistake won’t be repeated. If your boss is wrong, just say, even though he or she was wrong, I still respect him or her, or never lost my temper during the entire episode.

4) Pick The Most Influential

There are several instances of disagreements that we experience in our professional life. In some, you might have been held responsible and in some, your boss would have been wrong. You must analyze the major ones and try to prepare the response for any two such events. This would help you to answer this question confidently and you won’t feel for lack of words at any instance.

5) Never Skip

It is highly recommended that you don’t just skip the answer by simply saying that you have always been an obedient employee and never had any altercation. This would give a perception that you are too diplomatic and just trying to skip the answer because you are underprepared. This can seriously hurt your chances of selection.

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Ten Must-Read Sample Answers

Sample Answer 1

It is common to have disagreements while working together. During my previous tenure with ABC Accounting Services LLP, I had a clash with my boss on accounting treatment for a particular entry. I was saying to take it to the balance sheet, whereas my boss is adamant about showing it in the profit and loss account. Then, to find a perfect solution, we referred to Google and found out that we both were wrong. We laughed together and in the end, everything was fine.

Sample Answer 2

When people work together, there are several cases of dissent. I experienced a similar dissent while working with my previous employer. My boss was a bit arrogant and high-handed who wanted everything to move as per his style. There was a bug in the software and I had suggested a plan to remove it, but he ignored me and rather implemented his own amends, which considerably failed. Then, he called me and I removed the bug. In the entire episode, I was calm and composed, rather than losing my temper.

Sample Answer 3

In my humble opinion, there are no dissents, rather just a clash of opinions. I remember the peak period of sales and the targets given to us. I formulated a strategy to achieve those targets, but my boss rejected my strategy and completely altered it. As a result, we engaged in an argument, but he was adamant. Then, I presented my strategy to our sales head, and he approved mine with a few teaks here and there. I have never had any complaints from my boss, as I believe opinions might differ.

Sample Answer 4 (For Freshers)

This would be my first time that I have applied for any employment. Hence, I am not able to share any real-life job experience with you but can surely share an episode from my school time. While studying in high school, I remember, when my teacher was confused about a particular aspect. I wanted to help her, but she refused to take my suggestion and taught the entire class incorrectly. The next day in the morning, she came to me and said I refereed the book and you were right in that aspect. I greeted her, smiled, and just walked away.

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Sample Answer 5

Bosses usually have more experience and knowledge from us, but still, humans make mistakes, and opinions are bound to clash. I remember when my boss forced me to give a particular resolution to a customer, even though I was against it. As a result, the disgruntled customer dragged us to the consumer court and we have to pay a penalty of $5,000 in damages. Scrutiny was conducted upon us, and my boss was held guilty. I believe, everyone is different and possesses unique viewpoints. It is just that, we mustn’t force them.

Sample Answer 6

Half knowledge is always dangerous. During my previous employment, while passing a journal entry, I was suggested by my boss to perform the task in a particular way. But, I was too arrogant to accept his suggestion and passed the journal entry in my way. As a result, the financial statements were manipulative and I was scolded a lot. That experience taught me the power of guidance and made me more disciplined, humble, and modest.

Sample Answer 7

In my personal opinion, I have encountered several such cases. But, I will pick one. I prepared a legal business document and sent it to my senior for approval. He suggested a few changes in the terminology and sections used. But I persisted with my selection of legal terms and sent the same to our customer. This was a mistake and our case was really weak. Then, we had to file a corrigendum and everything was fine. Now, I am more open to suggestions and prefer not to neglect any, straightaway.

Sample Answer 8

Every person is unique and has different schools of thought. During my previous stint with ABC Sales Corporation, I remember a time when we were given tough targets due to which the morale of my entire team was going down considerably. I developed a reward strategy without considering the budget allocation for the project. I fought with my boss on this and persisted with my strategy. This proved to be a mistake and we depleted our valuable working capital. I learned a lot from this experience and now I always pay attention to each and every detail.

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Sample Answer 9

Disagreements happen. But we must strive to learn from them. I remember, how I drastically lost 10 valuable customers of the company. I was given a laid-out plan, but I tweaked it, fought with my boss, and got it approved by the director. The plan was a disaster and it generated negative traction for the company. I felt guilty and apologized for my mistakes. It was a learning curve for me and now I just don’t jump to conclusions.

Sample Answer 10

The thought processes and belief systems are unique for every individual, forming the basis for disagreements and altercations. I remember, when I was undergoing an internship with a software development company, developed faulty software, as I never referred to the manual. When my boss pointed out, I said this software would work perfectly. He suggested a few changes but I ignored them. The testing team rejected it completely and I was terminated from my internship. This event taught me a lot and I still cherish the learnings.

Conclusion

An interview is a set of cleverly designed questions to evaluate your personality, wisdom and body language. Each and every question asked in an interview holds its relevance and must be prepared thoroughly. Referring to the sample answers is the best way for a serious and complete preparation. If you like our articles then don’t forget to share them with your family and friends. Also, do let us know through the comments section below, how much you like our articles.

References

  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/105256298801300114