Career GuidanceInterview Tips

How to Answer the “What Challenges Have You Overcome”, Question?

“What challenges have you overcome at work?” This question is asked in most of the interviews. Whether you’re fresher or experienced, you must answer this question. This interview question focuses on workplace challenges and your capacity to overcome them. Answering this question is difficult because different people react differently to various circumstances. You should be more cautious when answering this question because the scenario you believe to be challenging for you may not be challenging for others. Therefore, you must discuss how you would tackle the scenario. The primary goal of this question is to assess both your approach to problem-solving and your suitability for a particular role.

This question is behavioral, and there is no perfect answer to this question. But preparing a proper response can be helpful. The following article will help you to answer this interview question.

Why Do Employers Ask About The Challenges You Overcome?

The way you respond to this behavioral question might reveal a lot about you as a person and your work style to the company. Your response will help the interviewer better understand who you really are. Do you avoid workplace challenges and only take on a task when necessary? On the other hand, do you look for challenges to keep yourself inspired, develop new abilities, and advance your education and experience? All these things can be understood according to your response. Also, employers ask this question for several other reasons like:

  • Know about the challenges you have experienced 
  • Determine how well you would handle comparable difficulties 
  • Evaluate your problem-solving abilities
  • Know what you consider to be challenging 
  • Understand your previous successes 
  • Learn the approach you use to solve a problem 
  • Know your quick-thinking abilities 
  • Learn whether or not you have a creative mind 
  • Understand your capacity to remain calm under stress or difficulties 

How to Answer the “What Challenges Have You Overcome”, Question?

Questions about challenges work are behavioral questions. The employer evaluates your answer to see if you can take appropriate initiative and action in the event of a similar situation. The best response to this question will emphasize your professionalism and aptitude for addressing problems. You will have more confidence and a higher chance of impressing the hiring manager if you prepare for this question in advance. In your answer, you should mention the workplace challenges you faced or challenges of working from home (if you were working from home). If you give a better answer, then there are chances that you can get hired. 

1. Think About The Challenges You’ve Previously Experienced

Think about any work-related circumstances that caused difficulties or challenges in your past employment while deciding how best to respond to this question. This can apply whenever you encounter difficulty or solve a specific issue. While it’s crucial for the tale you share to demonstrate your problem-solving abilities, if there was ever a time you discovered a problem that no one else did, you can also verify your analytical skills. Also, if you’re a fresher, you can think about the challenges you have faced in college or university. 

2. Make Your Response Specific to The Job Description

Make sure the response you give corresponds to the responsibilities of the position you’re interviewing for. Consider prior situations where you efficiently handled a challenging customer, for example, if you are applying for a customer-facing role. Spend some time reviewing the job advertisement or job description before the interview. So you may adjust your response to the requirements of the position. Then, decide the challenges related to the position you are applying for and which you have already overcome in your current or past roles. 

3. Explain in Detail Why That Was Challenging

Determine what made it such a significant issue for you before you begin to respond. Make sure your response demonstrates how you approached the issue. Give them as much background information as possible, so they understand how you approach situations like these. Let the interviewer know what you took away from your experience and how you may use it in your new position with the organization.

4. Be Honest

Be open and honest with the interviewer about your prior struggles, rather than trying to make it seem like you’ve had an easy career. Doing this demonstrates that you are considering the matter carefully and that you have nothing to conceal regarding your prior difficulties. Also, always tell the truth because interviewers can easily detect the lies. 

5. Make Sure You Come Across Favorably in Your Responses

When giving examples and stories in your response, use caution. Avoid bringing up challenges you faced, for instance, if they were your fault, during the interview. Instead, consider emphasizing the examples where you displayed courage or demonstrated how well you collaborated with a team. After all, your anecdotes must highlight your accomplishments as an employee rather than your flaws.

6. If Necessary, Use Examples From Outside of The Box

Use an example from your education, volunteer work, or any sporting activities you participated in if you lack considerable work experience and can’t discuss any obstacles you faced at work. If you choose to do this, be careful to connect your prior deeds to your professional experience and the job description you are applying for. No matter your level of job experience, be careful not to include any personal anecdotes about your health or other parts of your private life.

Sample Answer For “What Challenges Have You Overcome”, Question?

Sample Answer 1:

“In my most recent position, a former coworker abruptly quit her employment. She was the team leader for an important new project at the moment. My boss asked me to take over when she left. I had prior leadership experience, even though I had never before carried out her job responsibilities. I moved the project along, inspired the rest of the team, and finished my and her tasks using my leadership and problem-solving abilities. We were successful in completing that assignment on time.”

Sample Answer 2:

“We had a dissatisfied consumer in one of my most recent assignments who was disappointed with her purchase. I made an effort to talk with her and listened to her worries. I gave her a few options to choose from after she was calm enough to help us address the problem. She thanked me for my time and made another purchase with us after deciding on the best solution for her. I worked to resolve this problem while ensuring we didn’t lose her as a client.”

Tips to Answer “What Challenges Have You Overcome”, Question

This question is a chance to demonstrate your ability to handle difficulty. Mentioning the challenges you faced in your past employment is a challenge itself. And to deal with this challenge, creative thinking and properly drafting your answer are essential. Even if you have no prior experience, you should give an answer. Also if your past job was a remote job, then you should include challenges of working from home that you faced and overcame. You can use these pro tips to prepare your solution:

  • If you’re a fresher, consider mentioning your project difficulties 
  • You can answer this question by using the STAR method
  • First, describe the circumstances, then explain how you overcame it
  • You must tell the actions you took followed by the outcomes
  • Use only real examples
  • Concentrate on your deeds and abilities
  • Conduct a mock interview before the real one
  • Practice your responses as much as you can
  • Make it clear that you enjoy a challenge 
  • Ensure the employer will be able to connect with your response
  • If possible, choose a challenge that requires collaboration with others
  • You must exhibit your ability to lead and communicate
  • Have more than one response ready


Consider this question an opportunity to shine rather than be intimidated by it. Use this chance to demonstrate how ideal you are for the position in the company. Before the interview, prepare as much as possible for your responses so that you may exclude the extraneous details and improve the essential ones. Flaws and failures are positive things, as long as you can clearly show that you have overcome them and learned valuable lessons that inform the work you do today. 


1. What is the STAR method?

A behavioral-based interview question can be answered systematically using the STAR approach by outlining the precise Situation, Task, Action, and Result of the scenario you are describing.

2. How can a fresher answer the” What challenges have you overcome?” question?

If you’re a fresher, consider the following approach while answering about challenges work:

“When I was completing my Graduation, our team had to give a presentation of our mega project to the external examiners. But unfortunately, one of our team members lost the file where our project data was stored. At that time, everyone was so stressed because only one hour was left for the presentation. Also, our teacher doesn’t know what we should do now. That time without thinking about the problem, my team members and I started creating a new presentation, and unexpectedly within an hour, we made an amazing presentation that was better than the old one. After the presentation, everyone was so happy.”

3. What are the examples of challenges at work?

Some examples of challenges at work include: 

  • Lack of communication 
  • Lack of motivation 
  • Staff conflict/bullying 
  • Unreal deadlines 

If you’ve faced any of these challenges at work, you can even use these as examples in your answer to “what challenges have you overcome?”.

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