Job Interview Question: What Makes You Angry?

How to Answer Interview Questions About Getting Angry

Image Copyright iStockphoto Nigelcarse

When an interviewer asks what makes you angry, he or she is trying to determine how you might react to stressful situations in the workplace, and how you might handle your personal emotions without letting them affect your performance.

Be prepared for employers to ask for specific examples of situations that made you angry, particularly in a professional environment.

Best Responses

Your answer should contain two components: first a description of the situation that angered you, and then a reference to how you processed the event and handled your anger.

Avoid bringing up a situation that involves a supervisor, since employers tend to side with management and may perceive you as an easily disgruntled employee. Try to present yourself as someone who, like most people, occasionally gets annoyed by certain situations, but doesn't lash out in an outburst of anger.

For example, you might say, "When I'm on a tight deadline and working to finish a project, I get frustrated if I run into roadblocks, like if my Internet won't load or my partner is slacking off."

While you want to be careful about blaming others, you can mention certain office behavior that doesn't sit right with you, like if a coworker complains too much or misuses company resources.

The most important aspect of your response to this question will be the way you describe how you handle your anger. Answers that emphasize a measured, controlled response are the most effective. Try to respond in a way that implies that you recognize your anger, but do not express it in an emotional or dramatic way.

 

If you're discussing a coworker's unethical or irresponsible behavior, explain how you may have calmly confronted him or her, and then provided constructive feedback. Maybe you offered a suggestion and then walked away before things got heated. Whichever anecdote you are able to provide, make a point of illustrating how you are a level-headed, rational employee who doesn't let his or her emotions cloud the workplace.

Best Responses for Management Jobs

Prospective managers might be asked this question to determine if they are tough enough to deal with problem employees. In those situations, you might describe how you dealt effectively with frustrating underperformers.

Typically, you should state how you communicated directly with subordinates about problem behaviors or performance, and then set up a plan for improving performance.  The plan should include consequences for continued poor performance, and how you may have partnered with Human Resources to devise the plan. 

Find Your Next Job

Job Search by