Tag Archives: AKO | LEARN

How to answer interview questions on resilience

If a scroll through your social media feed each morning triggers feelings of panic, you are not alone. The pandemic has been a source of unexpected stress and adversity for many students around the world.

But then you take a deep breath, sip on your favourite tea (or coffee), chat with whānau and show up for yourself.

It’s more than just a bounce back, you’ve grown more resilient with each change to alert level – something to be proud of!

Being resilient means having the strength to persevere in difficult situations and the ability to successfully deal with failure.

Resilient people are often more likely to take risks, are determined and can motivate those around them. In a working environment, these are great skills to have. No wonder then that employers are actively seeking out resilient professionals more than ever today.

When it comes to job interviews, employers might test your resilience by asking you about past experiences in which your ability to cope with difficult situations was put to the test. These questions can be tricky to answer, so thorough preparation is key. Here are five example questions and how best to answer them.


1. What is your greatest failure? How did you move on from it?

Besides finding out what you define as a failure, your interviewer will want to see if you can admit to your weaknesses and how you dealt with them. In your answer, present a concrete example of a real failure. Don’t dwell on what went wrong or how you should’ve done things differently, but describe how you dealt with it and what you learnt from it. Show your interviewer that you were able to turn a bad situation into an opportunity to grow and improve.

2. Can you remember a recent stressful situation at work? How did you deal with this?

Your interviewer will be looking to find out what stresses you and how you cope under pressure. Pick an instance where you took positive control of the situation, facing the problem head-on. Talk about some of the coping mechanisms for stress that you employed, and how you ultimately diffused the situation.

3. Have you ever been in a situation where you were close to giving up? How did you overcome this?

Resilience is all about withstanding challenging situations and coming out stronger. Your interviewer will want to hear about an instance where you showed perseverance and tenacity. Whether you talk about a challenging group project or a difficult career decision, show that you are able to motivate yourself to push through challenges and come up with innovative solutions.

4. Can you describe a difficult team situation you have been in? How did you react to this?

Another key aspect of being resilient is having the ability to motivate others as much as yourself. An interviewer will want to know if you possess the skills to lead a team to reach its fullest potential, even when the chips are down. You might answer this question by talking about an instance where you saved a group project from the brink by taking charge of the team and effectively delegating tasks, inspiring team members to carry on and get the job done.

5. Have you ever turned a dream into a reality?

This question is all about your willingness to take risks. Especially when it comes to leadership roles, interviewers will want to know if a candidate has the vision to think outside the box and the guts to bring this vision to life. When answering this question, don’t emphasise the outcome but the process. How did you face the challenge? What led you to push through? Your resilience is measured by your determination to go after a certain goal even if the odds aren’t entirely in your favour.

There are a number of ways in which an interviewer might try to gauge your resilience, and being aware of some of the questions they might ask and rehearsing your answers is an important step in your interview prep.

Te Rōpū Rapuara | UC Careers
Article references: Coburg Banks; Forbes; Kona Coaching

Fast-track your finance or economics career

Online information session
Wednesday 15 September from 4.00-5.00pm
Register here

If you’re considering upgrading your finance or economics qualifications to fast-track your career, then the Master of Applied Finance & Economics (MAFE) is an excellent option. The MAFE focuses on applied skills and knowledge with the goal of supporting graduates into high-level professional roles. If you have a background in statistics, data science, business, computer science or engineering you might also like to consider the MAFE to expand their skillset.

To start your journey to study in 2022, the UC Business School is hosting an online information session. Programme Director, Bob Reed will be joined by recent graduates and current students to discuss the degree and career opportunities.

The MAFE is the only qualification of its kind in New Zealand, providing a unique skill-set to graduates. It will provide you with strong applied skills that accelerate pathways to rewarding careers in finance, banking and the public sector, as well as preparation for the CFA examinations.

The next intake starts in January 2022 (if preparatory courses are required) or February for graduates with the required prerequisites. For more information on the Master of Applied Finance & Economics visit www.canterbury.ac.nz/business/mafe/

Special Consideration

Sometimes unforeseen circumstances, such as illness, a family emergency or a Covid-19 lockdown can get in the way of your studies. If you’re struggling to complete your assessments, there is support here for you at UC:

  • If you need more time to finish an essay or assignment, you should speak to your course coordinator to see if it is possible to have an extension
  • If you miss an assessment or test, or have been unable to complete a piece of work to the best of your ability, you can apply for a Special Consideration. This is known as a Special Consideration for Impaired Performance

Find out what you need to do to apply for a Special Consideration, the application process, and timelines here>

We are receiving a high number of applications at the moment, and we are processing them as fast as we can. Thank you for your patience. 

If you need more help or someone to talk to at this time, you are not alone. There are lots of the UC  support services here for you, and they’re just a quick email or phone call away: 

Also don’t forget the final dates for enrolment changes and withdrawals

The last date to make changes to your enrolment or withdraw from Semester 2 courses is Friday 1 October 2021. Find out more here>