Life isn’t black and white, and something like a perfect job does not exist. Of course, once we are young and dream about our future, and the job we’d like to have one day, we have a tendency to forget the bad things Looking for a meaningful purpose, or for a way to earn a lot of money, and support ourselves and our family, we see only the good things. But hiring managers know the reality. They’ve been in their jobs for long enough, understand the ins and outs of corporate workplace, and want to hire people who see the job realistically, with all challenges that belong to it.
And that kind of sums up what they want to hear from you in the interview: They want to hear that you acknowledge the challenges, and feel ready to face them, instead of pretending that they do not exist, or somehow hoping that everything will be easy in the job. Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to this intriguing question. I tried to include on my list answers for a variety of jobs (ranging from manual work to engineering and management), as well as some unconventional answers. I hope at least one of them will be a good fit for your upcoming interview.
7 sample answers to “What challenges do you think you will face in this role?” interview question
- I think it will be challenging for me, at least at the beginning, to handle the heavy workload. We all know how it works in a restaurant like this one. During certain hours of the day almost nothing is going on, but then you have peak times when you really cannot take a break for a single minute, and must work with utmost efficiency to ensure that customers are happy, and do not have to wait too long for their orders. Since this is my first job application in the field, I know I will find it stressful and challenging. But I also know that I will get into it, and learn how to work efficiently, and in some time I won’t find it a challenge anymore.
- I expect a few challenges. First of all, this job is pretty physical. And while I am in a good shape, I have never carried such a heavy load during the day, and do not know it will take my body some time to adapt to it. But that’s a challenge I will overcome. Secondly, you work here outside most of the time. So we have to endure both strong sun and rain, and potentially even snow in the winter. That’s also challenging, but I believe that as long as I do not underestimate the situation, and dress properly for each weather, I should handle it as well. Anyway, I read the job description carefully and you can be sure I do not idealize the job. But I feel ready to face the challenges, and I am motivated to work here.
- For me personally, the biggest challenge will be to handle rejection, and the bad words I will hear on the phone. Because job in a call center seems like a great job in a clean environment, with no need to stretch yourself physically–which is true, but that’s just one side of the coin… We will spend a lot of time on the phone, majority of people will hang up, said some bad words, or simply reject our offer in one way or another. And I know I will find it difficult, because I don’t like when people say bad things to me for no real reason. But I also realize it belongs to this job, and I will have to handle with it. Another challenge is spending so much time on the call each day. But that’s something I am sure I will get accustomed to.
- I think I will face here the typical challenges of a corporate workplace. You always have some deadlines to meet, facing pressure. Some colleagues like you but some don’t, and you have conflicts. And then on certain days the workload is extremely heavy, and you feel like your head will explode… All these things belong to the typical workplace, and I do not fancy it will be any different in your corporation. But I still like the job, what you do here, as well as the salary offer. Good things in life always need some sacrifices. I am ready to sacrifice something for my career, and facing these challenges–and hopefully handling them well, is the part of the process.
- I think I will find it challenging to learn to work with tools and software programs you use here. Though I’ve been working as an engineer for ten years already, I have never really worked with certain things you use here. And these are no easy things to learn. However, I want to ensure you that I enjoy learning new things, and working on my engineering skills, always striving to get better in my profession. That’s why I actually embrace this challenge, and it was one of the reasons why I decided to apply or this job.
- In my opinion, social work presents two main challenges. The first one is accepting your own limitations, and that you won’t succeed to solve every case, to help everyone. Just like many other young people I am definitely idealistic, and hope to have some impact on my target group. But I also realize that many factors come into play here, and that we cannot help everyone. Second challenge is about learning to handle the suffering we see emotionally. Because it isn’t easy for anyone with empathy to see a child suffer, or a terrible situation in a young family. Yet we cannot afford to get emotional, or make decisions based on our emotions, since that would cause more harm than good. This is something I understand in theory, but I know I may struggle with it in the job. But it doesn’t discourage me from pursuing career in social work, because I see a meaningful purpose in this job.
- Just like in any other executive role, the main challenge will be to deliver the results the board and the shareholders expect. Sure enough, I have my vision, and long years of experience in the business. I believe I can reach the goals, and help this company to grow even further. But I also realize we live in unpredictable times with inflation, pandemic, climate crisis and all other things going on. So it will definitely be challenging to maintain the profits year after year. You can be sure though that the challenge excites me, and I cannot wait to put my skills to the test here.
Acknowledge the challenge, accept it, and embrace it
We do not grow within the confines of our comfort zone. Only when we leave it, when we are confronted with new challenges and problems, can we progress as people, employees, athletes, artists, parents… And that’s exactly the attitude you should try to show in the interviews.
Instead of just identifying the challenges, you can embrace them, explaining how they will help you to get better in what you do, to grow as a person as well as a manager (engineer, executive, teacher, employee in general). Sure it will be hard, and you may need help, but you are ready to face this with open arms and prove that you still have something to offer to both your employer and yourself.
Typical challenges of every workplace are your safe bet
Maybe this is your first job application in the field (or first job application even), or you even do not understand your duties that well. In such a case, you can opt for a safe answer, mentioning challenges one cannot escape in any workplace.
In every single place, you will have some conflicts (with colleagues, customers, superiors), you will face deadlines, and sometimes the workload will be heavy and you’ll have to work overtime to handle it. When you do not know what to say, or cannot come up with something better, you can always refer to these challenges, because you will face them in every role, hence such an answer always makes sense…
Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Do not forget to check also 7 sample answers to other tricky interview questions:
- What are you looking for in your next role?
- What do you like the least about your job?
- Why are you interested in this position?