How to answer “Can you say ‘No’ to a client with unreasonable requests?” OR “How do you feel about saying ‘no’ to a client with unreasonable requests?” in a job interview. Take a look at my example answers for both candidates with experience and little to no working experience.
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Dealing with rigid or unreasonable clients is a common practice for those working in customer service. The reason why interviewers ask this question is to find out how you handle difficult situations and where you draw the line. The example shows how to address the situation and formulate a suitable answer:
For job seekers WITH EXPERIENCE
“I dealt with unreasonable requests before. Do you mind me giving an example? I recently had a client that purchased [Product X] and he was under the assumption that a particular set of applications was included in the price. The request to implement some additional features to the initial package would have cost our company $1000 extra on a $5000 product.
Although I want to say ‘Yes’ as often as I can, I had to say ‘No’ and disappoint the client. However, I offered a free monthly trial and 10% discount on [Product Y]. I also informed the client that I would bring the request up at the next board meeting to see if we could consider the addition down the line.”
For job seekers WITH NO EXPERIENCE
“Although I don’t have any working experience yet, I do have my ways to deliver a negative message to others when necessary. For example, I’d say that the request falls outside of our expertise or that we simply don’t have the time and resources to give the attention he or she deserves. I would, however, always inform the client about an alternative service or give a few referrals to get him or her started. I think that is the best approach to turning something negative into a positive customer experience.”
√ Do provide an example that shows clear and honest communication. When you describe a real-life situation where you said ‘no’ to a client’s request, you also want to emphasize that you are the type of person that seeks for possibilities to what you actually can do.
√ Do show your de-escalation techniques such as being empathetic and non-judgmental, ignoring challenging questions and keeping a neutral tone and body language.
X Don’t show signs of annoyance, edginess, irritation or other behavior that’s fueled by emotions. You need to focus on reasoning and logic in your example answer.