This is a very common question. Regardless of the type of job for which you are interviewing, there is a good chance that you will receive this question so it is a good idea to make sure that you have practiced it and thought about how you will respond. The good news is that no matter what type of background you have or where you have previously worked, you have probably experienced a situation with an angry customer so you can easily relate back to that situation.
With this question, you must keep in mind what the interviewer is looking for. Primarily, they want to find out how you react when someone around you becomes angry and loses their temper. This can be extremely important in practically all positions, but can be crucial in service related industries. The interviewer is trying to understand whether you have the ability to work in an area where there is the potential for contact with the public and also the potential for situations where customers may become angry.
The best way to respond to this question is to simply provide an example of a time when you were faced with someone who was being difficult and then explain how you handled that situation. Even if you have never encountered an angry customer, it is like you have experienced an encounter with someone who was angry. Make sure that your answer demonstrates your ability to be diplomatic in such a situation while also demonstrating your awareness of the feelings and needs of others.
You might explain that when faced with this type of situation you always try to maintain a demeanor and voice that is even and calm in order to avoid further escalating the situation. You always strive to remain professional in such situations and focus on resolving the situation to everyone’s satisfaction. It is also important to make sure the interviewer understands that you are aware of the need to not let your own personal feelings enter into this type of situation.
This type of answer will clearly demonstrate your ability to work with the public, meet the needs of customers and maintain a professional demeanor even when you are faced with a situation that may not be pleasant.