It can be hard to know how to respond when your manager tells you about ways you need to improve, primarily when you are working so hard already! Don't let this question catch you off guard! You want the interviewer at Boeing to know that you take feedback constructively and that you don't take this sort of thing personally. Discuss how you accepted the input and what you did to implement the information to improve.
"My manager told me, earlier in my career, that I needed to pay closer attention to detail when she noticed some mistakes in my paperwork. I am meticulous about staying organized and double checking my work, so I was a little surprised at first. I took a deep breath and let my manager know that I would have a peer review the documents before I submitted them and that I would take extra steps to make sure it didn't happen again. I now use a couple of programs and apps to ensure my work is triple checked before I submit it."
You don't necessarily have to be in a formal management role to resolve a conflict. However, taking the initiative is essential, especially when there is tension in the office. When asked a question about dealing with conflict or overcoming a challenge, think of an example first. Having a concrete situation to draw from will help you to think through the steps you take to deal with conflict. Keep in mind that sometimes it is better to be kind than to be right. Sometimes it's important to take a stand. Use an example that demonstrates your leadership and compassion when a conflict arises.
"A change in company policy divided my team because half of us could not support it. We worked in a very conservative corporate environment, and some of my coworkers and I felt that the policy was affecting some of our peers negatively. I initiated an anonymous poll for each of us to voice our opinion. We submitted our consensus to the CEO, and he modified the policy. I would say that I am proactive but also very respectful at the same time."
Boeing wants to hear how you will use your strengths to make a positive impact! Think of the traits that have helped you succeed in the past. You can draw from your experiences in school or activities if you lack in work experience. Having great people skills, being positive and a good listener are all strengths, but you want to dig a bit deeper and discuss an advantage that is more memorable. Next, talk about how this strength will help you in the workplace! Whatever your power may be, link it back to how it positively impacts your work environment.
"I believe my greatest strength lies in my analytical mindset. I work hard to fully understanding all sides of the business. This entrepreneurial and analytical mindset truly sets me apart in a unique way, as others tend to be self-focused."
Just as a friendly reminder, when you're answering these questions, always give a specific example that explains the situation, your actions, and the results. Boeing is notoriously picky about which candidates they hire, and you can stay ahead of the competition if you prepare your answers carefully. To address this question, you can use a simple everyday example, like adjusting to the ebb and flow of a hectic customer service environment the way company demands can change depending on the season. You are flexible and adaptable! The interviewer wants to hear about how you handled the stress of a promotion or additional responsibilities being added to your job description. These types of examples will demonstrate that you can efficiently adjust to a changing work environment. You're so calm and collected that nothing phases you!
"Last year our company was sold to a competitor, and a lot of our management team changed hands. It was a great deal of change to handle in a short time, especially being unsure of who to report to ahead of others. I am resilient, though, and have made the big changes work by keeping my head down and delivering great work, no matter who it goes to in the end."
When an interviewer asks about self-improvement, it shows they seek to hire someone who takes the initiative and wants to grow. Think about a goal you are actively working towards and explain what you are doing to help you reach that goal. If your goal is ongoing, like being a good leader or maintaining your health, tell how your actions will help you in the short and long term. Stay relevant to the field in which you are applying. Focus less on any weakness you want to improve, and more so on the steps or actions, you are taking to improve.
"I just went to a leadership conference to help me cultivate some of my skills and learn how to be a more effective leader on my team. I have found it to be beneficial to attend meetings like this at least once a month because I am surrounded by other leaders who also want to challenge themselves and grow."
Everyone has their interpretation of success. For some, success is reflected in their earnings and the type of lifestyle they can create for themselves. For others, success is merely the reward of a job well done. Explain what you are doing in your life to be successful in your professional life. You can talk about the hours you have put in to get to this point in your career. Share how your definition of success keeps you motivated.
"To me, success means that I am spending each day helping someone, feeling fulfilled in my overall life, and making my employer happy. I feel best when I know that I have exceeded the expectations of others."
Imagine yourself racing to complete an assignment with only six hours left to reach the finish line. Whether you have experienced this type of pressure in school or the workplace, you understand the intensity. Boeing wants to hear that you are determined and motivated. They want to hear how you navigated the obstacles along the way. Explain the steps you took to make it happen. Be sure to share the results!
"My previous boss gave me a 30-day deadline to hire four new technicians. After that, we were going to be meeting a hiring freeze with an undetermined end date. I used a service called Zip Recruiter and was able to make three excellent hires within two weeks."
Open-ended questions like this can feel a little overwhelming at first. Learning how to talk about yourself is a skill that will help you express yourself clearly and concisely. Boeing wants to hear about your accomplishments, not your qualifications. Start by writing out a summary of your experience followed by a few pivotal moments where you made an impact. Highlight your expertise, skills or any training you have received. You can also include any continuing education, from workshops to higher education that you have pursued to further your career.
"I have worked in the ABC field for the past four years, after graduating with my (related degree or post-secondary education or formal training). I have worked with Company XYZ for the past six years, and you can see. What you may not know from my resume is that I have spent a lot of time training others newer to this role, and have been formally recognized by my organization for a job well done (insert accolades, awards, and notable achievements). I look forward to bringing this experience to work for Boeing!"
Give an example that shows you can think outside of the box and creatively solve problems. Your strengths and skills make you an asset! You make an impact by just being your awesome self. Think about some your most significant advantages, like the resilience of your empathy. You are unique! Then apply these strengths in real time by explaining a situation where you made a difference.
"I was working as a consultant to help improve the hiring process for a growing business. When I learned that they didn't have an applicant tracking system and they didn't have the budget to purchase one, I helped create one. This contribution helped to speed up the hiring process significantly."
Even though the recruiters at Boeing are looking for excellence, they know you're not perfect. To successfully answer this question, you will need to be strategic! First, think of an area where you can improve. For example, maybe you could do a better job of taking the initiative to solve problems before they become an issue. Even though it may feel vulnerable to share a weakness, your self-awareness is a strength! Your insight that you know you need to grow in this area shows the interviewer that you know you have room for improvement and that you have a desire to grow. Now, think about how you can explain what you're doing to improve. Don't be hard on yourself! You can refine if you work at it! Show that you are proactive in growing and learning from your weaknesses!
"I tend to be a perfectionist, which means I can often get caught up in the details and get behind on deadlines. I am working on creating a better infrastructure for my days, setting reasonable goals and planning. This method has helped me to manage my time and not lose time striving for impossible perfection."
You may be able to learn a new task and be up and running quickly, but not everyone is the same way. Explain to the interviewer that you understand how everyone is different. Communication can help bring clarity. Give an example where you resolved a miscommunication through addressing the situation by asking questions and being honest.
"My coworker was a great salesman but admittedly terrible at the administrative side. He made so many mistakes and didn't seem to care. It bothered me because I take such pride in the quality of my work. I decided to talk with him and found out that he wasn't very clear on expectations or how to do some of the basic aspects of the paperwork for each sale. He ended up going to some additional training to get on the same page as the rest of the team."
Show off your active listening skills! When you learn something new, you engage through asking questions and checking for understanding. You can also collaborate with others to discuss and learn from each other. If your manager gives you a new task, make sure you are clear on their expectations. Ask questions!
"I was in a training session where the trainer had a thick accent. I asked clarifying questions, and I compared notes with another friend who participated in the training session. It was important to me that I understood all of the content, so I did my best to cover all the bases to check my understanding."
As an employee, your decisions affect others. It's important to express to the interview team at Boeing that you recognize the weight of your responsibility, whether you are managing a team or leading by example within your organization. Write out the steps that you consider when making an important decision. Prepare yourself by thinking of examples of when you were faced with a difficult decision.
"Whenever I am making an important decision, I question how the company will benefit. I also check to make sure the decision is in line with the company's values. It's important to consider how the decision will impact the company. I take steps to address these factors before I decide what needs to happen next."
Before you answer this question, let's break down some of the qualities of a leader. For starters, you lead by example. You are someone with exceptional interpersonal skills. You can communicate clearly, and you listen to the opinions of others. When the team makes a mistake, you are willing to take ownership. You motivate others with your vision and your enthusiasm. Now think of a time when others followed your example.
"Last year was difficult because we had a large variety of shifts in our leadership team. Even though I wasn't managing my team, I motivated others by showing up every day with a positive attitude and persevering. I coached others on my team as well. My coworkers told me that the work environment felt so much lighter and comfortable when I was around."
You want to show the interviewer that you work well with every person even though you recognize there are some folks out there who are quite difficult to please. Share an example that gives some context about the situation and what you did to make the client happy. Remember, there's no need to be negative or share any negative interactions you had with the client. Focus on how you responded graciously and courteously to client complaints.
"I recognized that my client had good intentions and wanted what was best for his company. When we interacted, I always took his feedback with a grain of salt knowing. Even though my client was demanding, my job was to support him and comply with our agreed upon expectations. I never took anything personally and stayed professional, even when my client acted harshly."
Before answering this question, let's explore this concept of work ethic. Someone who works hard, applying their values of discipline and creating the best quality while working towards a higher goal is a person with a solid work ethic. Taking it to the next level, you can think about some of the moral principals that drive you. Integrity shows up in the quality of work you offer, your honesty and your reliability. Teamwork is an ability and a mindset that helps you motivate others and work collaboratively with your co-workers. Your ability to take responsibility and follow through with commitments is another way you can demonstrate your work ethic. Consider using some of these concepts when you discuss this topic with recruiters at Boeing in your interview. Can you think of any other factors that show off the quality and integrity of your work?
"I am a very dedicated and loyal employee. I saw on the Boeing website, and social media platforms that you describe your company as honest, transparent and you go the extra mile for your clients. My work ethic is the same. I am honest, flexible, and come ready to work hard for my employer every day."
An unexpected circumstance can put a damper on our plans. You may have mapped out how you would like to reach a goal, but when the power goes out, your computer crashes or you accidentally back into a co-worker's car in the office parking lot, life changes your plans. We can't control these unexpected circumstances, but we can monitor our response! The question asks you to give an example of a time you faced unexpected challenges in the workplace, so try to focus on conflicts between coworkers or technical errors that can affect your progress. We typically recommend emphasizing your response and how you handled the situation, rather than elaborating on the problem itself. Show off your flexibility and how you can adapt to challenges, big and small!
"We had an all-systems-down computer crash last week. I handled it by remaining calm, avoiding any speculative behavior, and calling our IT department immediately, asking them to escalate the situation to us. All was well in the end and, although many members in my department were stressed out, I remained calm and collected."
As a leader in the commercial aviation business, Boeing is always looking to make improvements. Work performance dramatically affects how their machines are manufactured and their clients. If you don't have any ideas right off the bat, take some time to think about ways you have participated in changes that improved work performance or designs you have found useful in the past. Rewards programs, management training programs, and tuition reimbursement are all ways that companies invest in their employees. These types of investments help them to retain their employees and motivate them to push the limits of success. Share what you have learned from your experience.
"I genuinely embrace innovation and creativity. For that reason, I am always on the lookout for new and more productive ways to accomplish my goals in the workplace. Recently I incorporated a new electronics recycling plan in our office that has saved a lot of items from going into the landfill, not to mention reduced the clutter in our office."
Show that you are a team player by demonstrating how you have gone above and beyond to support other team members who are different from you. Being perceptive and sensitive to others is critical! Explain that you are accustomed to working in diverse environments and that you can quickly adapt to any different situation in which you are placed.
"I have worked with people from all backgrounds and personalities. Whenever I join a new team, I make a point to get to know each person and find ways we can connect. I made a point to help one our new hires feel welcomed by taking them to lunch and letting them know that I am available if they have any questions. I wanted to help make the transition of moving from Saudi Arabia and working at a new place as smooth as possible."
Share how you participate in group discussions and meetings. Boeing is looking for individuals who are innovative co-creators in change. Give an example that demonstrates how you interact with your team and help others feel supported in sharing their opinions.
"I love learning from other team members. It doesn't matter to me whether you are in an entry-level position or you've been working in your role for years, every voice matters. I listen to everyone's opinions and help others to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts in group discussions or when I'm working on a team to solve a problem."
Boeing is a multi-national corporation with over 100,000 employees. When you work for a company that large, there is no doubt that you will find yourself working with members of different departments. They call this working cross-functionally. A cross-functional team is a group of people consisting of members with different skills and functions all working together to achieve the same purpose. Find an example from work, school or your volunteer experience. You might have had the opportunity to work with individuals representing different organizations to plan an event or serve in the community. Explain the situation and share how you contributed to the project. Walk the interviewer through the steps you and the rest of the team took to accomplish the goal.
"I have spent many years working in a cross-functional setting, mainly with the HR department and the Payroll department. Clear communication is key when collaborating cross-functionally. Clarity in expectations is of huge importance."
The Boeing Company is an American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells airplanes, rotorcraft, rockets and satellites. It also provides leasing and product support services. Boeing is among the largest global aircraft manufacturers, is the second-largest defense contractor in the world based on 2013 revenue, and is the largest exporter in the United States by dollar value. Boeing stock is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.