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Tell me about a time when you did not have enough time to complete all assigned tasks. How did you prioritize?

Answer examples and advice for how to answer this interview question for a Home Depot interview

How to Answer

Start off by telling the interviewer that you are typically an organized person and achieve everything on time. Share how you usually organize your work. You might share that you keep a to-do list of all the objectives that you must complete, keep your electronic calendar up-to-date and that you spend 5-10 minutes at the beginning of your day reviewing your calendar for the day as well as prioritizing your to-do list for that day.

Next, share a time when you failed to get an assigned task done on time due to something outside of your control. Perhaps you were sick, an emergency arose, or someone else called in sick for the day changing your priorities. Share how you prioritized your time with the goal of achieving the deadline, and share why you were not able to achieve it on time. Finally, be sure to wrap it up by reiterating that you are usually a deadline driven person, and you almost always complete everything on time.

Tell me about a time when you did not have enough time to complete all assigned tasks. How did you prioritize?
Answer example

"I am always diligent when it comes to deadlines. However, once I remember having an abnormally large order from a regular client once. I was a little stressed about making sure it was perfect, so I put in four overtime hours to meet the expectation. It felt great to deliver high-quality service."

View user-submitted Answers

Tell me about a time when you did not have enough time to complete all assigned tasks. How did you prioritize?
When I have all my midterms in the same week, which is very difficult special when you have a job and school . So I try to study for the information I dont know and review the information I know later if I have enough time .
When I have all my midterms in the same week, which is very difficult special when you have a job and school . So I try to study for the information I dont know and review the information I know later if I have enough time .
I did a quick assessment of what tasks were priority, and did the most urgent ones with the most impact first.
I would figure out what the most important things are and concentrate on them first.
To arrange items in order of priority.
By time sensitive by safety concern ask for help.
I asked my supervisor which was most important and made sure to complete that task first.
I asked for help and an associate and myself got the job done.
End of each month, part of my job was to balance and send report to the operations head. This particular month a customer called and asked for five years print out of all her accounts and that she needed them urgently for her legal proceedings the following morning. I had to figure out which to complete first. I chose the customer because I know that not completing my task for my supervisor I would be written up and if I did not complete for the customer, the. Negative impact that would occur from the back prospective so I chose to get the documents for the customer.
At the café as a front of house manager some days would get so busy and you would have multiple tables sit at the same time. Drinks to make orders to take and food to run. Making sure new tables have menus and food was ran quickly was priority. Always let other customers know you will be there as soon as possible so they do not feel ignored and appoligise. Ask for hrelp from other staff if they have a free minute.
Like not being able to finish at my previous job I prioritize by doing as much as am able to get done during work hours and I stayed overtime and finish if I had to.
I looked at what needed to be done and worked on the most important part first then took care of the rest of the needs.
I would try to to get much done as possible.
Determined what tasks had the most impact on a customer or had a tighter timeline.
Any tasks that was quick and easy we took care of first before taking on the more complex task that required planning to get it done right the first time.
When I worked in retail flooring, I routinely took work home (floor plans, etc.) so everything was ready for the morning.
One time I dropped a piece of meat and I was about to leave work so I just left it in the trash and re-did it in the morning when I got to job the next day.
There is always more work to do, always take care of the most important things first.
I prioritize by level of importance of the task(s), urgency, management & customer expectations, and time allowance.
When I was at the Service desk, putting go backs away in the right carts, would help a customers first then go back to what needed to be done.
Continued to get my job done until all task were finshed.
I looked had the difficulty of it and tried to knock out as many of the easier task first than work on the hard.
Get the most important tasks completed first.
I actually ask for help from another coworker in the area.
I completed the more important tasks first but I did not rush through any. I usually make a to-do list as a starter.
I put the most pressing and important task first and worked down through the list.
We were in a lunch rush and I had to take all of the customers orders upfront and get them their order and also clean the dinning room I sped up and got all of the orders out first then I was able to clean the dinning room area because the customers orders were my priority.
One morning I was called in last minute so once I got to work I had to do all the things I would do normally 30 min earlier In 10 mins so I did as as I could as quickly as possible & what I didn't get on time I sent bac.
We had a lot of sick calls one day, so I asked for help and got other people to help push the truck and tackled the high demand depts first.
It happens everay task. We have to priotise as per the requirement of the despatch date.
I put the priorities first and foremost then in order finished them in order.
Made a list and established what was due now and what was due later.
I had a wpen book test. So I answered the ones I knew frist and use the book for the rest.
I let the manager know and ask him do he want me to stay over to finish the project or to finish it the next day.
Work was busy while two people didn't show up. So I took over both of their stations plus mine to get the job done.
I just went in order and made sure to check in with my supervisor to see if any one task was more important.
I looked over the list and figured out the steps to be taken and proceeded from there.
I worked for a online construction bidding magazine called Construction Journal, LLC. My job was to call and talk to all of the people who placed bids on a job, talk to those who placed the job up for bid, ask what the bids were and get them via phone, fax, or e-mail so I could report on each one online. One day they upped my territory from half of Pennsylvania to the entire state and part of New Jersey. I could not finish all of these calls in one day. I had to prioritize by looking at the ones that were up long enough to actually get bids in and close to closing and getting those up dated first and then working on the newer ones in each area. This went county by county. I did not finish them all, and after doing this for 2 days I talked to my supervisor who had another in my team pick up a part of my territory which worked out well since she knew those contacts and they knew her pretty well already. In that line of work, its better if the companies get to know you a little and they get use to you calling for information.
First step was to prioritize the tasks. I asked for help to complete the tasks. Upon getting help, the tasks were completed.
I assess the project and priortize the most important portion or I seek help from my team.
I would do the most urgent first but always stayed and completed all tasks, I put forth a great effort and my superior was impressed enough to stay and help me complete project.
I will try to complete the assigned task by waiting for after hour if with the permission of supervisor.
During the week of the holidays, due to everyone taking off, I knew all my work would not be completed so organized my work with the most time sensitive ones on top.
Finals were coming up and I had al my final projects, reports and essays coming up. The way I prioritize is by finishing the ones that are due sooner in the week.
Made a list of tasks not completed and prioritized to do on the next shift.
Let my supervisor know that my to do list is too large to finish in the allotted time. If they couldn't give me more time, ask them what is most important to finish and make sure that gets done along with any other priorities before my shift ended.
One time I closed garden alone. That night the garden was slammed on pretty much every aisle. I knew that I could not complete closing the garden efficiently, so I asked associates and got two associates that had their department in standing order. One associate spotted me on the forklift while the other one downstocked and did go backs inside.
Important to prioritize work, listing what is to be done first and not wasting time on one thing alone.
I always stick to my schedule and complete all tasks.
From the most important tasks that needed to be done and would ask for help if needed.
First first of all I let my manager know what I was supposed to finish them when I was in beautiful dishes see if you needed anything this first.
When placing sale signs on specific store items for the following day, start of sale. I prioritized by placing signage on the higher dollar value items first and worked towards the lower priced items leaving them to the last.
I prioritized by what would come first, then acquired the help of other associates the complete the task in a timely manner.
I was able to find out which tasks were due first and which ones were most important to the company and completed those first.
I have not had that problem. However, if I feel it would be a problem, I would ask my immediate manager to help prioritize.
At Halloween City when we closed we had to clean the store and if we were under staffe.
I completed tasks in the order of importance, asked for help, and asked for manager guideance, if I could not prioritize or complete by deadline.
I did what needed to be done first. If I could not complete task I would ask to stay longer or the next time I would work faster but also not messy.
Making a Task deadline time line is how I would prioritize.
That has not happened. If I feel the deadline is approaching and I feel I will not finish, I enlist help, and/or work extra hours to make sure it gets done.
As a upper level manager in a large city government there were very few times when all daily tasks got completed. By prioritizing based importance of the task, immediate need tasks come first, usually those that have a time limit to be accomplished. Next would be tasks that can be partially completed today and finished next day or broken up into two or three days.
I would prioritize with a task deadline timelines and from soonest to latest due, but very rarely do I not complete a given task.
Whatever is going out first... Gets done first. There is always something that is most important.
I wrote down what was needed to get done, identifying what was most important and downward. I checked if there was budget for more staffing, and checked to see if there was staff near by that had time to help, and also checked with management to see if anyone there could help.
Started with checking expiration dates. Throwing expired food and replenishing supplies. Second, I concentrated on cleaning and organizing stock in the cupboards. Last, I cleaned all the surfaces throughout my shift. I gave one final wipe down before clocking out.
I would create what I call a deadline timeline which would have to do the first ones due to last ones due but I pretty much complete all my tasks.
The most important tasks get done first, then whatever I have time for, then finish up later with the smaller details.
Prioritizing and sharing the work load by assigning others to help me I would be able to complete all assignments.
I focused on the most urgent ones first. The ones that would have the biggest effect on the bottom line.
By what was the most crucial part of the project down to what would be the least problem if not completed on time.
I completed most time-sensitive jobs first, ones that required my involvement. Following that, would be jobs that others could do, in addition to me.
I had two tasks which I was on cash and I was to do returns as well. I was told to close up when it was not busy and do returns. Once I saw the line ups were calmed down I took my last customer and closed up and by the time I went sort out the returns and head to the floor I saw that my co-workers lane got very busy and did not want the customers to wait.
Once at my working shift at zellers during the promotional days it was so busy that I get a little behind but then I priotize my work and set my goals accordingly and was able to finish it on deadline.
I will ask for help, and will prioritize the most important.
I would do small tasks first getting them out of the way and then focus on the more time consuming tasks.
When I didn't have enough time and it was closing time I just closed and locked and just stayed over time to complete all my task for that day.
I worked faster and did as much work as I can neatly and correctly and got as close as I can to finish my task. When I returned I finished and moved on to my other tasks assigned to me.
I approached my manager to make him aware of what I was currently handling, asked him to confirm his preference in my prioritizing, and acted accordingly.
On the odd occation where I think I may not have enough time to finish, I ask for help, so we will be able to get the job done.
If I didn't have enough time...I would choose the most important to the least.
Many times we might have more task than time to complete. WE would prioritize and re-prioritize if necesary, I have found that applying the customer service aspect first and staying in stock second to all tasks is effective.
I would ask for help and then prioritize most important to least.
At a previous position with Entre I was to install printers in a hospital and they gave me short window. I asked who needed and used these printers the most, what rooms are open now and went from there. And every time kept noticed of an available room.
I had certain invoices that had to be out by a certain time of the month and I prioritize according to the date it had to go out. I also had flexibility in that job to stay longer if needed to complete the task. I dislike leaving things unfinished.
Part three knowledge assessment.
Prioritize my time.
I will ask for help, prioritize the most importance task first.
Most important first followed by least important tasks. EG.. Cash drawer counted and put in safe, waste basket emptied was last on list.. Can be done next day.
The most important and urgent tasks should always be given priority. If I have two or more that seem to be of equal importance then I would defer to my supervisor for direction in making a choice.
I will ask for help, prioritize the most importance task first.
When I dont have time to finish a project I will ask for help but when it comes to prioritize the most important project to the least important.
Made a list of the tasks that needed to be completed putting them in order of there priority. Completed whatever I could and continuedbwith the list the following day.
I will ask for help, I will pririotize the most important.
I would prioritize the most important assignment first or ask for help.
Ask for help then make sure the most important tasks are done first.
I prioritize by getting what is most important done first and then ask for help to complete the tasks to the best possible outcome for the companies benefits.
I would ask for a co worker to assist me. Prioritizing each project.
I finished the tasks by prioritizing the important ones first.
I will ask for help then complete the most important task first.
I will ask for help, and will prioritize the most important.
Many times at the Home Depot we have more tasks than time to complete. We prioritize and re-prioritize if necessary. I have found that applying the Customer service aspect first and staying in stock second to all tasks is effective.

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