Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA, liked to say that 'Most things still remain to be done' -- he was excited by the knowledge that new challenges were always waiting around the corner. At IKEA, we celebrate challenges as opportunities to come up with our next great idea. Talk to the interviewer about how you react to challenge, or describe a difficult problem you worked through on the job.
"Creative problem-solving is one of my natural talents, so my brain feels really energized when I meet a challenge at work. When I was working at a smaller, family-owned retail shop a few years ago, the owners realized that they needed to put a system in place to perform a yearly inventory, but they didn't know where to start. It was a big challenge because we needed to figure out how to use our limited resources and workers to complete an inventory of the entire store before the shop opened for the day. I came up with a plan to split the store up into sections, like a grid, and assigned each of my coworkers a 'grid section' to work on. It meant everyone had to come in really early in the morning, but I tried to make it as fun as possible by bringing in coffee and breakfast from a local restaurant."
"I totally agree with the philosophy that big challenges are opportunities for big ideas -- that's a really encouraging perspective, and it makes me excited to think about working for a company that values challenge and creative problem-solving. At my last job, my managers always seemed tense and frustrated when they encountered problems, so it would be refreshing to work at a company like IKEA that has such a positive outlook on challenge."
"I love to be challenged. I love to solve problems. When I was working in the family retail business, I realized that we needed to put our business online or we would lose sales to competitors. I researched, found, and implemented an e-commerce solution. Soon we were selling 5% of our sales online!"
Try to lead with the result rather than burying it in the story. Even more specifics would be helpful here.
"In my previous role with a small family retail business, we realized the need to become more relevant online. I boosted our sales by 5% in 6 months by introducing an e-commerce solution. This solution allowed us to be competitive in the market while boosting our customer reach."
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