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Tell me about a time when you, or a group that you were a part of, were in danger of missing a deadline. What did you do?
Advice
This question is designed to learn how well you work under pressure. When choosing an example to share with the interviewer, avoid choosing a time that you were in danger of missing the deadline because of poor planning on your part such as procrastination. Rather, choose a situation that was out of your control. 1) First, start by giving the interviewer an overview of the situation, explaining how much time you had to complete the assignment and why you were in danger of missing the deadline. 2) Next, tell the interviewer that you realized how urgent the situation was, and instead of getting worked up about it, you came up with a game plan to conquer the assignment by the deadline. 3) Lastly, explain how you made your plan of attack, pulled in additional people to help if necessary, and ensured the assignment was completed by the deadline.
Answer examples
"Last month, our Corporate head office requested a full inventory count at random. We were given just 2 days to complete this count when, usually, these inventory counts were given 3 full days to complete. I was the team lead at the time so I rescheduled us to work longer split shifts to ensure that the timeline was met without overworking anyone. I turned the task into a competition where the first person to complete their inventory section was given two free movie tickets. My plan worked really well! We finished the inventory count in just 39 hours and the team remained motivated."
"My team and I recently were under a deadline to complete a global employee satisfaction survey. Our deadline was set to execute the project from start to finish within six weeks. During weekly status updates, we came across two roadblocks that were going to prevent us from accomplishing this. Global customs would take six weeks to ship the surveys in and out of the facility. We came up with a solution to email the surveys and still include the coding that would catalog the results by location and department, while still meeting our deadline. It was our transparency in communications and collaborate work environment that helped us meet deadline to deliver the results to the leadership team and organizational wide."
"I was once part of team that had a major set back based on an endurance test. I went to the project database, quickly reviewed everyone's open tasks, rearranged the schedule and called an emergency team meeting to set us back on course. We barely made it in time, but we made it."
Sales answer example
"In sales, you always have to be on your toes. In logistics, things can change literally at any time. For instance, a truckload of paper was needed to run an order the following morning or the line would be shut down. However, the shipment was still in Chicago due to a dishonest trucking company. I had to get my teammates on the phone and we all worked together with some trusted partners to have the first company deliver it to a neutral location nearby, and another drive pick it up and drive it straight through overnight so the line wouldn't shut down."
Retail answer example
"I was called in at the last minute to help complete a buying deadline. Our previous manager had left suddenly, so, literally 20 hours into the new role, I was asked to make buying recommendations for next season. I stayed up pretty much all night reviewing last year's data for the same season, in order to make an educated recommendation to the buyer and sent it along to corporate. They made their buying decision based off of my recommendation. I was so nervous through the entire season that I may have made an inaccurate representation of our data and put my department's budget in risk. As it turned out, I was pretty near dead on and we had a really successful summer season based on my recommendations."
Teacher answer example
"One summer during curriculum writing, we were having some conflict about what would be added, cut, or stay. Because of this, we got a bit behind. Ultimately, we ended up working extra hard and some longer hours than usual in the last week to make the final revisions to the curriculum. I believe that passion showed in our final decision since the following year was the most fun, inspired, and arguably effective curriculum we'd developed to date."

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User-Submitted Answers

Tell me about a time when you, or a group that you were a part of, were in danger of missing a deadline. What did you do?
1.
Will try my best upto certain possible level to safe guard my team mates.
2.
I was in the this group we had a project that was due but we had to work real hard to reach the goal..
3.
When I had to work in a team and my team mates were not taking the work serious and we were almost not able to complete the project I had motivated the team to work harder so that the project could be completed on time.
4.
Usually in danger of missing deadline when needed parts were going to be late in arriving. Determined options and was able to make temporary repairs until needed parts arrived.
5.
To accomplish a deadline, we worked over night &finished the work.
6.
I gathered the group and we decided as a team how to meet the deadline by delegating the work to the appropriate associates with each associate feeling positive in completing the task.
7.
Work all night till we accomplished it.
8.
Recently, my school was preparing for our 5 year accreditation. All faculty and staff were assigned to groups to address different standards. We were close to our deadline and still needed to cite evidence for our self assessments. I noticed a lot of the standards were over lapping so I suggested each standard group share their evidence in a google format so we could share the evidence. This saved us time and allowed us to meet our deadline.
9.
I've never been in that situation because I use my time wisely and like to get things done right then and there.
10.
Once we had to do audit. But there was not enough time to do that therefore I called my supervisor either we will have to extent it or do the overtime to finish it after a little discussion with my supervisor shared all the info about the audit and nature of work he allowed us to do the overtime and get the work done with in deadline date.
11.
The rfp was due and we performed change management to crash the schedule and eliminate details of the dependencies and estimated what we would need.
12.
I was in charge of sending out the cases for patients scheduled for crowns. I needed to send it out before I left for the weekend but forgot to take it when I left. I remembered the next day and went back to the office and sent it out overnight mail so there would not be a delay for the patient.
13.
Told the group if they didn't get there act together that drags everyone down. If they wanted to mess around I would ask the teacher for them to leave to group.
14.
At FIU, in one my lab courses I worked with a group to complete a video-based research project on a certain species of monkeys. As the deadline was approaching, we realized that we needed more data and video footage and had to edit the footage as well. I came together together with the 3 other members and came up with a schedule where we can either come alone or together to take the footage, data, and editing I made myself more available since I lived nearby the research location. Once we collected all our data/footage we then meet up together for editing. We actually finished our project a few days earlier than the deadline and made an A on our project.
15.
Primate Biology Lab group project.
16.
Worked through the weekend with coworkers, and split up responsibilities to get job finished. A flood of new sellers came in on a Friday, we stayed late to get them all contacted.
17.
Find out why, what still needs to be done, talk to the person in charge of the deadline, explain the situation, ask for assistance.
18.
In a previous role, my team was involved in data migration and transfer. We had just 24 hours to convert information from an old system to a new one. I took initiative and called operating system support team, for the new system we were transferring information to. During the multiple calls, I was able to establish what would be transferred from the old system automatically, and what must be done manually. I also outlined the needs of my team to the technical support team, in order to see what was the most efficient way of transfer because of the close deadline. Because of this, we were able to refine our transfer and increase efficiency and completed the task before the deadline.
19.
- Undering a system migration/transfer. 24hr deadline, and the team was under extreme pressure. - In addition to doing my allocated part of the transfer, I also liaised with the new system's tech support team, to confirm what would be transferred automatically and what would need to be transferred manually. Also, the best way for us to do so. - we were able to complete the task before the deadline but cutting time on migrating and tranferin information that would have been done automatically.
20.
We worked together, giving ideas. Worked until late to complete the task.
21.
Try find the missing deadline.
22.
I need help to other to help me.
23.
Bio lab, took control reached out made assignments.
24.
We was given a assgment to be completed within an two days in december time but because of the busy in our resturant we didnt and this is where by we missed our deadline . But we try to make an affort buy working over time this is where we mnange to complete it.
25.
When I worked at Methodist University ER, we were the first ER in the city to institute a DR. ICE which was temperature management for cardiac arrest patients. The protocol was to start at the first of the month but we weren't quite caught up as the deadline was approaching. We basically pulled together and worked 70+ hours that week to make it happen. Everyone took on a task and we pulled through. Everything was ready to go by the deadline.
26.
Yes. I wouldn't mind at all.
27.
Two months ago me and my coworkers were working on completing a section of townhouses in abbotsford. We had to have the units finished by the end of the week, it was Friday afternoon and we had all the wire pulled in the units but still had to tie them into the panels. This task would take about an hour per panel. We rallied together and stayed over time, unpaid, to meet the deadline.
28.
Last semester in one of my finance classes I was part of a group (me and 2 more people) and we had to perform an analysis of the balance sheet of a Bank and we split in part our project in order to get it done prior the deadline. On the day of the deadline, the girl in my team said she did not complete her part so we decided to submit my and mine friend's part in order to not be penalized. On the next day we all went to talk with the professor and she said to submit late but with all the work.
29.
I brain stormed what we should do next and assigned certain individuals certain duties to do based on their individual strengths.
30.
For our software integration of going global, we had deadlines every week. We had to work long nights, weekends, and oncall.
31.
Nope. There was no such situation for me.
32.
Our MBA class was struggling to get together and work in the assigned teams as everyone had full time jobs in different parts of the country and availability was not easy to co ordinate. Deadline was looming so we split the task out and met on Skype, discussed it and finally we put the presentation together and practiced about 30 mins before presenting ... It seemed to work.
33.
Late on paper - emailed the professor explaining that I had been sick and asked for an extension and included what I had done and outlined the rest for him to see where I was going with this.
34.
Recently scheduled a one on one call with our client to present our list of outstanding candidates. Problem was our pipeline only consisted of one person. We didn't want to appear unprepared so gathered our list of previously submitted candidates that were worth revisiting due to new open positions being added to the mix. The client was appreciative since they had forgotten about the previous submissions. They felt we more than mere closers but that we understood their business needs.
35.
Capsim-unaware of the submission time turned out that we only have an hour to submit one of the rounds. 5 departments-5 teammates-what we normally do is go through each department together and develop a plan to carry out that round. Now we stayed calm did not panetic and divided up the deparments so each member worked on a different department.
36.
An oversea sles manager. Tell him before hand. Also to agree deadline before making promised to the customer.
37.
We worked together and overtime to make sure our work would get us a good grade.
38.
We talk about it and strategies and we come up with a solution of working unpaid overtime for us not missing the deadline.
39.
Stayed until it was done. Every day getting deliveries out. Prioritize. Get servers to do the easy parts first, and I concentrate on the detailed parts that I have to answer to.
40.
During this semester in my real estate principles class, we had a current event project that was worth about 10% of our overall grade. I was in a group of 3, and we all split the task equally amongst ourselves; however, the semester was very hectic for the three of us so we didn't meet up like we wanted to. As the deadline was approaching, I realized no one took the initiative to gather everyone's work to make the powerpoint. I then took it upon myself to take lead on this project, so I reached out to each member and gave both members deadlines to submit their work prior to our presentation.
41.
We pulled together and decided to worker over time in order to meet deadline.
42.
We had to work extra hours to get it done but we told the customer the truth about the possibility of missing the deadline because we had to make some changes.
43.
I needed to submit reports to the state and realized that I had several meetings. I was able to delegate this task to one eployee and we worked from top to bottom to complete the info.
44.
We stayed late two nights. Then the third day I gave them time off.
45.
During the week of inventory we have to make sure all products are out of the stockroom and rear-face all products to be counted. We were behind on facing all of the products and making sure the store was ready for the inventory workers. We came in early to finish rear facing the products and preping the store for inventory.
46.
I don`t have any situation in past like this, but I think i`ll give the first help to every person need it, if I can help I am there to do that.
47.
Few weeks ago MD's took much longer than anticipated due to ADM not knowing where to find PCNR's. I located and redirected team to finish on time.
48.
When I was working on Euromoto sometimes we had 50 deliveries in the same time. We all discuss to help each other and work very fast.
49.
Seattle center event - all hands on deck.