This question is designed to learn how well you work under pressure. Avoid choosing a time that you were in danger of missing the deadline because of poor planning on your part such as procrastination. Instead, choose a situation that was out of your control.
"Last month, our corporate head office requested a full inventory count at random. We were given just two days to complete this count when, usually, these inventory counts were given three full days to complete. I was the team lead at the time, so I rescheduled us to work longer split shifts to ensure we met the timeline 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 well! We finished the inventory count in just 39 hours and the team remained motivated."
"My team and I were recently 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. Before beginning, we came across one main roadblock that was 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. It was our transparency in communications and collaborative work environment that helped us meet the deadline and deliver the results to the leadership team."
"This past year our regional manager wanted to have a new rep hired and trained for the first week of January. She informed me of this only on the first of December. To expedite the process, I requested a budget allowance to hire a recruiter. The recruiter worked fast, and we had an offer out to the perfect candidate in just three weeks."
"I was once part of a team that had a major set back based on the crash of our project management software. I went to the project backup 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."
"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, 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 at risk. As it turned out, I was pretty near dead on and we had a successful summer season."
"I am tasked with cold calling 100 potential new clients per day. I had a chaotic week just a couple of weeks ago where the Monday was a holiday, on Tuesday our company database was down, and on Wednesday, I was out for half of the day on in-person client calls. This setback meant that I needed to complete five days of work in just 2.5. I spent a few hours of overtime and skipped my lunch breaks so that I would meet my target."
"Last summer during curriculum writing, we were having some conflict about what would be added, cut, or kept. 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."