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Answering Behavioral Questions

Ace 1000s of Interview Q&As

Tell me about a time when you had to learn something new within a short deadline.

Example #1
"(Situation) In my most recent role, I was unfamiliar with their hospital record-keeping system at first. (Task) After a few days of on the job training, I was able to maintain the hospital record-keeping system, but I still wasn't happy with my fluency. (Action) I found tutorials online and spent evenings training myself to a deeper level of knowledge. (Result) I became fluent in the program in no time flat. It was nice to dive in, learn the system well, and have that sense of accomplishment early on in my role."
Example #2
"(Situation) When I first began my administration career, I started as a temporary employee with a temp agency. (Task) Placed in a variety of roles that changed weekly and sometimes even daily, I often jumped into positions where there was a lot to learn in a short time. Deadlines were often due yesterday, and technology always changed. (Action) I utilized and maximized my resources to the fullest, often learning technical tasks through YouTube tutorials the night before. (Result) I learned plenty of programs and software, and best of all, had fun doing it!"
Example #3
"(Situation) Our company recently implemented a new SAP system. (Task) Not only was I tasked with learning the system, but I also needed to train my team of five on the use of the system. (Action) I had two weeks to learn and train, so I took a lot of the modules home, watched a plethora of tutorials online, and even utilized some how-to videos on YouTube. (Result) In the end, I met the goal and was proud of myself for learning a complicated concept under such a tight deadline."
Example #4
"(Situation) Our agency implemented a new design program recently. (Task) I needed to know the ins and outs of this design program, to work effectively on my largest client project. (Action) I hunkered down, put a sign on my cubicle that said, 'Do not feed the animals' and got to work researching and learning. (Result) Everyone understood that I needed some time, and they reserved calling my name for urgent requests only. I was able to learn the program in just one day, an accomplishment that I am quite proud of."
Example #5
"(Situation) Last year, I earned a promotion to assistant manager with two weeks' notice. (Task) While earning a promotion was super exciting, the promotion was in an entirely different department. From the employees to the merchandise, everything was all brand new to me. (Action) I took the bull by the horns and got to business, learning everything I could about the collections, what sold well, and team dynamics. I wanted to be as efficient as possible right out the gate. I also recognized that I should seek the guidance of the current staff, so they knew I valued their knowledge. (Result) Leading with an eager mind and humble heart, I got down to business and up to speed within a week."
Example #6
"(Situation) When I started my first car sales position in 2010, I took a salary cut for a highly commissioned opportunity. (Task) I had to hit the ground running to start earning commissions ASAP. I also had to learn about the car industry in no time so that I could start making appointments and sales. (Action) I spent the first week of this new job shadowing everyone I could, reading industry-related publications, and taking myself through the customer journey and sales cycle. I wanted to understand the entire experience from the customers' perspective. (Result) By the following week, I felt fully ramped and was making appointments and running demos."
Example #7
"(Situation) One instance that stands out is regarding a new student I had this year. This student has special needs, and his parents asked that he attend my Spanish class. (Task) As an experienced teacher, I often have moments of learning on the fly and know that I need to be flexible to all learning levels. (Action) I needed to learn overnight how to best include this student in my classroom without missing a beat teaching him, or the other students. I wanted him to be successful. I read his IEP cover to cover, spoke with his aide, and his parents to better understand his needs. (Result) The next day, this student stayed for Spanish and had a huge grin on his face throughout the lesson. It was so rewarding to see how he connected well with the curriculum and the other students."
Example #8
"I learn by researching and collecting information. Then, I practice my new skill through repetitive performance. For instance, I have begun creating training modules in an online learning portal for my current team. I have also taught myself how to do live webinars, which allows me to reach and educate more team members without location-based limitations. To make this happen, I attended virtual classes and learned the programs required to organize and build these online offerings. I am thrilled that, as a Training and Development Manager, I get to learn new skills every day. I tackle each opportunity from a 'student' point of view and not as an expert. By approaching life as a learner, I open myself up to new perspectives and opportunities every day."
Example #9
"I completed [X project] in one week even though I had a 2-week timeline. I managed to do so by prioritizing - by identifying which other duties part of my workload were less pressing so as to delegate these duties. I was then able to completely focus on this project and did not hesitate to stay after hours when necessary. I am someone who thrives on challenges and this was a very rewarding project."
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