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Answering Behavioral Questions

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Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision without all the information you needed.

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Example #1
"(Situation) In my current role, I am responsible for creating the weekly schedule for 56 staff members. (Task) When I first took on the responsibility of scheduling, I did not have any data regarding our busiest times of the week and day. (Action) I worked hard to 'guesstimate' our customer traffic while remaining under the staffing budget and, at the same time, not understaffing. I used my logic and critical thinking skills to fill in the blanks for the data that I did not have. (Result) This scheduling approach worked out quite well for me. Now I fully understand our customer traffic flow, which has made staff scheduling a breeze."
Example #2
"(Situation) In my position, ambiguity is a large part of my daily reality. (Task) As an Executive Assistant, I often find myself making decisions wishing I had just a little bit more data. (Action) Just last week, the executive who I support sent me a rough outline of her preferred travel itinerary. I knew that some of her requests would work, and some would not align with pre-booked meetings. In this case, I looked at everything I had scheduled for her up to that point, created what-if scenarios for several variables, and selected the best possible option. (Result) I always do my best for this executive, and she appreciates my hard work and critical thinking."
Example #3
"(Situation) Before my company had an HR department, I had to lead all of the hiring efforts. (Task) I was often missing information critical to job offers, such as details on the company's health benefits plan. As a new manager, I was afraid of looking green and unorganized. (Action) I connected with our benefits account rep, and they agreed to come to my office and walk me through the details of our benefits package. (Result) After this meeting, I had a clearer understanding and was able to answer most candidate questions with ease."
Example #4
"(Situation) Often, our agency's clients are vague about their needs or the vision for their project. (Task) As a Creative Director, I know this vague approach occurs because they don't fully know themselves what they seek. I have had to fill in the blanks many times. (Action) To do this, I bring forward a few tools such as questionnaires, brand sprints, and discovery sessions. (Result) By using these tools, I can get to know my clients well. Also, it helps me to be more comfortable in making executive decisions on projects."
Example #5
"(Situation) Often when a customer dispute arises, I am missing pieces of the story. One particular example that comes to mind occurred just last week when a customer stormed in and demanded a refund. (Task) As the Retail Manager, whether I had the full story or not, I was instantly pulled into making a customer service decision. (Action) I quickly assessed what category the problem seemed to fall in, whether that was a service, product, or pricing issue. Once I determined that it was a product issue, I knew I would go ahead and offer a product replacement. (Result) All in all, this customer dispute lasted under five minutes, and I was able to avoid any other potential damage to our store's reputation."
Example #6
"(Situation) I recently had a customer seeking a particular piece of inventory that was hard to source. (Task) As a seasoned Account Rep, I knew my products very well. I also knew that nationwide, there were only two products that met his criteria. (Action) These products were seemingly identical, but I had to choose which one to purchase on his behalf. With a price tag of $5k+, it was a significant decision to make. I leveraged my industry knowledge and my understanding of the customer. (Result) By using context and prior knowledge, as well as a bit of instinct, I made the right choice, and my customer was thrilled."
Example #7
"(Situation) For years, my department didn't have a consistent or reliable way to quantify the effectiveness of our teaching methods. (Task) As a teacher, this presents a challenge when it comes time to tweaking curriculum or even gaining accurate feedback. (Action) Two years ago, I proposed that we set up four tests throughout the year to test cumulative knowledge. My department head agreed, and we have been using these tests ever since. (Result) Now we shape most of our teaching decisions off of actual data, making for much clearer feedback."
Example #8
"As a temporary staffing recruiter, ambiguity is a large part of my daily reality. I always do the best with the information I have to keep things moving. I often find myself making decisions wishing I had just a little bit more data. In these cases, I look at everything I have, create what-if scenarios for several variables and select the best possible option."
Example #9
"As an executive recruiter, ambiguity is a large part of my daily reality. I always do the best with the information I have to keep projects moving. I often find myself making decisions wishing I had just a little bit more data. In these cases, I look at everything I have, create what-if scenarios for several variables and select the best possible option."
Example #10
"I make small decisions quickly every day. For example, deciding what outfit to wear, what breakfast cereal I want to eat, or what time I want to leave my house each morning. Other decisions take a few minutes of thought such as putting my to-do list into a logical order for the day. I need to take into account project deadlines and how long the project will take to complete. And, some decisions take a few days, weeks, or months to make. For example, if I am tasked with selecting a new training software, I will need time to review demos, talk to other customers of the product, and analyze our budget before making a decision. It just depends on how large the decision is!"
Example #11
"In short, debugging is an important part of determining why an operating system, application or program is behaving abnormally. When I do debugging, there are many things that I take into account during this process. For larger lines of code, I conduct unit testing and pair programming which helps me identify bugs at an earlier stage. I also use the stand alone debugger tool to further identify bugs. I've always been conscious of my work, and only want to put out top quality work. To further understand where bugs may reside, I also look at the module to see if the problem avails itself. If not, I set up a 'breakpoint' and run a program to see it run its course. After performing debugging and testing, I do come across errors which I address and correct immediately. Some examples are...Syntax errors, Runtime errors, Logic errors, Semantic errors, etc."
Example #12
"Last month during a standard procedure we had a very important piece of equipment fail. I asked permission to leave the OR and quickly located another machine. The Doctor was happy that, rather than panicking or trying to make the faulty equipment work, I sprung into action to create an immediate resolution."
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