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Answering Behavioral Questions

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Tell me about a time you wish you had handled a workplace situation, differently.

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Example #1
"(Situation) I recently had a client come into the office and yell at one of my staff members, embarrassing her. (Task) As the Manager, it was up to me to react professionally. (Action) I focused my time on calming the client down when I believe that I should have stuck up for my employee first and foremost. Verbally abusive behavior is intolerable, and I wish I would have reacted differently, perhaps asking the client to apologize for their behavior and leave. (Result) A valuable staff member is worth much more than a bad client. I later apologized to my staff member for not reacting on her behalf quickly enough."
Example #2
"(Situation) My team recently hired a new junior administrator. (Task) As the more senior administrator on the team, I was tasked with training this new employee. (Action) Throughout the training, I did what I could to overlook the persons' bad attitude, assuming that they had been well-vetted through the interview process. Shortly after his onboarding, he ended up quitting. (Result) I wish that I would have listened to my gut and told my boss about the concerns that I had. It would have saved the company a lot of time and money. What I learned from the situation, however, is that I will respectfully speak up from now on."
Example #3
"(Situation) A few months ago, we were very short-staffed. (Task) I hired someone because one of my top performers recommended her for the job. (Action) Despite my better judgment, I did not follow my usual interview process. I skipped a few important steps, believing that this particular hire would be a great one. (Result) This new hire was not a strong performer, and I ended up terminating her employment shortly after I hired and trained her. I now know to never stray from my hiring process, no matter the referral source."
Example #4
"(Situation) Last year, one of my larger clients changed the scope of their project multiple times. It was a highly frustrating process for everyone. (Task) As the Marketing Manager, it was up to me to reign in the client and the project. (Action) I spent additional time with this client until we finally agreed on a specific campaign. (Result) In the end, the project took twice as long as it should have. Immediately after, I implemented a stronger discovery process so that we could better outline our clients' needs and assess their commitment to the process before getting started."
Example #5
"(Situation) Recently, there was a shopper in my store who was acting suspiciously. (Task) As an associate on the floor, I take my job very seriously and always keep an eye out for suspicious activity. (Action) I told security about my concern but, because there is so much store to be covered, they were not able to be as attentive to the situation as I would have liked. (Result) This person ended up stealing a few items of merchandise. If I could revisit that situation, I would have personally approached the person and ask to help them find what they needed - letting them know I was paying attention. I should have been more visible in that situation."
Example #6
"(Situation) A couple of weeks ago, I was feeling overwhelmed with a new product that our company rolled out. (Task) I spent so much time learning the features and benefits that I allowed my cold calling to slide. (Action) Rather than cold call the typical 100 companies that week, I called about 25. The impact on my weekly numbers was apparent. The next week, I tripled up on my cold calling. (Result) What I realized from the situation was that I need to keep the call volume going, despite added responsibilities."
Example #7
"(Situation) I noticed a star student behaving out of character a few months back. (Task) As his primary teacher, I should have had a conversation with him right away. (Action) However, I felt rushed with marking papers and preparing for finals and did not give this student the attention that I should have. (Result) I found out shortly after that this person was going through a very tough time at home. If I could have done anything differently, I would have approached him and asked him if he needed to talk, and perhaps directed him to the guidance counselor at the school. I have recently vowed to be much more attentive, even during my peak stress times."
Example #8
"During a previous role I was responsible for the administration of development reviews for students. I had a difficult situation when I noticed that a supervisor was writing offensive and demotivating notes on the staff reviews. This was concerning to me and I was worried about mentioning it as this person was a senior member of staff. I let my manager know and the issue was highlighted and resolved without my involvement but I believe it was an important issue to have raised"
Example #9
"Due to the struggling economy, I was recently asked to recommend layoffs within our organization. Being a leader, it was incredibly difficult for me to choose who would lose their job. I decided to remove all emotions and make my choice based on performance analytics alone. That made the decisions much simpler, but still not easy."
Example #10
"There was a time that I had to refuse a customer's unreasonable request due to company policy. In order to appease the customer, I empathized with their situation and communicated a willingness to help them find an alternative."
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