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Answering Behavioral Questions

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Rachelle Enns
Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter who helps everyone from students to fortune 500 executives find success in their career.
Interview Q&As
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What is the riskiest decision you have ever made in the workplace?
Example #1
"(Situation) The riskiest decision I ever made was to leave the recruitment industry. (Task) I had a desire to move into workforce planning as a consultant. The risk meant that if I were unsuccessful, I would be looking for a new job in a plodding economy. The pay off would be that I would finally be in a sector in which I was truly interested. (Action) Through hard work and by leveraging my connections, I made a great career for myself for the next eight years. (Result) This hard work is what has brought me here today - with an exceptional career opportunity in front of me."
Example #2
"(Situation) The riskiest career choice I made was asking for a reduction in hours, from full time to part-time employment. (Task) I was asking for this reduction so that I could pursue my degree in Business Administration. (Action) I approached my boss with the facts, and humbly asked that he consider my past commitments to the company when making his decision. (Result) My boss could have let me go, but he didn't. He openly supported my pursuit of higher education."
Example #3
"(Situation) My riskiest decision was to ship a customer order late. (Task) I was not satisfied with the quality audit, and as the QA Manager, I took my responsibility seriously. (Action) The numbers were within the correct threshold, but not to par. (Result) In the end, while the customer was unhappy to receive a late order, she was happy that we cared enough to investigate any potential problems."
Example #4
"(Situation) One of the riskiest decisions I made was to leave corporate America and join a startup with an innovative idea. (Task) The company was seeking to provide a product/service that would pioneer a new industry. (Action) We worked harder and smarter to launch and create a new space in the nutraceutical marketplace. (Result) We failed a lot along the way, but we learned to fail fast, and it made us all better professionals."
Example #5
"(Situation) I think the riskiest decision I've made is taking steps to pursue a new position. (Task) I am seeking out an opportunity, which means leaving a 15-year tenure at a successful store. (Action) Although I have risen through the ranks in this job and made a name for myself, I have a desire to challenge myself professionally. (Result) I am thrilled to be taking this chance and speaking with your esteemed retail brand today."
Example #6
"(Situation) The riskiest career decision I've made was to leave an established organization in a down economy. (Task) Despite being groomed for a general manager role, I knew I needed to try my hand in a technology startup. (Action) Most of my family thought I was nuts, but I followed my intuition. (Result) Not only did I get to experience a different, more innovative culture, team, and product, but I was able to be a real 'difference-maker' in the organization. That leap brought me to more opportunities I never thought possible."
Example #7
"(Situation) My most considerable risk was choosing between pursuing a role as a high school Spanish teacher or an elementary Spanish teacher. (Task) The risk was that I knew of budget cut rumors to elementary based language programs. (Action) Regardless of these rumors, I decided to pursue an elementary school teaching gig. (Result) I was laid off after two years; however, it was the role that I wanted the most, which is why I took the chance."
Example #8
"I would love to mentor students! At my previous employment, clinical students were assigned only to those nurses in supervisory positions. I understand the reason for scheduling students with supervisors but always hoped to have an opportunity to precept students."
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Our interview questions are created by writers, most of whom have a long history of recruiting and interviewing candidates. They do not necessarily have experience interviewing or working with the companies, careers or schools they may write for on We strive to match our experts' background and expertise with the appropriate question sets found on our website.