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Answering Behavioral Questions

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Rachelle Enns
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Interview Q&As
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Behavioral
Common
Phone
Tough
Leadership
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When have you had to make a split second decision? How do you react under unexpected pressure?
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OUR COACH SAYS
Example #1
"(Situation) Last week, I had two high-profile clients show up for a meeting at the same time. (Task) My current position requires me to make tough decisions regularly, so luckily, I work well under pressure. (Action) In this situation, I did not want anyone to feel bad for being late or too early. I had each party placed in a different conference room. My colleague started the meeting with our early client while I met with the client who had arrived late. The situation worked out well because I am no stranger to multi-tasking, and I have a great support team."
Example #2
"(Situation) In my current administrative role, I face split-second decisions related to customer service. (Task) Often, I have guidelines to follow, but there are also times when situations call for creative solutions to meet customer needs. (Action) Multiple times per day, I make split-second yet calculated decisions when resolving these customer service matters such as refunds or account credits. (Result) I always keep the best interest of the company in mind while ensuring that the customer is happy with their experience."
Example #3
"(Situation) In my previous role at Company ABC, the senior plant manager was out one day, and there was a bottleneck on the production line. (Task) As the assistant plant manager, it was up to me to pull the team together. (Action) I reviewed the schedule and made a quick decision to double up on team hours for the following day. (Result) We were able to catch up and avoid any customer issues related to product shortages."
Example #4
"(Situation) When working for Agency ABC, I had a client approve website copy that I didn't find to be compelling. (Task) Something sounded off, but I couldn't fully put my finger on it. Yet, as the project manager, it was up to me to ensure that all sign-offs looked impeccable. (Action) The day I was supposed to sign off on the web copy, I pulled the plug and sent recommended changes to the client. (Result) It was a risk, but it worked out better in the end. The client gained further trust in my work, and I learned that it's always best to follow my intuition."
Example #5
"(Situation) Last month, my manager quit her job with no notice. (Task) As the assistant manager, all responsibility immediately transferred to me. (Action) At first, it was an uncomfortable situation. However, I got my head in the game, took charge of the team, and reassured everyone that work would go on as usual. I delegated tasks and leaned on additional training resources related to leadership. (Result) I learned many lessons and am still learning. However, the team and my managers have greatly appreciated the way I have stepped up and performed."
Example #6
"(Situation) One split-second decision helped me close a huge deal recently. I was on the verge of signing a six-figure deal with a key client. I had the final meeting set up where all stakeholders would be in attendance. (Task) I knew that we needed to nail the presentation, gaining the support of all stakeholders. (Action) I talked to my manager and told him that I wanted to fly to the clients' location because I believed an in-person meeting would make all the difference. (Result) My manager agreed, and I presented the final pitch in person. The deal was signed, and I believe that my dedication made a significant difference to the client. In sales, going above expectations will never fail - I sincerely believe that mantra."
Example #7
"(Situation) Recently, a student with significant behavior issues had a breakdown in my class. (Task) As a teacher, I face many daily split-second decisions, often surrounding student behavior. Whatever the situation, it's my professional responsibility to react swiftly and correctly. (Action) I quickly assessed how to handle the situation to ensure the safety of all students without alarming anyone. I was able to quickly grab an aide from another classroom and get help for this student. We called the school nurse as well. (Result) By reacting promptly, I was able to contain a potentially volatile situation. My adrenaline was flowing, but I felt pride knowing I had made a great decision in a high-stakes situation."
Example #8
"My current position requires me to make tough decisions on a regular basis. I work well under pressure like that. With split second decisions, I will always go with my initial instinct. Last week I had to make a last minute substitute on one of our most popular entrees because we were shorted a major ingredient by our supplier. I made the changes, informed all kitchen staff and servers, and the crisis was averted!"
Example #9
"Last month, my senior dispatcher quit on the spot leaving all responsibility on me during the middle of a busy shift. It was uncomfortable, but I knew I had to get my head in the game. I took charge of the floor, reassuring the other fifteen dispatchers that things would go on as usual. I delegated tasks as needed. We finished our shift under a lot of pressure, but everyone willingly did what they needed to reach the finish line until the next shift of dispatchers arrived. Shortly after this incident, I took a promotion as a senior dispatcher."
Example #10
"My current position requires me to make tough decisions on a regular basis. I work well under pressure like that. Last week, I had two drivers who were given the incorrect cargo. I was able to dispatch them back to the warehouse, had our hand bombers ready to swap the loads, while ensuring that our clients were kept in the loop the entire time. It worked out well because I am no stranger to multi-tasking and I have great support staff."
Example #11
"Few months back, my manager decided to put me on some more important tasks and thus delegated the task for making the timesheet entries to the payroll system to one of the new joiners. By the end of the month we received an intimation from the accounts department that they had not received the calculations from our side till that date. This was already delayed by four days. Then we realized the new joiner was not even present and had apparently left the job without any notice. Without any further delay I jumped in and worked over time, throughout the night, to ensure that the information was passed on in time. This helped in timely calculations of the salaries for the employees and thus no delay was caused. I completely understand that our job is extremely important as many employees rely upon us for timely disbursement of their salaries."
Example #12
"My current position requires me to make tough decisions on a regular basis. I work well under pressure like that. With split second decisions, I will always go with my initial instinct. Last week, I had two high-profile clients show up for a meeting at the same time. One client was late, and the other was early. I did not want anyone to feel bad for being late or too early so I had each party placed in a different conference room. My colleague started the meeting with our early meeting while I met with the client who was late. It worked out well because I am no stranger to multi-tasking and I have great support staff."
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