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How do you handle a larger than average workload?

1 of 25 Competency Interview Questions and Answers Written by Rachelle Enns

Updated on December 30th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
How to Answer

The interviewer wants to know that you can handle the workload required of you in this position and that you will not become overwhelmed if/when workloads unexpectedly increase. When workloads increase, stress levels do too. How do you react?

Here are some suggestions on how to handle a large workload:

- List your tasks and prioritize them
- Think of which jobs add to the company's bottom line, and start there (Closest to the money!)
- Exhale. Relax for a minute and collect yourself
- Organize your tasks by which ones you can complete independently and which ones you need help with
- Take sufficient breaks, so you do not exhaust yourself
- Communicate your struggles with your leadership or team

Professional Answer Examples
General
Answer example

"When I have a large workload on my plate, I do not stress over the tasks that are in front of me. Rather, I make a simple plan of which tasks are a high priority and which tasks are a lower priority. The higher priority tasks, I complete first. Through this system, I can focus on my tasks individually, rather than stress out by the multitude of tasks ahead of me."

Admin
Answer example

"When I have a large workload on my plate, I do not stress over the tasks that are in front of me. Rather, I make a simple plan of which tasks are a high priority and which tasks are a low priority. The higher priority tasks, I complete first. Through this system, I can focus on my tasks individually, rather than stress out by the multitude of tasks ahead of me."

Manager
Answer example

"I first take a step back and make a list of all the deliverable work that I have. Then, I prioritize the list by deadline and ease of completion. I always try to hit the easy tasks first and get them off my to-do list. Feeling like I am making progress keeps me motivated."

Marketing
Answer example

"I always make lists and have a pretty good handle on what I have on my plate, but when the list starts to get long, I just make sure to work more hours if needed, or get strategic about double dipping the projects to be most effective. I try to balance my work and a home life well so that if the situation arises in which I need to spend more time at work, I feel I'm balanced and prepared to tackle the stressful, long hours."

Retail
Answer example

"With enthusiasm! Having a large workload is part of being in retail. I prioritize the work and enlist additional resources where necessary."

Sales
Answer example

"I learned in both college, but especially in my account management role, that I do best with a larger than usual workload. I do a better job time managing and just crank out the work. Obviously, I need a balance to this overload, so I don't burn out, but I enjoy the challenge of extra work in the same amount of time."

Teacher
Answer example

"My workload is packed but consistent. The only time it gets hectic is if we've had a lot of assessments and I've fallen behind in grading. My work schedule leaves no room for error; I have a class starting at the same time the previous one ends. So, I am accustomed to having an incredibly full workload."

Benefits Manager
Answer example

"When I have a large workload on my plate, I do not stress over the tasks that are in front of me. Rather, I make a simple plan of which tasks are a high priority and which tasks are a lower priority. The higher priority tasks, I complete first. Through this system, I can focus on my tasks individually, rather than stress out by the multitude of tasks ahead of me."

Radiation Therapists
Answer example

"I make sure that I am clear on expectations and required tasks, asking questions to clarify and prevent misunderstandings. I am thorough with patients, making detailed assessments before treatment and keeping track of time during visits. When I am more calculated with my time, while still ensuring complete thoroughness, I can keep on track during any busy day."

Heavy Equipment Operator
Answer example

"When I have a large workload on my plate, I do not stress over the tasks that are in front of me. Rather, I make a simple plan of which tasks are high priority and which tasks are lower priority. The higher priority tasks, I complete first. Through this system, I am able to focus on my tasks individually, rather than stress out by the multitude of tasks ahead of me."

3D Animator
Answer example

"When I have a large workload on my plate, I do not stress over the tasks that are in front of me. Rather, I make a simple plan of which tasks are a high priority and which tasks are a low priority. The higher priority tasks, I complete first. Through this system, I am able to focus on my tasks individually, rather than stress out by the multitude of tasks ahead of me."

Written by:

Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career. Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise. Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
First written on: 08/10/2016
Last modified on: 12/30/2018

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