The interviewer would like to know that you are a diligent individual when it comes to work-related deadlines. Are you determined to complete your tasks on time or do you frequently miss deadlines? Talk to the interviewer about your ability to act diligently on the job.
"Last month I had a client who made a lot of additional and last minute changes to our project. Despite the changes, our deadline remained the same. Our project lead was becoming stressed that we would not meet our deadline so I agreed to stay late three nights that week to ensure that we met all expectations."
"Tight deadlines are a bit unusual in our industry; however, we had a deadline last month that was about half the time of our usual time frame. I took my work home every night for a week to ensure that we met the deadline without the quality of work suffering."
"My company gave me a deadline of December 24th to hire three new production line workers. After that, we were going to be meeting a hiring freeze with an undetermined end date. I used a service called Zip Recruiter and was able to make three excellent hires within two weeks."
"Marketing is always about last minute changes and tight deadlines! Recently I worked until 4 AM to deliver an updated proposal for a very particular client. You do what you have to, to make your clients happy."
"I am always diligent when it comes to deadlines. However, once I remember having an abnormally large order from a regular client once. I was a little stressed about making sure it was perfect, so I put in four overtime hours to meet the expectation. It felt great to deliver high-quality service."
"I had a client last month who put in a last-minute order for a software update. He needed to upgrade some equipment as well. To meet his expectations, I had to expedite the equipment to him and beg my IT team to put my project to the top of the list. It pays to be nice to your coworkers because the IT team was able to deliver! My client was thrilled with our ability to hustle."
"I was recently running behind on marking and comments for report cards. We had a field trip and a soccer tournament that week so my timing was off. I took the work home and was able to delegate some of it to my TA as well. Everything was delivered on time, but lesson learned!"
The interviewer would like to know if you take the initiative in the workplace. Have you ever considered the opportunity to present your employer with potential change? Talk to the hiring manager about a time when you took the initiative in the workplace.
"I was able to present and implement one specific change in the office this past year. It was a recycling program that I felt was very important, even for our smaller office. We had significantly less waste after my initiative, and I enjoyed seeing others take pride in helping our environment."
"I took the initiative the past month to completely revamp the physical file room as well as organize the drive that held our digital files. It was a mess, and with tax season upon us, I couldn't ignore the need. My boss was very thankful for the initiative that I took."
"In my current position, I noticed that our written procedures were not exactly how the employees were doing things. I decided to interview the employees and compare it to the written procedures that management wanted. We were able to come to a compromise that met all of the safety and quality requirements of the company, but still worked a bit faster and easier for the staff."
"We had an awkward intake procedure when I first started working for my company. New clients would hire us, and we would phone interview them - taking notes along the way. I made the recommendation that we send them a fillable form where they can think about their answer and type it out, make edits, and then send to us. This form was implemented, and now our clients can give us a much more thought-out and thorough idea of their needs and vision."
"Our store was experiencing significant issues with theft. I created a proposal to head office that included a paid security officer at the door during peak business times. I researched the cost and compared it to the cost of what we were losing. It was less than 25%, so I figured it was certainly worth the investment. They agreed!"
"Our sales script was very outdated, so I chose to use my time to revamp the book and then submit the potential changes to my boss. She loved the initiative, and after some minor edits, we introduced the new script to the sales team. It was a proud moment in my career."
"I implemented a new routine in my classroom where the day begins with physical activity. We take a walk outside around the schoolyard or do jumping jacks when the first bell rings. It gets everyone's blood flowing, and the kids start their day in a fun way. It was so successful that the school started 'morning fitness' where the K-6 kids assemble in the gym for a quick few minutes."
The interviewer would like to discuss the last time you took on a course to learn a work-related task. Once you are in your career, it certainly doesn't mean that you need to stop learning. There are many job-related courses available. Talk to the interviewer about the last time you took advantage of these open courses.
"I recently took a course in Accounting Basics so that I could make better sense of my finances but also offer my employer more value when it came to managing budgets. I am a full believer in continued education."
"I took a one-day seminar in Microsoft Excel. I already knew the basics, but my boss likes using macros and pivot tables, and I was spending a lot of time reading the support section to figure out how to use them. The course was very informative."
"Last year, I worked towards my Project Manager certification while working full time. That experience alone greatly increased my multitasking skills. The PM Certification is a great addition to my already existing management skill set."
"This year I have taken another workshop on Facebook Advertising and Algorithms. It's an ever-changing beast, and as a marketing professional I need to have the right strategy for my clients."
"I like that you asked this question because it means that continued education is important to you as well. This past year I took an arts program geared towards merchandising. I want to offer my employer more when it comes to creating eye-catching window displays."
"Our company offered the Sandler Sales program to anyone in the company who was interested. I took this workshop in 2014 and enjoyed it. My sales increased by 23% that year."
"I like to spend a great deal on my personal development. Currently, I am earning my certification to become a yoga teacher. I believe that I can bring these lessons into the classroom by helping students learn to breathe, handle stress, and be mindful."
The interviewer would like to know if you are the type to proofread your work before submitting it. Double checking and proofreading are vital parts of a job well done. Assure the interviewer that you are diligent when it comes to presenting good, clean, work.
"Spelling and grammatical errors are a pet peeve of mine. I will triple check my work if there is time! I feel that it is essential to submit error-free work."
"I try to, but in today's quick response age, I know that I send emails with mistypes. I concentrate very well on reports and presentations, and I do ask other people to review important letters or emails before sending them."
"I am so accustomed to working under pressure and tight deadlines that I do forget to double check my work at times. This habit is one that I have consciously been working on to improve."
"Submitting perfect work is what my clients pay me thousands of dollars for! I triple check everything before it goes to my client including running it through a couple of grammar and spelling applications."
"I would like to say that yes I do, but I do not 100% of the time. During peak business hours it can be easy to become swarmed with work. Luckily I know my job very well and can point out a potential error very fast."
"My RFP's and other quotes have to be complete perfection, or it could cause a major upset for my organization. For that reason, I always double check these and then have my sales assistant review the numbers, before they go out to my client."
"Absolutely! As a teacher, I had better submit error-free work. The odd time that I have made a spelling error on a worksheet has proven to be quite embarrassing. My students are mischevious and will never let me forget!"
The interviewer would like to know which tasks you tend to leave for last. Often we will move the tasks that we don't want for last in the act of procrastination. Other times, we will mindfully leave a specific responsibility for last because we feel that it makes the most sense. Help the interviewer to determine which personality type you are by answering this question.
"If given a choice, I would leave my documentation tasks for last. I say this because I like to spend my time selling and hitting targets so anything to do with documentation during business hours - I feel takes away from my business development tasks. I do understand the importance of it, though."
"I tend to leave the hardest assignments for last. It is not because I dread them, but because I can make a lot more people happy by completing their small requests first and getting them back to work."
"If given a choice, I would leave my corrective measures last, meaning to the end of the day. I prefer to terminate employees at the end of the day when it's a bit quieter. It's easier to do a smooth exit interview and walk out at that time."
"I have always been told first to do the work that I enjoy least! In a way - I guess you could say 'leave the best for last.' I do this so that I don't lose steam as I enter the final stages of a task of a project."
"I am not a procrastinator; however, I would push the store cleaning to the end of the day if it were possible. It feels better to leave the store in pristine condition!"
"I prefer to get my sales calls in, first thing in the morning. It's easier to catch people on the phone that way. Because of this preference, I tend to leave my in-person client visits for the end of the day when I'm done in the office and can hit the pavement."
"If given a choice, I would put off marking papers to the end of the day. I prefer to do my marking when the classroom is quiet after everyone has gone home."
The interviewer would like to know how you first approach an critical assignment. Are you the individual who will approach an assignment head-on, or do you need to research and plan early? Do you jump in and get it all done immediately or do you balance it with other assignments? Talk to the interviewer about how you approach essential tasks at work.
"When my supervisor gives me an important assignment or task I am sure to assess the depth of the project then take a look at my schedule to see how I can appropriately balance it with my other work. I do not procrastinate because then it's easy to forget to fit them in."
"I lay out all the deadlines, figure out the deliverables, priority order, and then do all the research needed to make informed decisions. I keep a written "to-do" list and transfer project deadlines into my calendar to stay on task."
"When given an important project I will read through the requirements, ensure that I understand the end goal, and then determine which of my team members I need to engage in making it happen. From there, I brief those team members, and we get started!"
"I tend to jump right into an assignment and plan my steps once things are underway. It's the best way that I can create a marketing strategy without wasting any time at the start."
"I approach assignments head on. I like to get my hands on a project, conduct research by various methods. Sometimes it's trial and error, but most of the time I nail it on the first try. "
"I love to read so when I have an important assignment or project I will first do as much online research as possible to ensure that I understand the full scope. From there, I create milestones for myself."
"I am a planner. You have to be, to be a successful teacher. If I am given an important assignment or project, I will research the heck out of it before I begin. Then, I plan what steps I need to take to reach the end goal. If I need to bring others in to help me, I approach them early on in the process to avoid roadblocks."
The interviewer would like to know how you assess problems at work. It is vital to be able to quickly, yet efficiently, evaluate an issue in the workplace. Talk to the interviewer about how you handle a problem at work.
"I have been with my current company for many years, so the majority of problem-solving comes second nature to me at this point. However, when I first started this job, I would have to spend more time in careful consideration before jumping in. I would say that when I have a problem, I have a healthy balance of the two."
"That depends on the situation and seriousness of the problem. I will not jump in with rash decisions on a problem that has a major impact on our business, but I will change coffee vendors on a whim to save money or increase satisfaction."
"Warehousing is not an overly reactionary business; however, we do have tight deadlines. I find that careful planning is what saves my day most of the time. For that reason, I would say that I am more one to consider what is at stake when a problem arises, carefully."
"As a Marketing Director, I have to be 100% ready to jump at any changes, last minute, and other. For that reason, I would say that I am more reactionary- jumping in and hoping for the best. With that said, I am an absolute expert in my industry and know my clients incredibly well. This expertise allows me to make fast, yet highly educated, decisions."
"My current company encourages me to consider which problem is the most costly if left unattended. This question is the basis of my start. Do you have a preference when it comes to problem-solving methods?"
"I am in sales so, of course, I jump in with both feet and pray that I don't drown! Kidding, for the most part. I am a calculated thinker when it comes to customer service, booking my calls, and building my pipeline, however, when it comes to putting out fires I have to jump in immediately and rectify the situation to prevent further damage."
"I work with children so, for that reason, everything that I do must be carefully planned and calculated. I have a lot of policy to consider before any decisions are made."
The interviewer would like to know that you can determine which projects need your attention over others. When you feel torn between multiple projects or tasks, how do you decide which one needs your attention the most? Assure the interviewer that you can be diligent when it comes to assessing your priorities.
"I will determine which project requires my attention by the number of hours we are behind and then the project size. I am comfortable delegating tasks when needed, but I am also aware that these times will require an additional commitment of hours from me. Never have I under delivered on a deadline."
"When I have multiple priorities at a time, I will ask my boss to rank them based on most urgent. This method helps me to remain focused and then I know I am concentrating where she needs me to."
"Assuming that the projects have different stakeholders, I interview each to determine the value of increased productivity, morale or revenue, decreased costs, and the overall impact."
"I determine priorities based on project value and receptiveness of my client. The most engaged clients get my attention and the fastest turnaround."
"If, for example, I have more than one customer who needs me, I will page for assistance so that nobody is left waiting. It's essential to have team members that you can rely on to step in when you become too busy."
"If I have priorities that cannot be shifted around, I will work overtime as needed. I do have a sales assistant that I can lean on as well. He will often lay the groundwork for what I need so that it fast forwards the time for projected completion."
"As a teacher, I know that the best balance is when I scatter my deadlines such as tests and marking, evenly throughout the week. If I happen to double up on project deadlines by accident, I will take work home or deliver parts at a time, ensuring whoever is waiting for final delivery, that it is on its way!"
The interviewer would like to know if you work additional hours when necessary. The majority of people will work overtime hours or take work home with them on occasion. Talk to the interviewer about how frequently to take your work home.
"I make sure to utilize my work hours very efficiently, so the only time that I take my work home is when there is an extremely stringent deadline. I would say that, overall, I take my work home maybe twice per month. It's all about being diligent with your time in the office!"
"I take my work home with me whenever it is necessary. Some positions I have held, I work from home nearly every day. Other roles, such as my current position, I work from home just a couple of times per month."
"I try not to take my work home with me. Everyone needs downtime, and I discourage my team to pull unnecessary overtime as well. However, if something needs to get done, I will get it done, even from home."
"In marketing, one must always be willing to work whenever the creative moment hits you. I have a notebook with memos on my current projects that I often add ideas to at all hours of the day and night."
"I do not take my work home with me very often. In retail, it is not often required. The times I will do this are when we have new product launches or sales scripts to learn. In those instances, my eagerness to be knowledgeable takes over and I will work any overtime required to get me up to date."
"I never leave my work! I have my emails on my smartphone and am happy to answer client questions in the evenings and weekends. I often travel after hours to be at a conference on time. Overtime is a way of life for a business development professional."
"Teachers take their work home on a daily basis! I am no different. It's part of being dedicated to my students as well as my curriculum."
The interviewer would like to know that you are willing to go the extra mile when it's required. Some tasks will require a keener eye and additional diligence. Discuss a time when you were extra thorough during work-related tasks.
"I have to be extra thorough from time to time when I have clients that are especially detail oriented. Often this will mean spending additional time on calls with them to highlight project changes. I am absolutely okay with being extra thorough when needed."
"I have to be extra thorough once every quarter when we complete our inventory counts. It takes a lot of concentration and attention to detail."
"I am always thorough, but we do have monthly team meetings where we discuss our performance metrics. That reporting takes a little longer and requires extra diligence from me."
"This week I had three projects with clients that had similar names. Rich, Rick, and Rico. Confusing! I had to take extra care to ensure that I was sending the right emails to the correct clients and that no wires were being crossed. This situation tested my attention to detail and diligence in getting to know my clients in a way that set them apart from one another."
"When we receive our new inventory it is incredibly important that I take careful note to ensure we received the correct amount. If my count is off, our entire system is off. I triple check my work on those days."
"We changed our product catalog recently, so I had to re-memorize a lot of products, codes, and pricing. That following week was a considerable tradeshow, so I needed to have my product knowledge up to snuff. I made flashcards and tested myself every change that I got. I was proud of my ability to retain all of that data in such a short amount of time."
"I am extra thorough in particularly tough topics such as spectral sequences. My students, in these instances, will require a very well laid out lesson plan with hands-on opportunities and the introduction of multi-media."
An interviewer needs to hear that you have a plan in place to keep yourself organized. The interviewer wants to evaluate your time management skills, and diligence when faced with prioritization. Start off by mentioning that you are typically an organized person. From here, dive into a recent time-consuming project for which you were involved. Tell the interviewer that you started off by ensuring you had your schedule mapped out before you dove into your workload. Discuss if you made a to-do list, updated your calendar, or created a color-coded agenda. Share whatever organization method worked for you! Talk about how you diligently stuck with this plan for the duration of the project and how it allowed you to complete the project on time successfully.
"I am a naturally organized individual. Without proper organization, a project can get out of hand quite quickly. I was recently involved with a project that required 30 hours of my time in a two week period while I was also in the middle of several other projects. I was able to stay on track with visual reminders, mid-day check-ins, and a strong support team. I ended up working some overtime, but that is par for the course in project management!"
"We recently took on a revamp project updating our software to streamline our work better. With this, on top of the high demands of our day to day roles, we had to master the art of prioritizing to get the new software launched on time. We did what needed to be done. If that meant multitasking or putting in extra hours, we made it happen."
"When collaborating on and executing corporate's vision for a store rebrand, I had to be very diligent. If we were to achieve the vision that would make our store fit cohesively with the company nationwide, head office would implement the rebrand nationally."
"Every new client project that I take on requires a great deal of time from me. To minimize time lost, I like to map out my plan of attack and then start the action sequence. I use a few tools like FreedCamp and Evernote to help me remain organized."
"We had a customer that placed an unusually large order that consisted of similar, but different times. I counted and recounted that order probably 20 times before giving it the go-ahead to ship. I was happy to put forth that much effort for our customer."
"I had a customer place a request for 100 different units with a commitment to buying at least 20 of them. We had a list of precisely what each requirement was, and by the time we had 100 different units with varying features, the order was complex. I spent hours compiling the different approved scenarios in a spreadsheet. I was able to pitch 62 units to him that met his demands, and he purchased 48 of them."
"Since I teach in other teachers' classrooms, I have to plan around their schedules as well as be sure that I can physically make it into each class on time. My timing has become impeccable! It's like a puzzle trying to get it all planned out seamlessly."