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How do you determine priorities when you have multiple projects due?

1 of 15 Diligence Interview Questions and Answers Written by Rachelle Enns

Updated on February 4th, 2019 | 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 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.

Professional Answer Examples
Answer example

"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."

Answer example

"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."

Answer example

"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."

Answer example

"I determine priorities based on project value and receptiveness of my client. The most engaged clients get my attention and the fastest turnaround."

Answer example

"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."

Answer example

"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."

Answer example

"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!"

Building Inspector
Answer example

"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."

Psychiatric Technicians
Answer example

"I usually accomplish tasks based on deadlines. Patients come first, so if I have someone in front of me, they have my full attention. I have an order that I do things, to make sure I have all the tools I need and know where they are, as keeping track of days I need to put in orders for different items. I've learned to be more flexible too, as things can shift quickly around the office, so I can change gears when I need to."

Union Representative
Answer example

"I usually make a list of everything that I need to do during the day and then I see what are the most important tasks that need to be done during the whole day and the week as well. I also set reminders for the deadlines if there is any."

Kitchen Manager
Answer example

"I will determine which item requires my attention by the amount of time we are behind, and then the financial impact of not getting it done on time. For instance; burning a steak because it wasn't tended to is much more costly than a salad waiting to be taken out for 3 minutes longer than expected. I also understand the pure importance of having a diligent and well trained team of support staff in the kitchen. Delegating to them is an incredibly helpful way to ensure that priorities are taken care of."

Newspaper Editor
Answer example

"I look at what can be completed first. People have a tendency to get overwhelmed if there are a lot of tasks and things to do, so I always try to quickly whittle down that list to a manageable size. The shorter articles should get written first so they can be submitted. Shorter articles usually have smaller problems that can quickly be fixed. Longer pieces get more complex and can take longer than expected, and I don't want those to hold up the other work."

Medical Assistant
Answer example

"I do have experience working with electronic health records. While different facilities may use different types of EHRs, overall programs are very similar. I have to say that I do like the fact that we can now use EHRs to store patient information. It makes it much easier to retrieve information and transmit it, when needed."

Answer example

"I have a very detailed to-do list. Throughout the day I add, delete and prioritize my workload as the day progresses and requirements change."

Medical Coder
Answer example

"On busy days I help out at the front desk. I often have to bounce back and forth between answering phones, coding inpatient procedures and explaining different codes to medical staff. I've gotten used to it and I enjoy the variety and the challenge."

Legal Assistants
Answer example

"There are many times a year when I have multiple cases that I am working on, and they all have the same priority level of 'urgent'. I am able to manage these situations by ensuring that I utilize my time well. I block off sections of my day for strict research and am sure to do away with distractions such as constantly stopping to check email. My current employer often comments on my strong multi-tasking abilities."

Accounting Clerk
Answer example

"I've worked on several projects at once with different deadlines. I'm well versed with this as all it takes is good time management skills to handle the completion of different tasks."

Behavioral Health Technician
Answer example

"I always carry post- it notes and pens in my pockets and write reminders throughout the day so that I do not forget anything. I also update patient notes on the computer as soon as I am done visiting with the patient so that everything is in the system before I leave for the day. Lastly, before I start the day I take a few minutes to review my calendar and voicemails so that I do not miss any important changes that may be coming up. In my most recent role, my supervisor called out my organizational skills in a team meeting and asked me to help other technicians with best practices."

Answer example

"On days where my skills are in high demand, and I have multiple deadlines, I become very good at delegating the smaller tasks to junior apprentices'. I have ditched the mentality that I need to do everything myself and it sure helps with time management and efficiency."

Study Abroad Advisor
Answer example

"I have a to-do list app which lists my students' applications by order of due date. I usually organize my day by type of task to accomplish, for instance: applications, essays, meetings, presentations. I try to get through all of them each day and rearrange the order as needed."

Event Planner
Answer example

"I create a timeline for each of my projects, setting deadlines for different tasks that need to be completed as the event approaches. I am cautious not to take on multiple events that take place on the same weekend, unless I can share some of the responsibilities with an assistant. Many events require the same types of vendors, so on a day when I need to schedule catering for a wedding, I'll schedule the catering for the corporate event that day as well. I like to plan each facet of an event strategically to make life easier on me, my clients and my team."

Senior Accountant
Answer example

"When I have multiple deadlines present, I am able to prioritize by keeping a full understanding of what my client is looking for. I realize that all deadlines must be met so I will, of course, work any overtime hours required to meet my deadlines."

Answer example

"While I was working at my last job, a busy burrito chain, I was constantly aware of my surroundings while completing my main function, which was preparing burritos for customers. While I was preparing burritos, I would be checking food supplies and vocalizing to the cook our orders, dietary restrictions, and special instructions. I would also have to keep my station clean while doing all my other tasks. This restaurant was an open environment which means that customers could see into my station, as well as the kitchen. This set up meant, on top of all the stress and the buzz, I needed to be friendly and engaging with the customers at all times."

Mortgage Loan Processor
Answer example

"In my performance reviews, my supervisor always compliments me on my ability to keep organized and manage multiple tasks. I am able to juggle a lot through staying focused, organization and utilizing the software and tools provided to me."

Project Accountant
Answer example

"I frequently work on multiple projects simultaneously, which I throughly enjoy. To make sure I meet deadlines, I identify the most pressing project and use to-do lists and a calendar to keep track of all upcoming duties and important events. I review my list every morning and at the end of each day to ensure the duties assigned were completed in a successful fashion. I also do not hesitate to work overtime if necessary."

Answer example

"I use a calendar to be reminded of upcoming meetings and deadlines, as well as daily/weekly to-do lists, by prioritizing the most important duties, to ensure I am on top of things. I review and amend my lists every morning, throughout the day, and in the afternoon before leaving for the day."

Written by:

Ryan Brown
Ryan Brown, is the creator of MockQuestions. He has over ten years experience creating interview questions. His website has helped over 10 million job seekers in their interview preparation.
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: 01/09/2017
Last modified on: 02/04/2019

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