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How do you react when your team misses a deadline?

8 Answer Examples

By: Rachelle Enns

How to Answer

Missed deadlines are never good and can reflect poorly on you, as a leader. The interviewer would like to understand better how you react to disappointment and plans not going your way. Give an example of a time when your team missed a deadline and walk the interviewer through the action that you took.

Professional Answer Examples
General
Answer example

"My team is highly efficient, and we rarely miss a deadline. When we do, it's surprising. We had a very challenging client last year who made a significant amount of changes throughout the entire project. These changes caused us to miss our deadline. I took action after that to ensure a better client onboarding process. This new process made sure we dug deeper with each client at the start which has resulted in fewer mid-project changes."

Admin
Answer example

"When my team misses a deadline it is disappointing, for sure. On the odd occasion that this has happened, I first ask my team for feedback. I want to know what I could have done better, as a leader, to make sure we hit our goal. Then, I ask them to look internally and tell me what they honestly feel they could have done differently. I prefer a collaborative approach to these types of conversations."

Manager
Answer example

"Deadlines are reached as a team, and they are missed as a team. I truly believe that. When a deadline is missed, I look at how we could have moved better as a machine, to make the delivery happen on time. I do not react negatively to my team members, but I do use situations like this as learning and coaching opportunities."

Marketing
Answer example

"Our office is highly collaborative so, when we miss a deadline, we all take accountability. As the leader, I need to be accountable for the project as a whole and for that reason, I always call the client to let them know of any hiccups we are having along the way."

Retail
Answer example

"There are very few deadlines that my team has missed. We are a great mix of personalities, and we will all stay late, if needed, to support each other. I do recall, last year when we did not get our annual inventory count submitted on time. There were technical glitches with a few of the scanners, so employees had to share them. We worked at a fast pace, but also supported each other, yet we still missed. I congratulated my team on pulling together, and then we made a plan to ensure we were prepared, should this type of situation happen again."

Sales
Answer example

"My sales team takes it pretty hard when they miss a deadline, mainly because they are a group of highly competitive individuals. I don't need to be hard on them because they are hard enough on themselves. What I will do is take the situation as an opportunity to better myself as a leader, and strengthen them as a team. We assess, and pivot."

Teacher
Answer example

"As a teacher, it is important that I never place blame on my students for a deadline that I missed, or a deadline that I missed because I was rushing through a module, for instance. Education is a team effort, and I am the leader so, for that reason, if a deadline is missed I will always reflect internally, first."

Accounting Clerk
Answer example

"I'm great at meeting deadlines. I have a planner that I live by and as soon as I get a task, I break it down into manageable pieces and tackle them one at a time. I ensure that I always turn in my projects early if not on time."

Written by:

Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is an executive head-hunter and job search expert. Utilized by top executives from Fortune 100 & 500 companies like Fitbit, Microsoft, General Electric, Nestle, and more, she helps professionals position themselves in a competitive marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume, a company that focuses on helping job seekers get their edge back. Renovate My Resume creates stand-out resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and professional summaries for new grads, all the way to corporate executives. Rachelle spends much of her time training career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers. She also holds interview workshops for students and interns, globally. For great tips and tricks, follow Rachelle on Instagram @_rachelle_e or @renovatemyresume.
First written on: 08/06/2018
Last modified on: 02/04/2019
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