The interviewer wants to know that you have successfully led a team, under pressure, without succumbing to the stress. Choose an example that is easy to explain. Outline to the interviewer how you kept the project in line with your excellent time management, and precise communication skills. Be sure to highlight the project's most significant successes as well!
Behavioral-based interview questions that begin with 'Tell me about a time...' are best answered using the STAR method. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Organizing your response using this framework will ensure that you provide the interviewer with the right amount of information and detail to form a compelling answer.
"(Situation) I recently led my team of researchers and recruiters in a retained search for a very high-level talent acquisition project. (Task) This project was a difficult one because the client wanted a boutique experience with particular candidate requirements. (Action) I asked my team to send me a project highlight at the end of the day, every day. From there, I would review the progress and tweak our plan of action, as necessary. (Result) In the end, we filled the positions successfully, and our client was appreciative of the close eye our team kept on their hiring needs."
"(Situation) The first project that comes to mind was a new product launch at Company ABC. (Task) I was the project coordinator on the team in charge of developing and performing the beta launch. (Action) I expertly coordinated design engineers, test engineers, and the production team. This task is typically arduous; however, I am a whiz in Excel and our project management software, which meant that I could create tools to organize the project and a schedule that kept everyone on track with their tasks. (Result) We made it to the finish line ahead of time and launched the beta two days earlier than expected. This result made me very proud of my efforts, and my manager was thrilled."
"(Situation) I was recently challenged on a project when our company acquired a small competitor, and our team size grew by 35% overnight. (Task) As the Production Manager, I gained about 40 new staff members who I had never met. (Action) I spent many hours shuffling responsibilities, assessing the schedule, and then meeting one-on-one with each new team member to gauge their strengths and enthusiasm for the job. (Result) It was a challenge to manage all of these moving parts, but it was a success in the end. My department saw growth in production, and we had the lowest percentage of employee turnover in all six departments."
"(Situation) The most difficult team project I've led was when we migrated my current company's website from Shopify to Wordpress. (Task) It was a big undertaking since I created the entire sitemap and then passed our ideas onto the web development company that we hired. (Action) I ensured collaboration between myself and the web company by holding a standing meeting every morning from 10-11 am daily until the new website went live. I took control of the project timeline and held everyone accountable for their tasks and deadlines. (Result) In the end, the new website took three weeks of planning, coordination, and collaboration, but the outcome was a robust site that has increased our sales conversions by 15%, which is incredible."
"(Situation) The most difficult project I led recently was our location's annual inventory count, which our head office enforces every January 2nd. (Task) It's a long day with a lot of moving parts, but as the retail manager, I am expected to participate for the entire day. (Action) Since I was aware ahead of time what day the inventory count would be, I was sure to create the schedule ahead of time with back-up staff if people did not show up for their scheduled shift. I made sure the store was clean and organized, which made the count go much smoother. (Result) In the end, we were able to complete an accurate count in under 6 hours, a record time for our location."
"(Situation & Task) I recently restructured our sales reporting tool in our internal CRM, which was a huge undertaking. This restructuring was not a well-received idea by the sales team; however, as the Business Development Manager, I saw a lot of opportunities for further optimizing our CRMs capabilities. (Action) Identifying the best way to structure the new sales reports was one challenge, but getting buy-in from the teams was even trickier. Once the CRM was restrucutured, the IT team and I held a 'lunch and learn' meeting to show the sales team how to optimize the new set-up. (Result) In the end, most of the sales associates loved the latest tracking and reporting capabilities that they could utilize to increase their sales and reduce research time. I also incorporated sales contests to encourage the use of the new system, and in the end, I got the entire sales team on board."
"(Situation) Last month, I organized a school-wide science fair. (Task) As the senior science teacher, I felt it was important that our school kept the science fair tradition going. (Action) To make the science fair successful and grow attendance, I invited the community to participate and vote on their favorite projects. (Result) This event marked the first time our school opened the science fair to the public. It was well worth the change as our students were able to network with local business owners and even meet some media personalities."
"I recently had to open a restaurant which was supposed to have a two-week training on site. We were told by our ownership a week before to get the building that they wanted the restaurant to be in, open the following day, or 24 hours after being able to get in the building.
All the managers and staff were extremely nervous. We put a plan together as a team on what kind of training we were going to be able to do offsite. We prioritized each step from urgent to important to less important.
We were able to open the restaurant to the public as requested, with the least negative impact possible on our guests and our staff."
This project sounds very challenging, with an excellent outcome! Very good example.
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"In my last role, my manager was concerned that we had an operations audit by senior personnel. My task was to ensure that the audit went well. It meant that my department of 20 people had to be prepared for the audit and that the operations tasks that needed to be done were in place. I had two months to do this. I created a project team and produced an action plan to ensure that the desired tasks were done. The team worked well, and the actions were completed on time, and the audit went well."
This is a great response. Audits can be stress-inducing, and you were able to clearly lead a team to success. I made some sentence structure edits but, overall, great job!
"In my last role, I was tasked with preparing my department (comprised of 20 people) for an audit by senior personnel. I had a limited amount of time (2 months) to ensure a smooth and successful audit of operation tasks. My problem-solving, planning, and organizational skills were put to use as I assembled a project team and action plan. By giving a clear roadmap with the use of an action plan, my staff were able to take the necessary measures for the audit. Our department was successfully audited due to my direct communication, planning, and direction."
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"I recently led my team of network administrators and system administrators for a very high-level packaging line serialization project. The project was difficult due to complex requirements in serialization, and there were different stakeholders from different geographies involved. This project was also difficult because the packaging line operators wanted a boutique experience with a particular match of requirements. I asked my team to send me a project highlight at the end of the day, every day. From there, I would review the progress and tweak our plan of action, as necessary. In the end, the positions filled successfully, and packaging line operators were appreciative of the close eye our team kept on their needs."
You took on a high level of follow up and responsibility for this project, which is wonderful! A great outcome, to-boot. Nice answer.
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