The interviewer would like to know more about your ability to recover your team when a project starts to unravel. Assure the hiring manager that you can keep your team together, even when times get tough.
"Just last month our team was falling behind when it came to hitting our targets for the final quarter. We were at risk of losing rank and not winning the company's president's club trip to Mexico. We were able to meet as an entire team and create a success plan. Everyone worked overtime for the final three weeks of the year, and we made it! It was a great success story for us."
"During tax season a few years ago, we were inundated with phone calls about a promotion that we had put on. We literally could not keep up with the volume, and my three phone lines were non stop ringing. Our boss is not overly proactive, so I took the opportunity to suggest that we hire two temporary admin associates to help us until the tax season was over. He agreed, and I made the call to get back up! It was a great decision, and we do this every year now."
"During a product launch last year, the R&D team was delayed in their innovation process, and this caused the rest of the team to lose focus or interest in the launch. We brought everyone together to introduce a great incentive for the organization to launch and deliver sales above quota on time. The team hit their target and was engaged because they had a stake in the game."
"Last year we lost a major client, and this was when the blame game started. Everyone felt the loss and wanted to place the blame on another. I held a team meeting, asked everyone what they felt THEY could have done differently. Seeing everyone take accountability for their part was a good thing, and we are reminded to avoid those errors in the future."
"My two best sales associates are incredible performers, but they also work very poorly together. This year when the down coats launched, which are one of our highest priced items in the department, it got so hostile between them that other sales associates were staying out of the section entirely. It made for horrible morale, and we were also letting down our potential customers. I decided to implement a rotating section "zone defense" in which the associates changed sections per hour, meaning everyone got a fair shot at the pricey items. It boosted the confidence of the new hires, cut down on the cat fights, and made the place much more fun to work. It's been our practice ever since."
"When one of our beloved account executives on my team left, there was a bit of discord among the rest of the team vying for the position and territory. It started as friendly joking but soon spiraled. I held a team meeting about how the position and the territory, and their distribution. I let them know that, if they were interested in the Midwest region, the top three sales reps for the month would be eligible to pitch why they would be best suited to switch regions. It became a friendly competition instead of an opportunity to make digs at the other employees. Also, it improved productivity and allowed me to see who would rise to the occasion, and thrive under pressure. It made it fun in the office, and despite the competition, everyone was rallying around each other."
"This year my classroom has a significant imbalance of boys and girls which has led to some interesting testosterone led arguments. It's a situation which I have never experienced as a teacher before! Seventeen pre-pubescent boys and two girls. You can imagine. I overcame this by addressing the elephant in the room and telling the boys that they need to set an example for the younger Grade 5 boys on how to behave. They took to be 'role models' very seriously, and their behavior has improved significantly since."