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When have you made a mistake delegating tasks to your team members?

8 Answer Examples

By: Rachelle Enns

How to Answer

Being able to delegate to your team correctly is an essential part of successful management. Talk to the interviewer about a time that you have appointed in error. Be sure to discuss how you repaired the mistake.

Professional Answer Examples
General
Answer example

"Earlier in my career I would delegate tasks at random, thinking that everyone had the skills to complete any company-related task. I found that these employees would procrastinate on these tasks if they seemed overwhelming or if they did not understand them. After a bit of time, and some learning, I began to delegate based on personality type and skill-set. This method proved to be much more effective, and I follow this delegation style to this day."

Admin
Answer example

"I once tried to utilize one team member on a project without realizing their workload was already at maximum capacity. In hindsight, I would have offered additional resources to the work they were already doing to free up their time to tackle other projects."

Manager
Answer example

"Too much delegating is something that I did, in error, when I was newer to my career. I think I was a big over my head in my job title and was not as confident in my abilities as I should have been. This fact has, of course, changed tremendously over the years. I now delegate to my teams' strengths, starting with myself."

Marketing
Answer example

"I have made the mistake of being unclear about the quality and expectations when delegating. This mistake resulted in poor work submissions which caused me a great deal of time putting out fires. I am now sure that expectations are crystal clear when I delegate tasks to my team."

Retail
Answer example

"In the past, I have delegated some of my managerial duties, when I am not working, to the most tenured employee as would seem natural. These employees have the most experience, so they should be the best equipped to help run the department if I am on vacation. However, it soon became clear that they were in sales for all of these years for a reason; it's what they are good at and what they like to do. They were neither cut out for nor interested in, the administrative side of management. Because of this, I'd come back to some bizarre schedules or poorly planned floor plans and would have to spend twice as much time undoing their work. I soon learned that it is not the length of employment that makes the best acting manager, but rather the person and personality."

Sales
Answer example

"I would say a mistake I have made in delegating would be incorrectly assuming that everyone would be up to any challenge thrown their way. I know they all have had the adequate training to figure out whatever task I delegate to them, but many of the employees felt they were either ill-equipped for the particular job, or that it wasn't in line with the career path they wanted. That said, I soon saw that there was a more efficient way to assign tasks that would get more employee buy-in, accomplish the tasks with more efficiency, and ultimately get better results."

Teacher
Answer example

"When I was a new teacher I did not tie tasks to an outcome or end goal. This error meant that many of my students failed to see the importance of the work assigned to them. I will now make the connection for them as to why we are learning this lesson, and why the homework is important to complete."

Advertising Manager
Answer example

"Earlier in my career I would delegate tasks at random, thinking that everyone had the skills to complete any type of company-related task. I found that these employees would procrastinate on these tasks if they seemed overwhelming or if they did not understand them. After a bit of time, and some learning, I began to delegate based on personality type and skill-set. This proved to be much more effective and I follow this delegation style to this 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 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: 01/05/2017
Last modified on: 06/29/2018

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