"I think that on a scale of 1-10, I would rate myself as a 7 when it comes to being competitive. I love a great competition in the workplace when it comes to sales goals and breaking through last years' numbers. I am not competitive to the point that it would hurt my team or colleagues."
The interviewer would like to know if you have a competitive spirit. Being a competitive person is an excellent thing if you are appropriately competitive in the workplace. Assure the interviewer that you have a tremendous competitive edge when necessary but are still able to balance that competition healthily.
Specific Career Examples
"I am competitive with myself and when it comes to the targets of the organization which I work. I like to set small challenges for myself, usually related to deadlines, on a daily basis."
"Competition in the workplace can be a great thing. I create small competitions with the staff, and I love to see how it motivates them. I then look at the numbers and see how much my workplace challenge has affected productivity, compared to the week before. I am a numbers person, so my competitive streak is satisfied by knowing I have improved productivity from week to week."
"I love to challenge myself to see how much I can exceed my sales targets for the day, week, and the month. Being in retail sales, I believe I have been conditioned to be quite competitive in the workplace."
"Competition is a healthy component to creativity. When I am competitive with myself, I come up with really great ideas that help my team to deliver incredibly projects to our clients. Of course, my approach is always welcoming and friendly."
"Being a sales professional, I am probably one of the most competitive people I know. I grew up playing competitive hockey and soccer so I focus a great deal on being the best that I can be to carry myself and my team. This attitude has always been a positive one, and I bring it to the workplace as well."
"I do not compete with fellow teachers, but I am always competing with myself. How many students can I help to overcome learning roadblocks? How quickly can I mark these papers? How can I improve efficiency in my classroom? Those are the competitively driven questions I ask myself on a regular basis."
"I find that with the right company, it's pretty simple to balance life and work. When I enjoy what I do, it doesn't feel like a chore. I am always sure that when at home, my family gets my attention first. I take time on the weekends to do things for myself and ensure that I regenerate before the work week begins."
It is essential to keep a healthy work/life balance to prevent burnout. Talk to the interviewer about how you can maintain that appropriate balance for yourself. You do not want to answer as though work is so exhausting that you cannot keep up, but you also do not want to come across as a workaholic either. Find a healthy balance.
Specific Career Examples
"If I feel that I need to find a balance, I will sometimes take my email off of my phone for a Saturday. I like to be known as available. However, there are the odd times when I need to unplug for a bit."
"Work smarter, not harder! I follow this piece of advice often and lead my teams to do the same. When we can streamline the process and become efficient, we can then focus less on the total amount of hours worked."
"As a freelance marketer, I have found that I sometimes need to just say no to some work. I do not like to turn work down, as it makes me feel unappreciative of the opportunities coming my way; however, burnout is not the option either."
"Balance, when working retail, can be a challenge because many of my shifts require working evenings and weekends. To keep a balance, I make sure to book coffee dates with my friends during the week and spend time by myself. It's important to stay grounded and in tune with your own needs when you have a sporadic schedule."
"I found myself working late quite often not because of the pile-up of work but because of my perfectionism. To find a balance I have started assuring myself that I will do my best, and that is good enough. I do not need to go over reports 100 times to ensure that they are completely perfect."
"I often need to bring my work home, to finish marking tests, for instance. On days when I feel like I have neglected my home life, I will close the door to my office and take my family out to dinner and a movie. It may mean pushing my work to a bit later in the night but having that slight refresh can be incredibly motivating."
What types of activities keep you busy, outside of work?
Professional Answers Preview
"I have a variety of hobbies that keep me busy outside of work hours. First, I have two children who are involved in basketball and gymnastics. I also play in a baseball beer league, I volunteer at our community church and like to read."
The interviewer would like to know what keeps you busy outside of the workplace. Having hobbies and interests outside of work is an essential part of maintaining a healthy work/life balance. Talk to the interviewer about the activities that interest you outside of the workplace. Try to avoid activities that may be controversial such as hunting.
Specific Career Examples
"I am a very physically active person, with a passion for outdoor sports. I love to ski, snowboard, and skate. I play in an adult hockey beer league, as well."
"Outside of work I love to cook and bake. I have been taking cooking lessons at the culinary school every Saturday. I have learned some cool cooking techniques so far. Sometimes I like to bring treats into the office on Monday so I can share my new knowledge!"
"When I am not working, I like to partake in creative writing. I have a fashion blog and take writing classes now and then. It's a great outlet for me and has a small income stream which is helpful."
"Coding and programming are of huge interest for me. I am taking an online course related to coding at the moment. This experience has helped me in my marketing career as well because I better understand the ins and out of the back-end project needs."
"I have been in dance since I was four. I partake in a variety of classes such as hip-hop, jazz, tap, and contemporary. It's an incredibly healthy outlet for me and also a great conversation piece with my clients."
"In my spare time, I do a lot of volunteering in the community. As an educator, I feel it's important that I make an impression in my region by helping others less fortunate. In addition to the feeling of satisfaction, I can be a fine example to my young and impressionable students."