The interviewer wants to know how you handle pressure and situations that require you to think independently. Think back to a time when a project needed to get done or you had a problem with a client and your manager was away. Explain how you handled it with confidence.
If you have had a managerial position or higher, this question may be easier to answer since your role requires more decision-making responsibility. Think back to when a project didn't go according to plan and the decision you had to make to repair the situation.
"I had to address a problem with a customer when my manager was in a meeting. Normally, we give complaints such as this one to the manager, but this customer was incredibly upset over her experience. I felt that if I told her to wait it would make her feel like I didn't care. Since we screwed up on the product we sent her, I took full responsibility for it and explained how I would fix the situation. I ended up giving her a refund, and at the end of the call she thanked me for listening and said this was one of the best experiences she had with a customer service associate."
"In my last role, I was tasked with finding potential new vendors when it came to supplies and a couple of other small services such as secure recycling and coffee products. I did a great deal of research and took cost savings, service, and reputation into account. Once I decided on the changes to implement, I tracked our company's savings for three months, then presented those savings to the owner. Overall, my decisions saved us $25,000."