(Closed) I struggle with this question during interviews.

posted 4 years ago in Career
Post # 2
789 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

ksn1219:  What were your answers? I haven’t been on an interview in a long time, but I think explaining your methods to keep organized and manage priorities would be beneficial and add that when in doubt, seek your manager’s feedback on what to prioritize. 

Post # 3
213 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

Agreed with PP. I’ve been on my fair share of interviews and interview panels, and I personally like it when candidates talk about how they organize themselves and what they’d do if they need to prioritize something. I’d say think about how you like to organize your time (excel spreadsheet? Calendar? Pen and paper?) and what you’d do if you had competing priorities come up. If the roles you are going for are more independent, I’d also talk about how you set/meet your own deadlines and so forth.

Another thing I would suggest is seeing if you can come up with a few examples in your head from previous roles/big school projects. How did you stay organized? Connect with your team? Etc etc. Hope that helps!

Post # 4
2295 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

ksn1219:  Be specific and use examples.  It’s all well and good if you say “I use lists to keep track of x, y, and z,” but if you can describe a situation in which you used lists and how that contributed to the outcome it’s a much more thought out and concrete answer.  Really show your interviewers how your style of organization is beneficial and how it’s worked in the past. 

Post # 5
3327 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

I would say along the lines of : I check the jobs that need to be completed each Monday for that week. Then I write them down and number there priority to the business. Then I break them down into days. Starting with getting the most important jobs done at the start of the week.

hope that helps and good luck x

Post # 6
3327 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

you can also google your question and get top 10 answers to it. Also what ever Jo you are going for you can probably google what tips make the best jewellery sales person ect or what qualities do I need to be a primary school teacher.

Post # 7
346 posts
Helper bee

I noticed that Microsoft Excel and Outlook reminders are tangible answers that interviewers like esp. in corporate settings. You could also say I make a list of priorities for the day and incorporate excel, outlook and post it notes. Works for me both in my position and as an answer for interviews.😀

Post # 8
111 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Hey! That’s a pretty common interview question. I assume you’ve recently graduated and not had much/any work experience?

I’m not sure what kind of questions you’re being given. A lot of interviews are behavioural based where they may ask you questions about past behaviour where you’ve shown XYZ, as opposed to hypothetical situations. Do you get what I mean? Basically with interviews, past behaviour predicts future behaviour.

If this is the case, use any parts of your previous jobs where you’ve had to manage any conflicting deadlines. If you haven’t worked, then you’ve obviously studied and when you’re at university SURELY you’ve had heaps of deadlines you’ve had to hit! Assignments, essays, tests, exams all within days/weeks of each other. How do you go about managing that?

That’s the kind of answer you should give.

e.g. “I keep track of my deadlines by using calendars/spreadsheets/whatever. I priortise by deadline and the impact it has on my grade (i.e. the customer/client), and generally keeping on top of things and being proactive. If I know that X is due on this date, I’ll prepare as much as I can early so that there’s more wiggle room when I have clashes on that date.”

If you’ve been on any time management/workflow courses, you can obviously say that too.

But I guess if you haven’t had work experience, attending university and graduating is an experience in itself, so use that 🙂

Hope that helps!

Edited to add: I agree with blackinthesuburbs – tangible answers. Most interviewers are looking for what you’ve done in the past, not what you would hypothetically do in the future.

Post # 9
1352 posts
Bumble bee

I work in HR, and for me the point of that question is just to make sure you have an organisational system. Most people do, but it’s second-nature so they feel silly actually answering the question. HR people like examples. I like answers that go something like, “for ___ project, I broke the tasks down into X, Y, Z. I knew X required working with a colleague, so I made sure to get the ball rolling early (e.g. to set up an initial meeting). Z was a priority because needed to be completed before the investors’ meeting, so I started working on that immediately. I regularly monitored my progress to ensure that I would have enough time to complete Z. This system allowed me to finish the project before the deadline.”

Post # 10
194 posts
Blushing bee

Second what Audrey2_sings said. I tell them exact plans of what I do; I make to-do lists and prioritize using letters and numbers. For instance:

1) Send email about XYZ to VP regarding monthly meeting  

a. Change of venue for XYZ

b. New guest list for corporate event

c. Sponsorships due for fiscal year 2015

2) Edit/finalize report for Board of Directors

a. Fiscal year 2014 numbers

b. New BoD election held Nov. 16th

c. Sponsor thank yous & tax receipts

d. Ideas for scholarship program


Including examples–I bring my past work binders/notes (with all sensitive information blacked out) to show on interviews. I also include examples of when my organization helped my job performance. Example, “By improving my organization for XYZ, I increased the company’s sales traffic by 30%, resulting in a $25,000 growth over the previous year.”


Hope this helps!

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