Question 33. Give an example of a situation in which you worked for a company where your flexibility skills were important.
situation: As a management trainee for Zenith Enterprise, I was required to learn every aspect of the company, from customer service to business administration initiatives.
action: Regardless of the position I was in, I took the responsibilities seriously. I learned the inner workings of the different departments and the varying personalities who made up a division.
result: Now, when I work in a specific department, I am mindful of the needs of cooperating departments and their deadlines. This perspective allows me to work collaboratively with other departments to meet overall objectives.
Question 34. Describe a time when you were required to go to work unexpectedly.
obstacle: The day I was set to leave town for my sister's wedding, I received a call from The Daily Press editor, who asked me to interview the police and write a story about a string of robberies in the area. Though working late hours, getting phone calls in the middle of the night, and attending to lastminute edit requests are the norm for a freelance reporter, this time I was in a tight spot.
action: Since I did not want to disappoint the editor, I postponed my departure until the next morning.
result: I am known to work best under pressure, so when I delivered the story before the deadline, the editor was not surprised and was pleased that the article did not need revision.
Question 35. Tell me about a time when you altered your work pattern in order to complete a task.
situation: During a stable economy, clients keep tabs on their portfolios from a distance. As the economy grows sluggish, those clients expect personal contact at least twice a week.
action: To accommodate the clients' needs and keep my base satisfied, I contacted everyone on my list, regardless of whether I had news to share.
result: I received kudos from clients, who commended me for keeping in touch during difficult times. Knowing that I was working diligently on their portfolios calmed some of their fears, especially when their friends said that their financial advisors had gone into hiding during tough times.
Question 36. Recall a situation in which you had to please more than one person at the same time.
situation: As an administrative assistant for Malloy and Associates, I support three executives, each of whom has his own needs and requirements. Many times I am charged with managing different projects at the same time, as well. However, this is not as difficult as it sounds. The tasks always fall into the same categories, so I am able to complete each without changing gears.
action: For example, when one executive hands me a copying task, I inform the other two that I am heading to the copy room. This is their opportunity to also hand me materials that need duplicating.
result: Combining my tasks eliminates the need for additional trips to the copy room and opens up my day to manage other responsibilities.
Question 37. Describe an occasion when you dealt with an employee whose demeanor was causing a problem.
obstacle: An employee at Dunst and Robertson constantly became defensive when asked the status of his projects. He blamed others for delays and never accepted responsibility when his projects were behind schedule.
action: I had several meetings with him that focused on the importance of personal accountability. To complement our discussions, I encouraged him to enroll in a training course that centered on workflow prioritization.
result: He successfully completed the course. In addition, his complaints lessened over time and his projects were completed in a timely manner.
Question 38. Describe a time when your work complemented another staff member's objective.
situation: As an art teacher with Brownstone Elementary, I attend meetings with classroom teachers. During these get-togethers, we discussed the principal lessons that were scheduled and I found ways to adjust the art curriculum to reinforce the main lessons.
action: For example, students were learning geography and studying the seven continents in their classrooms. To support their learning, I had the students make African-inspired jewelry in art class.
result: Integrating art projects with regular classroom instruction offered the students an opportunity to see their education in more than one capacity, and helping them retain information at the same time.
Question 39. Give an example of a time when you offered your resignation.
situation: I worked for a company that serviced credit card accounts, and I was responsible for persuading retailers to switch over to Merchant Express. I excelled in the position, attaining the best closure rate of all new hires. Unfortunately, after a month, I started to receive phone calls from my clients because they were dissatisfied with the service.
action: I immediately called my supervisor to go over the list of complaints and find ways to rectify client concerns. During the meeting, I was informed that my job was to sell the product, not to return customer phone calls after the sales were made. Despite my apprehension about ignoring these customers, I was told I had no choice, since that was company procedure.
result: Within twenty-four hours of that conversation, I gave my resignation. The company's protocol was not one I was comfortable with, and I found another position where customer needs were appreciated.