Question 107. Describe your most recent achievement and explain how your actions benefited investors.
situation: I negotiated the acquisition of The Summit, a failing company, from private equity investors.
action: As part of the process, I drafted the new business plan, led investor presentations, and negotiated equity financing from an investment firm.
result: Within a year, I returned the company to profitability and positive cash flow.
Question 108. Give an example of a situation in which you discovered a flaw in operations. What did you do about it?
situation: After reviewing recent purchases, I noticed that all the special orders were acquired through a preferred vendor, even when another vendor sold the same make and model at half the cost.
action: I spoke to members of the purchasing department to determine their reasoning behind such purchases. It came to my attention that the head of purchasing had mandated that all special orders be acquired through a specific vendor. I changed the policy to reflect policies that made sense to the department's bottom line.
result: Purchasing costs significantly decreased, as happens with competitive bidding.
Question 109. Recall a time when your performance on the job led to greater responsibility.
situation: As an office manager, I was successful in targeting inefficiencies that negatively impacted the bottom line. Based on the results my efforts garnered, management assigned me to a special project that entailed reengineering processes regionally.
action: In each office, I retrained the low producers on various competencies, including customer service, sales, and account management.
result: All divisions enjoyed an increase in profits and customer satisfaction.
Question 110. Describe a time when you did not know a problem existed until it was brought to your attention.
obstacle: At Colby's Place, we had dedicated volunteers who visited AIDS/HIV patients. Unfortunately, we received many complaints from the volunteers that the patients they were assigned frequently were not at home for their scheduled visits. As a result, many volunteers dropped out of the program as they felt their time was not being respected.
action: I developed a training program for the AIDS/HIV patients that stressed the collaborative relationship between them and their sponsors. I pointed out that Colby's Place expected volunteers to keep their commitments to patients, and patients also had a responsibility to the volunteers.
result: The program strengthened after this understanding was reached, and we received an influx of both volunteers and patients. Increased numbers then led to more donations and more community recognition.
Question 111. Give an example of an occasion when your job became mundane and what you did to make the time pass more quickly.
situation: The Google ads we used at Shingles Roofing were a success; my responsibility was simply to monitor the ads and make adjustments when necessary. Over time, the ads became self-sustaining, so I began to look for ways to target a new demographic. Since the Hispanic population is growing steadily in the United States, I wrote ads in Spanish.
action: Using the Keyword Chaser software, I prepared a list of new words to target. Then I wrote the corresponding ads to show my supervisor.
result: During the next budget meeting, money was allocated for the ads I had created. Out of five new ads, four brought in additional revenue.
Question 112. Tell me about a time when you were proud of your efforts. What were the circumstances?
situation: As the director of technology for Sayville Medical Center, I was recruited to improve workplace efficiencies, optimize business processes, and standardize systems.
action: As a course of action, I revamped help-desk policies and procedures to ensure courteous, timely, and effective resolution of end-user problems. Once the new procedures were in place, I instituted weekly meetings at which time employees were held accountable for the department's successes and failures.
result: Within three months, I reorganized a dysfunctional technical department into a team-focused service-delivery organization in which all end-user expectations were met.
Question 113. Describe a time when you requested help or assistance on a project or assignment.
situation: At the Agency Group, files were split among agents. I was responsible for clients whose last names began with K through O. When hurricane Zachary hit Florida, we had many claims, the majority of which were my responsibility to process.
action: During my co-workers downtime I asked for their assistance. We were a close-knit group and everyone helped me process the backlog of claims.
result: Without having to work overtime, all the necessary paperwork was completed without errors.
Question 114. Give an example of a situation in which you demonstrated your willingness to work hard.
situation: I worked for a mom-and-pop shop that had a primitive accounting system, in which all activities were logged in an old-fashioned ledger book.
action: I wanted to learn QuickBooks, but the owners could not afford the software and training. On freebarter.com, I found an older version of the software. A friend of mine used QuickBooks at her job, and I asked if she could show me the ins and outs of the program. She agreed, and we met several times after work or on the weekends.
result: After a few weeks, I learned how to use the system and I streamlined the accounting practice for my employer.
Question 115. Describe an occasion when you made a difficult choice between your personal and your professional life.
situation: After many years of working for corporate America, I longed for an opportunity to live outside of the United States. I was hesitant because my career was on an upswing, and taking time from my job was risky. But the nagging feeling would not go away. It got to the point where I could not ignore the urge.
action: I requested a sabbatical from my employer, obtained a Switzerland working visa, and applied for a position as a guide for the Switzerland Museum of History.
result: I educated visitors about the artwork in the museum. After work, I enjoyed the Swiss culture and its people. I returned to the States revitalized, ready to tackle the challenges that lie ahead.
Question 116. Tell me about a time you leveraged contacts to meet a business goal.
situation: As a television producer, it is important that I maintain solid relationships with political figures, both local and national. Recently a story broke concerning a group of senators who had vowed to block a deal with a foreign entity unless the price of oil was stabilized.
action: Since it was a newsworthy story I had difficulty contacting a member of the senate team, so I called in a favor to an oil lobbyist to see if he could arrange a meeting with the politicians involved.
result: Every news department was after the story, but I got there first. Eventually they learned the details, however, our news team covered it as "breaking news."