Tell Me About a Time When You Effectively Delegated Duties to Accomplish a Goal.

Nilda Melissa Diaz By Nilda Melissa Diaz, Career Advice Contributor Last Updated: May 25, 2023

Before going into a job interview, you should be ready for anything that could be thrown your way. That includes being prepared with responses to common behavioral interview questions such as ‘Tell me about a time when you effectively delegated duties to accomplish a goal.’ The main difference in behavior-based questions and other questions is that the behavioral type requires more in-depth responses.

Two femlaes discussing work plans while walking in a hall

Other questions might be able to be answered with a few words, but when a hiring manager asks you a behavioral question, he or she is looking for a little something more. This can make them trickier to answer, but with adequate preparation, it will be a lot easier.

In the event you are asked this question, you should be ready to discuss an anecdote of a time when you assigned tasks within a group, how the process went and what was ultimately accomplished. Similar questions that might be asked include Have you ever been in charge of a group? or How equipped are you to delegate tasks? While this question may seem difficult at first, you can easily get around it if you utilize the STAR method. This requires enough preparation that you can provide an effective story to satisfy what the hiring manager wants.

How to Answer the ‘Tell Me About a Time When You Effectively Delegated Duties to Accomplish a Goal’ Behavioral Interview Question

1. Open Strongly

Your responses to any interview question should only be two minutes at the maximum. That may not seem like a lot, but be mindful that if you struggle with a question, it could be the longest amount of time you have ever experienced. In addition to that, even though you only have two minutes, you want to make sure you grab hold of the interviewer’s attention that entire time so that they do not get bored. An easy way to do that is to make your opening statement interesting and engaging. Therefore, when describing a time you delegated tasks, open with what you were trying to accomplish or perhaps a setback you experienced during this mission.

2. Focus on Other People

Whatever story you use to answer behavioral interview questions about delegation, you should obviously focus on how proficient you are in leading a team. However, it can also be good to talk about how other people grew during whatever the assignment was. Did you give someone a job in order for them to develop a skill? If you had the passion and leadership to help others grow as employees, then that can be a huge thing to bring up.

3. Fully Accept Any Setbacks

It is acceptable to bring up a time during this project when someone dropped the ball or you fell behind. It is okay to mention these moments because they happen to everyone, and an employer will want to know how you handle such setbacks. However, as the leader of the project, you should be willing to accept your share of the responsibility. Even if this event was not your fault, you should bring up that you were in charge of the project, and as a result, you hold yourself accountable for the setback.

4. Be Ready With the STAR Method

Learning about the STAR method is crucial in effectively answering behavioral interview questions. It provides a structure for you to format your response so that the story you tell is not rambling and that you can stay focused. STAR stands for these elements:

  • Situation
  • Task
  • Action
  • Result

First, you need to describe the situation and talk about the task you as a group were trying to achieve. Next, talk about what actions were taken to accomplish said task. Make sure at the end of your story, you talk about the results. What did you achieve? How did you benefit your employer?

Sample ‘Tell Me About a Time When You Effectively Delegated Duties to Accomplish a Goal’ STAR Interview Answer

Once I was in charge of a project to prepare a presentation to net the company a million-dollar contract. Needless to say, the pressure was on. I knew this was a project where there was no room for error, so I developed my team based on individuals’ strengths. In order to meet the deadline, I asked people if they would be willing to stay a couple of hours late to work on some things or to meet for lunch a couple of times a week to discuss areas of improvement. One person in particular made it difficult to get his share of the presentation because he clocked out every day at 5 and was difficult to get ahold of after hours to check on his progress. When I discovered he was falling behind, I asked him what was going on. He told me his spouse was having health issues, so he was contending with that. I understood his predicament clearly and without talking about it to the entire office, I quietly assisted him in finishing his portion. Because I had distributed assignments according to skill, everyone else completed their responsibilities without the need of intense oversight, and in the end, we finished the presentation and landed the client.