When Given an Important Assignment- How Do You Approach It?

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

An important part of the job search process is preparing for interview questions. One common query that could come up in your next interview is “when given an important assignment- how do you approach it?” This inquiry may come to you with a different wording. You may hear “describe your work habits” or- “what would you do when given an important assignment” instead. Of course- no matter how it is phrased- the interviewer is likely trying to get to the same point.

Getting a signature from the boss

Many hiring managers ask this question to better understand your work strategy. They want to figure out if you take smart- effective steps when tasked with something new. Will you be able to handle new assignments with ease? Some companies expect their employees to handle new assignments in a specific way. Your answer could indicate you would or would not be a good fit for this particular business. You want to give the right reply to this query- so you need to prepare before the interview.

How to Answer the “When Given an Important Assignment- How Do You Approach It” Interview Question

Explain your priorities

As you answer this inquiry- it is important you give a thorough explanation. What are your priorities when you get a new assignment? Some people may start by making a schedule to coordinate this assignment with the other tasks they are already working on. Others may start by reading the assignment to ensure they understand it. You need to explain why you would do what you say you would do. Otherwise you are just giving the interviewer a list. Giving your explanation makes it more unique. Remember- the hiring manager is asking this question to better understand how you would complete assignments. You need to tell him or her what you would really do. If possible- you can use a real-life example to better explain your priorities.

Work in your skills

Part of your response should include an explanation of why you can approach an assignment in this particular way. What skill sets do you have that make it possible? By incorporating some of your skills– you may be able to set yourself apart from your peers. Whatever skills you do decide to talk about- make sure they tie in to your approach to a new assignment. You should not talk about your computer skills if your approach is to read through an assignment and ask your supervisor for clarifications. Focus more on the approach than on your skills.

Meet company policies

As always- you need to make sure your answer makes you look like a good candidate for the company at hand. Do some research to learn about company policies and the environment. Try to incorporate what is important to the company in your reply. Some businesses are more focused on teamwork than others. The way you approach a task will also vary based on what services or products the company offers. This research will help you prepare for this inquiry- other interview questions and the job itself. There are a lot of bonuses to researching the company before you go to the interview. You never want to give an answer that is completely the opposite of what the company would want its employees to do.

Sample “When Given an Important Assignment- How Do You Approach It” Interview Answers

1. I treat most of my assignments as important. Of course- before I get started on anything- I take the time to understand what the client wants and what the priority level is. If I have any problems- I turn to my direct supervisor for clarification. At my last job- I always seemed to have at least three or four assignments at a time. An important part of my approach is the scheduling. I put the hard deadline into my schedule. To ensure I finish everything in a timely manner- I also take the time to create mini-goals for myself. Thanks to the various assignments I had to complete- my time management skills are very strong. I feel confident in my ability to take on new assignments and complete everything on time.

2. I have always been really organized. My first step with a new assignment is to make a list of what needs to get done. This not only helps my organization- but it also helps me better understand the task. I try to get started right away- but this can depend on other assignments I have at the time. I have always been a bit of a multitasker- so my last boss had me working on overlapping projects all the time. I find the earlier I start on a project- the more I can put into it. I think it is important to give every task my all- which is why I often work long hours.

Looking at sample answers to interview questions is a great way to prepare your own unique reply. Now that you are more familiar with why the inquiry is made and how you should answer- you will be able to give a stand out response.

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