Give Me an Example of How You Juggle Multiple Deadlines

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Job interviews today are full of behavioral interview questions. The questions help interviewers understand how you would react in specific situations while on the job- since past acts are a great indication of how a person will act in the future.

As opposed to traditional interview questions- which focus on concrete facts such as your GPA- where you went to school and where you volunteered- behavioral questions allow you to really show who you are and prove that you would be an asset for the company you are interviewing for. With a single answer- you can demonstrate that you are a creative thinker- you are dedicated and dependable- and that you are not afraid of handling conflict as it arises in the office. Learning how to answer these questions properly- however- can take a bit of time and practice.

When you are faced with the specific question ‘Give me an example of how you juggle multiple deadlines-‘ your interviewers really want to know about your time management skills. They may also wish to see if you have failed to meet deadlines- how you interact with your supervisors and coworkers when you need help- and what you do to stay organized. Some interviewers may phrase the question differently- such as ‘Describe how you stay organized’ and ‘Tell me about a time when you had to ask your boss for help.’

No matter how intimidating these questions may appear- most candidates can do well in their interviews if they prepare using the STAR method.

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How to Answer the ‘Give Me an Example of How You Juggle Multiple Deadlines’ Behavioral Interview Question

Use a Genuine Example. The entire purpose behind behavioral interview questions is to get at the heart of who you are and how you will react to certain situations. However- the days are long gone when a traditional interview would allow you to fudge your answers and tell half-truths. If you come to the interview without an example for a behavioral question and try to lie your way through it- your interviewer is likely to notice. This is because he or she will be analyzing everything you say- trying to determine what you would do. Do yourself a favor and come prepared with multiple examples of situations you could use to answer this and other questions.

Tell the Whole Story. Although this may seem like a short- straight forward question and answer- if you treat it like one- you will be missing a great opportunity to highlight your strengths. In a traditional interview- you may simply answer this question with a to-do list answer. While that is adequate- it will not place you at the head of your candidate pool. Instead- come up with an example of a situation in which you not only used your time management skills to meet a deadline- but your meeting the deadline also helped increase the exposure or bottom line of the company. Look for examples that set you apart- and tell the interviewer how your exceptional time management skills helped strengthen your company. One of the best ways to do this is the STAR method. STAR means the following:

  • • ST- Identify the situation, task or problem.
  • • A- Describe the actions you took to resolve the situation.
  • • R- Outline the results and how it went from a negative to a positive.

Tell the Interviewer What He or She Wants to Know. This is not a throw away question. Every question has a purpose, and when an interviewer asks you this, they are interested in learning about how you handle stress, whether you are able to meet multiple deadlines, and how organized you are. Be smart with your answer, and try to include as much of this information as possible if it is positive and helpful.

Sample ‘Give Me an Example of How You Juggle Multiple Deadlines’ STAR Interview Answer

In one instance, a coworker had fallen ill and had to take FMLA while she healed. Our boss asked me to take on a few of her projects until she was well enough to return. To be sure I could handle the extra work, I came in an hour early and stayed an hour late every day. That way my existing clients were not affected. I also took a few minutes every day to prioritize my tasks and determine what was left to be done. Each project had its own deadlines, so I kept track of the hard due dates along with the soft goals I made for each project to ensure that I was staying on pace and would be able to meet the deadlines. These efforts paid off, and I not only met my deadlines, but the clients were also so pleased they signed a long-term contract with the company.

Knowing how to answer behavioral interview questions can mean the difference between a job offer and sending out more resumes. Take the time to prepare for these abstract questions, and you will be better prepared for a successful interview.

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