Some People Are More Responsive Than Others. Tell Me About a Time You Had to Work With Someone Who Didnt Get Back to You on Time or With the Right Info.


Hiring managers and interviewers use behavioral interview questions as a predictor of your future behavior. Such questions assess your likelihood of acting a certain way by looking at your past behavior how you have handled specific kinds of situations. Conflict is a common theme that pops up in these questions- for example- with the prompt- “Some people are more responsive than others. Tell me about a time you had to work with someone who didnt get back to you on time or with the right info.” Other ways this question is asked include- “What have you done when people are late getting back to you?” and “How do you manage a situation when someone relays wrong information to you?” It is important that your answers reflect your ability to communicate- effectively get along with others and to resolve conflict.

Behavioral questions- on their surface- appear tricky because they are abstract and situational. After all- a question such as- “What classes did you take in college?” is more straightforward. The good news is that an approach called the STAR methods breaks down behavioral questions into easy-to-answer chunks. The method is also simple to remember when you are in the middle of an interview.

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How to Answer the ‘Some People Are More Responsive Than Others. Tell Me About a Time You Had to Work With Someone Who Didnt Get Back to You on Time or With the Right Info’ Behavioral Interview Question

Acknowledge Your Part in a Problem. With behavioral interview questions- employers like to see that their employees are self-aware or capable of recognizing how their actions contributed to issues and learning from their mistakes. No matter how tempting it is to fully shift the blame to others- acknowledge your roles in situations. For example- could you have checked in once in a while with your co-worker to see how work was progressing?

Take Advantage of the STAR Method. The STAR method is a neat way to structure your answers to behavioral interview questions. It is easy to remember in the heat of an interview- so no matter how hard your heart is thumping and how crowded your brain is- you should be able to recall the pattern. “ST” represents the situation or task you are dealing with while “A” is the action you took to address the situation and “R” is the result. When a question has many parts- remembering to answer them all can be difficult. With this question- the “R” part is not even included- but you do need to address it. Hiring managers are eager to know what good results came from your actions. “ST” is the person not getting back to you at the right time or with the right information- and “A” is how you handled the issue.

Take the Question Seriously. It can be easy to speak casually or even bitterly. Instead- treat the question seriously- and discuss the ramifications of the person not getting back to you on time or with the right information. What consequences did such actions spell for the business and- perhaps- for yourself? If the consequences do not seem high enough (or if they seem too high)- you may want to discuss another situation.

Show Initiative. Your answer should show initiative and proactive behavior. Avoid answers that indicate you complained- whined- or acted passively. For example- if you did not check in on a co-worker or client as a project progressed- clarify why. Perhaps you simply forgot or were busy; avoid answers such as- “I could have checked in to see how work was going- but I suspected that Rob would mess up again.” Paint yourself as a team player; the company comes first before personal grievances.

Sample ‘Some People Are More Responsive Than Others. Tell Me About a Time You Had to Work With Someone Who Didnt Get Back to You on Time or With the Right Info’ STAR Interview Answer

I had been collaborating with a co-worker- John- on a critical presentation for a prospective client. I took care of the writing and the presenting while John’s did the research and design. During the presentation- client’s representatives looked confused- and one executive finally pointed out that our numbers were wrong. I listened to the client’s concerns and took shared responsibility for the wrong information. I said that I would investigate how the wrong information happened and get back to the client- but would they consider another presentation next week? The client said probably not. After the representatives left- I met with John- and it turns out that he had manually input the numbers instead of using Excel. We developed a program for automatic input to avoid that happening again- and I redid the presentation and sent it to the executive who pointed out the mistakes. He did not contract to work with our business but expressed his appreciation for our time and our owning up to our mistakes and fixing them.

Behavioral interview questions are an important part of modern job interviews. Fortunately- the STAR method helps you answer in a relatively pain-free way.