When it comes to other people’s deadlines – especially those that are above you in the workplace hierarchy – their deadlines become your deadlines, and no matter how much work you put into another project, you’ll be asked (or expected) to drop what you’re doing and help them with what they ask. That can be stressful and frustrating, and workplaces that tend to do that a lot may ask you a change management question to see how you handle the situation.
Behavioral Interview Question: Tell me about a time when you had to take on a new assignment when you were still heavily involved with another one? What happened?
There are actually two ways to answer this question. The first way involves explaining how you managed both projects while prioritizing the most important one.
The second involves how you delegated or prioritized the new task since you knew how important it was to finish the old one.
Talk about things like:
And as always, try to avoid complaining about someone important to the organization.
“I would almost say this is one of the most common issues in journalism. While you’re researching one story, there is almost always another hot story out there that someone wants you to cover – or maybe even that you want to cover yourself. What I would say is that the biggest fear isn’t being unable to hit a deadline – it’s forgetting about something completely because you’re too locked into another project. Each time I am faced with the issue of needing to start a major new story while I am still half way through my current one, I try to still dedicate some time every day to my existing project so that it’s still moving forward albeit at a slower pace. That way, there is always progress on both articles so that once one is done, I can get right back into the other one without missing a beat. At times this has meant a few late nights of work but that’s fine since I have never missed a deadline. The strategy works pretty well.”
With a lot of these questions about how you adjust to change, the hardest part may simply be having an answer, and you do want to have a real answer. This is the type of question you can’t really flub through successfully. But if you can find that answer, and really focus on the benefits of who you are, you’ll help sell yourself to the interviewer.
See Also Related Post : How Do You Prioritise Multiple Projects With the Same Deadline
See Also Related Post: How to Show You Can Apply Change Management With Ease