“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche
It can be very hard for people to make decisions based on multiple pieces of information. It is like politics – most people just look for a quick answer, and don’t bother analyzing anything else unless it matches their world view.
Employers want to know that you have the awareness necessary to look at multiple pieces of information at once, and that you can analyze that information and turn it into an intelligent, thoughtful outcome.
Behavioral Interview Questions: Describe a project where you have had to analyze information from multiple sources on order to make a decision. What approach did you take? What was the outcome?
Although this is an analytical interview question, it’s one with a broad range of answers. You simply need to be able to prove that you are someone that looks for more information to come up with an answer – someone that does more than just take what they’re told to do and do it without thinking about and looking for other options. You can talk about:
- Multiple areas of research on a topic which you then used to help you decide on the best decision.
- A decision you made when many people told you to take a variety of different actions.
- Something you did to solve a problem when more than one source provided different stories.
You can talk about a problem you helped solve, or a solution you got to based on analyzing multiple sources. There are a lot of different ways to approach this question, and as long as you’re analytical in your decision making process, you’ll impress the employer.
“I have a great example of this, actually. When I was managing the sales department at Company X we were considering which member of the sales team to promote to sales lead. I didn’t want to make a biased decision, because even though I had my own preferences, I also knew that the position was too important for it to be based on just my own judgment.
I ran what’s known as a 360 degree survey on all of my staff. I sent out evaluation surveys to anyone the sales team had worked with – clients, other staff members, former staff members – everyone. Then I took all of that data, and used the data to determine which two staff members made the most sense based on what the data told me, not what I felt about each employee.
One was a surprise, the other I expected. I held individual interviews with both of them, focusing on the role itself, and finally made the hire. The sales staff is doing very well under her leadership, so I believe I made the right choice.”
For your own answer, try to recall examples where two or three employees told you different things, or when you had to do a lot of research yourself and noticed that there were conflicting ideas. Remember, this is an analytical interview question, which means you want to show that you put thought and logic into the decision. The only way to do that effectively is if you can prove that the decision wasn’t obvious, and you had to use your mind to solve for the solution.