Q: Can you describe a time you faced a challenge and how you overcame that challenge?
A: I was being crushed under a mountain of work. Reports, emails, spreadsheets, you name it. I was at that point where you just feel so overwhelmed that you don’t even know where to start. Something had to give, so I took the initiative and rescheduled our family vacation for next year, which opened up like 80 extra hours to whittle down the pile. Before I knew it, the workload was back to being manageable, especially once they instituted the mandatory overtime. I got major kudos on that one.
Q: Tell me about a time you went above and beyond what was required of you.
A: It was a Tuesday which meant it was my turn to brew the morning coffee. While I was pouring the grounds into the filter, I realized that by switching to a generic bean and outsourcing our accounts receivable department the company could save thousands of dollars each year. It was kind of a mixed blessing, though, because after that I was asked to make the coffee on Thursdays too!
Q: How do you like to be managed?
A: That’s a good question and very important, obviously, because it really affects the day-to-day process and will have a huge impact on the relationship between manager and the person being managed. I know that some prefer to really dig in and have a lot of control over the shape of the work that’s being done while others take a more hands-off approach and favor more autonomy, just jumping in when things require intervention. Both approaches certainly have their pros and cons or pluses and minuses if you will depending on your perspective and the nature of the manager-managee relationship, or partnership I like to think of it as because it’s very important that those two, we two I suppose, can communicate on the same level. But always with a solid understanding of who’s in what role of course!
Q: What are your greatest strengths?
A: I think my previous colleagues would say one of my greatest strengths is my dedication. I can’t tell you the number of times coworkers would pass my cubicle on their way out for the evening and say, “Wow, Tim, I really admire your dedication. We’re all so impressed!”
Q: And your weaknesses?
A: I work too hard! Nah, just kidding; I bet you’ve heard that line a hundred times. No, for me it’s that I sometimes struggle to achieve a good work-life balance with things usually heavily skewed towards the work side of the equation. It’s something I’m working on improving…but only on my off hours, don’t worry!