Making smart, independent decisions that lead to your department's successes is important information that an interviewer will try to uncover during an interview.

Question 13. Because not everyone always agrees with every company policy, tell me about a time when you spoke up against a standard procedure.

situation: When employed by Family and Children Service Incorporated, I conducted individual therapy sessions and provided case management for clients with chronic mental illness. Compared with the psychiatrists who met with clients only every three months, as the therapist I met with these clients once a week. This allowed me to build rapport with the patients, and I was able to leverage those relationships during interdisciplinary meetings with the psychiatrists. I found that many times patients failed to provide their psychiatrists with the proper history of their medication intake.

action: As a result, it was up to me to advocate for appropriate dosages when the psychiatrists were set to prescribe the wrong amount.

result: Since I kept careful documentation of patient meetings, the psychiatrists highly regarded my input and made adjustments with my recommendations in mind.

Question 14. This division is a department of one. The person hired will be required to manage problems on his or her own. Please describe a time when you dealt with a situation without receiving input from staff members.

situation: At MRI Technology, I am surrounded by technicians and doctors who do not have information technology (IT) experience. Since I am the only IT professional on staff, whenever a computer issue arises, I have to solve it myself—there is no one else I can turn to for assistance.

action: With no supervision, it is up to me to identify the problems and find the solutions. Using my knowledge of computers, I figure out the solution most of the time. For those that are beyond my reach, I rely on a network of professionals with whom I have built relationships over the years.

result: As a result, I have gained a reputation from management and peers for being a resourceful individual who is never stumped by a computer problem.

Question 15. Working in a team environment has its benefits. Likewise, working independently is also rewarding. Provide an example of a time when you were commended for your ability to complete a task on your own.

situation: When you are working on an assembly line, it is important to inspect every part thoroughly before releasing it to the next stage of production.

action: I take great care in self-auditing the parts, ensuring that each meets the quality standards set by the company.

result: When the quality assurance representative comes by my station, I always receive a 100 percent grade on the inspection—a rating I share with only one other team member.

Question 16. Describe an occasion when you managed a situation that was your supervisor's responsibility.

obstacle: While working at Amore International and Company, my supervisor was set to go on maternity leave. Before her departure, we went over the tasks that I was to manage in her absence.

action: During one of our meetings, I broached the subject of rewriting job descriptions while she was away. This was a project she had on her to-do list for quite some time but had never gotten around to starting. Without hesitation she agreed. Together we drew up a plan of action that I was to follow.

result: When she came back from her leave, she reviewed the rewritten job descriptions and approved each after making only minor changes. Soon thereafter, the employees were provided with the new descriptions and, in most cases, a raise as well.

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