Question 70. Describe a time when you provided one-on-one training support.
situation: To cut down on costs, the management of New Horizon's Medical Facility decided to replace the registered nurse with a clerical team member. Since the clerk was unfamiliar with the intake process, the switch resulted in poorly completed intake forms and decreased patient conversion rate.
action: During a one-month period, I created and executed a series of training sessions that focused on patient needs identification and follow-up strategies.
result: The clerk's conversion rate increased by 40 percent shortly thereafter.
Question 71. Give an example of an innovative way that you promoted teamwork.
situation: Though I did implement an employee rewards system to increase productivity, including providing financial bonuses for jobs well done, I thought it was a good idea to get the company involved in a nonprofit endeavor to increase team cohesiveness.
action: I scouted options, e-mailed employees the mission statements of three viable charities, and asked them to vote on the organization they would like to support. After the votes were tallied, the Children's Lending Library program was the clear winner. The charity focuses on providing schools in Latin America with libraries. As part of the initiative, employees could choose to donate books and /or volunteer to sort and mail the books right before the holiday season.
result: A few months later, we received cards and photos from the school we "adopted." The book drive was such a hit with the employees that it became an annual event.
Question 72. Describe the last training workshop you led.
situation: As the account manager for Sounds in Motion, I traveled across the country to train channel partners on the benefits of our products. However, there came a time when the business grew to the point where I was stretched too thin and training was backed up for months.
action: Taking advantage of today's technology, I developed interactive Web-based modules on market opportunities, sales promotions, customer objections, and the manufacturer's product features and benefits.
result: These "webinars" offered great flexibility on dates, contained costs, and provided channel partners with training that could be repeated as many times as they wished. This in turn increased sales and expanded the channel partners' knowledge of our products.
Question 73. Describe a time when you were responsible for making drastic changes in your department while at the same time had to minimize employees' negative reactions.
situation: Horseshoe Productions was hit hard by the sluggish economy. To keep our head above water, I implemented initiatives to reduce costs.
action: I determined that the best way to approach the cuts was to engage employees, asking them to suggest ways the department could trim waste.
result: This decision worked to the organization's advantage, since employees took ownership of the proposed cuts. Consequently, the team rallied around the organization's revitalization efforts, and not one employee complained about the changes.
Question 74. Tell me about a time when you trained an employee to do his or her job better.
situation: At St. Mary's Medical Center, we had a problem with an employee who did not follow company procedures on a regular basis. She was approached informally by management to resolve the situation, but because Human Resources was afraid she would file a lawsuit for age discrimination, she was never formally reprimanded. Her actions and the organization's inaction escalated the issue.
action: After checking her annual reviews, I realized that she had a stellar track record for years and that her performance started to decline when new management took over. Upon further investigation, it was clear that her decline came after many of her responsibilities were assigned to others. From my point of view, it seemed that she no longer felt valued as a team member and as a result her work began to suffer. To increase her motivation, I encouraged the department head to offer her complete ownership of an upcoming project.
result: The employee felt empowered, and completed the project effectively. Over time she was rewarded for her revitalized work ethic by being given more projects to lead.
Question 75. Describe a time when you realized that a top producer on your team was growing bored with his or her position. What did you do about it?
situation: Robert, a sales executive with year after year of quota-surpassing performance, began to show signs of discontentment. Though his sales remained high, his enthusiasm for the job had waned.
action: I approached management about penetrating the northeast region, where Robert could serve as the regional sales manager.
result: Management and Robert embraced the challenge. His interest in the company was restored. With Robert's newfound energy, he successfully developed the talents and strengths of his team, motivating each to attain high performance targets.
Question 76. As much as we may try to get along with everyone else, there are occasions when we cannot. Describe a time when you managed an employee with whom you did not see eye-to-eye.
situation: We hired an employee who operated his own business for fifteen years. Since he was used to running the show for so many years, he did not take direction well.
action: I decided to deal with the behavior, not the person. During a meeting, I focused on his performance on the job. Together we developed a behavior-modification plan.
result: After a few months, he decided to take another stab at starting his own business. However, we did part as friends.
Question 77. We all have outside interests. Tell me about an extracurricular activity you enjoy. Then describe a time when the skills you learned in that activity made you a better professional.
situation: I serve as a defensive player for a volleyball team. The spirit of competition, including the importance of leaving negative feelings on the court, spills over into my work environment. This attitude was useful the day I overheard a colleague downplay my role in the execution of a major project.
action: While my colleague was talking, I paid attention to the director's body language. He was clearly uncomfortable with the conversation. When I had the opportunity to speak to him privately, I emphasized the actions I had implemented while also noting that all members of the team contributed to the success of the project.
result: Though I am sure many factors came into play, I believe my professionalism was an integral reason I was offered leadership of the next project.