Question 122. Recall a life-altering event that impacted your career choices.

situation: It was not in my nature to take risks, in either my personal or my professional life. For instance, I never competed with co-workers on challenging projects. Usually I sat by the sidelines and waited for management to assign me a task. Unexpectedly, my father passed away in a car crash. I thought about the sacrifices he had made for our family to ensure we succeeded in life.

action: I decided to quit my job and enroll in an MBA program.

result: After graduation I joined a financial company, where I embraced the concept of friendly competition and positioned myself as the got person for the office. Soon, I was charged with managing five associates.

Question 123. Tell me about a time when your hard work was rewarded.

situation: When I worked as a legal assistant for a securities-claim law firm, I made it a point to tackle initiatives that did not fall within my job description.

action: Specifically, I managed the client database, instituting upgrades and spearheading software improvement efforts to streamline processes.

result: I earned a reputation as a diligent, attentive team player, and within four months of my hire, I assumed docket management activities, an unprecedented feat for the law firm.

Question 124. Give me an example of a time when you took on a task that was not part of your job description.

situation: Though Mao Electronics had solid marketing and public relations departments, all the products we sold were technical in nature. Because of this, neither department had the technical expertise to create marketing collateral.

action: To assist in the marketing efforts, I offered to provide interviews to technical publications regarding the new products and our design philosophy. In addition, I wrote how-to articles for trade publications that focused on the introduction of new products.

result: After the interviews and the first articles were published, the sales department reported a spike in sales.

Question 125. Tell me about a situation that called upon your strongest quality. What was the result?

situation: My strongest quality is as a change agent, whereby I pinpoint operational inefficiencies and execute policies to eliminate them. This quality was especially useful when I served as incoming director for the Respiratory Clinic, where my first order of business was to turn around the low patient-satisfaction numbers.

action: As part of the tactical plan, I introduced the "Rounding with Purpose" method that ensured patients were visited every hour by a nurse. In addition, I readied the department for the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations survey.

result: Shortly after my changes were implemented, the number of patients who fell out of bed declined. The department also placed in the ninetieth percentile on the Perss Ganey patient-satisfaction survey.

Question 126. Recall a time when using your initiative was rewarded.

situation: When I was employed with Compact Recordings, I was commended by management for my ability to analyze situations and implement strategies that helped make it a more productive workplace.

action: One specific time, I took the initiative to install hardware solutions and set up desktop configurations in preparation for a flagship account.

result: I received a bonus for exceeding goals and five stars in all core competencies areas outlined in the performance evaluation.

Question 127. Describe an occasion when you created an opportunity for yourself.

situation: Upon being hired by Grip Management, I noticed that the organization did not have an employee-training program.

action: I had learned from my previous position at Allied Electronics of the importance of welcoming new employees with a formal company introduction. With that in mind, I created a mock workshop on PowerPoint and presented it to the department head.

result: After my presentation, the company instituted a full-scale new-hire introduction program. An unexpected benefit of this plan was that turnover within the first three months of employment was reduced by 30 percent.

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