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Attention to Detail

Time and money are lost when an employee doesn't pay attention to the details of a project he is working on. For this reason, interviewers will tap into your ability in submitting error-free work.

Question 147. Tell me about a time when you caught a problem before it escalated.

situation: When I worked for Empire Raceway, I identified weaknesses in the finance department's management. Especially, I voiced concern regarding a lack of data for financial policies. If we were to face an audit, it would show that the organization clearly was in violation of regulations.

action: I suggested that we hire an outside firm to go through the books. In the meantime, I established and administered the first balanced budget that the organization had in years.

result: The internal auditor created a checklist of required data entries and she returned annually to inspect the records. In addition, my annual budgets kept the organization fiscally on track.

Question 148. Describe a time when your document-management skills benefited your department.

situation: To avoid assigning rentals to individuals with poor credit, it was my task as property manager for Residential Horizons to ensure that all paperwork was in order and that credentials and income sources were verified.

action: For quality-assurance purposes, I personally administered the background and credit checks. When potential residents passed the review, I managed the negotiations, including rent, maintenance fees, lawn-care options, and final contracts.

result: Since I began administering each aspect of the rental process, all established standards, policies, and guidelines were followed. As a result, in the five years that I worked for Residential Horizons, there were no evictions or foreclosures because of failure to pay.

Question 149. Tell me about an occasion when your attention to detail was recognized by management.

situation: I was contracted by the Kinder Company to act as an assistant to a finance executive when her secretary went on maternity leave.

action: Part of my responsibilities was to manage the accounting and investment activities for high-net-worth clients. Since the clients had large sums of money invested in the market, they expected insightful analyses of complex data and accurate financial reports.

result: Because I placed an uncompromising focus on satisfying clients' needs, I was asked to stay on as a permanent employee when the secretary decided to remain at home to raise her child.

Question 150. Describe a time when addressing a minor project detail made a significant difference in the outcome.

situation: At Allied Electronics, there were a lot of calls to the support center because customers could not follow the guidelines in the various manuals and in the on-line help pages. As a technical writer, I was assigned to rewrite these documents, including the on-line help channel.

action: To make the content more instructive as well as more interesting, I incorporated illustrations that supplemented the written descriptions. When finished, I also provided a final quality-assurance check for all of the new documents.

result: The volume of customer calls for tech support decreased significantly. Because of the success of my efforts, management asked that I redo all other existing manuals. When the revisions were published, I received word that the new guides were all well received by customers.

Question 151. Recall a time when a thorough evaluation of events was critical to your company's success.

situation: As part of a pilot program for Red Door Partnerships, I was hired as a telephone health management nurse, and I was to provide patient tele-care for clients of sixteen insurance companies with long-term healthcare policies.

action: Since these services are provided over the phone, I took great care to review each patient's medications, with the objective of limiting unnecessary doctors' appointments.

result: The pilot program was successful and became a full-fledged service, which saved the organizations millions of dollars in excessive medical claims.

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