Question 164. Tell me about a time when another department's participation in a project depended on your completing a task first.
situation: Since it takes time and resources to bring a project to market, it is my responsibility with the Chess Corporation to determine whether products are viable before production even begins.
action: I conducted field research and participated in data collection, including analyzing market activity for similar products.
result: After I made my findings, I advised corporate of consumer demands and market trends. In addition, I outlined the product specifications so the marketing department can develop campaigns.
Question 165. Describe a time when your team's effort did not meet your expectations.
situation: At Coral Gables, I was part of a team charged with developing a brand strategy for an established business that was having difficulty targeting its market. Our department meetings were unorganized. No one listened to others' points of view. As such, the project was taking longer than expected.
action: With the deadline approaching, everyone was working late. Though I do not mind working late, and often do, I knew that if we had come together as a team sooner, the project would have gone smoother and the deadline met without overtime.
result: As a result of that experience, when I work on a project that requires a team effort, I choose my battles carefully and frequently search for a compromise that will get the project moving.
Question 166. Describe an occasion when you took direction from someone who was not your supervisor.
situation: When I began working for Martino Public Relations firm, I was green. Without much experience, I was charged with creating a press release for one of our clients in the legal field. I was having difficulty developing a newsworthy angle.
action: I sketched two ideas. Since I am always open to constructive feedback from colleagues, I ran my thoughts by a team member in the cubicle next to mine.
result: He offered pointers on ways I could improve upon what I had generated. His advice was on target, and I made the necessary changes. Ultimately, the press release was picked up by the Associated Press and distributed to newspapers across the country.
Question 167. Recall a time when you had a difficult coworker as part of your team.
situation: When I worked for the Gambini Company, I was assigned a co-worker who had a reputation for taking over projects and getting upset when her ideas were not implemented.
action: I made a conscious decision to be sure our time together was productive. When one of her ideas had merit, but needed tweaking, I acknowledged the strength of her position before making suggestions of my own.
result: Though it was initially difficult for her to accept another point of view, she eventually started to entertain my ideas. We put together a proposal that won the company a lucrative contract. And because we eventually got along so well, we agreed to partner on additional projects.
Question 168. Tell me about a time you worked on a project when your role was not clearly defined.
situation: At the Century Company, a group of us were selected to participate in a beta project for the computer networking system. The project outline was not clearly defined and no one in the group knew his or her role.
action: At the first meeting, I asked team members to describe their strengths and weaknesses. I began to list each on the dry board.
result: Taking the role of facilitator, I encouraged everyone to choose a task based on individual interest and strengths. In no time, we had a list of priorities and everyone chose tasks that best suited their abilities.