Question 169. Give an example of a situation in your current (past) position in which you adapted to the team environment.
situation: The Reg Pro Company prides itself on its team environment—so much so that all projects are completed as a team. This situation was new to me; in previous positions I worked independently the majority of the time. At first, I was hesitant to contribute, and for the most part I remained silent during meetings.
action: After a while, I came out of my shell. I prepared talking points before the meetings that outlined my ideas for how to proceed with new and existing projects. Since I put my thoughts in order, everyone took note of my ideas.
results: Working in a team environment, in which the focus is on achieving specific goals and targets, has been a rewarding experience for me. Partnering with others has helped me hone my skills and refine the way I present ideas and interact with colleagues.
Question 170. Describe a time you took on a task that was outside the scope of your job description.
situation: When I worked for Silence Alarms, the receptionist wanted to attend a training program. She was given the go-ahead as long as she found a co-worker to answer the phone while she was away.
action: Because I knew that the training was important to her, I volunteered to handle the phones while she attended the seminar.
result: She was grateful to me, and the day after the training, she left cookies on my desk as a thank-you. It was a lovely gesture.
Question 171. Describe a time when you worked on a project that was delayed through no fault of your own. How did you manage the situation?
situation: As part of their rebranding, Buena Vista Inn hired us, Candid Solutions, to install a new light scheme for the outsides of their hotels. As part of the project, the manager of each hotel had to complete an internal survey before the lighting installation could begin. Unfortunately, though I was ready to execute the project, the majority of managers failed the survey requirements. This led to unexpected delays.
action: There was nothing I could do to expedite the situation. This was a Buena Vista internal problem that I had no way of controlling. However, I met with the executives and offered to waive the lateness surcharge.
result: After several months' delay, this $20 million project was underway and within budgetary requirements.
Question 172. Recall a time when you avoided getting involved in office politics.
situation: Two associates applied for a management position that opened up at The Times. Michael, who had vast more experience, was chosen to head the team. Unfortunately, Tom, who had a solid track record as well, became resentful. Both of them would snap at each other at the merest opportunity. In addition, each spoke negatively about one another to others. Just about everyone in the department was forced to choose a side.
action: I decided to not participate in the politicking. I was hired to manage accounts, not to fan the flames of an office dispute.
result: I do not know how Michael and Tom resolved their differences. However, after a few months, the situation dissipated.
Question 173. Tell me about a time when you worked with someone who had a delicate ego.
situation: I worked with an older gentleman who believed he was facing age discrimination. Whenever he was passed over for a promotion, or not assigned a challenging project, he became upset. It got to the point that when I, or anyone for that matter, did not fall in love with one of his ideas, he would get belligerent.
action: To make him feel valued and respected, I befriended him. We went to lunch together a few times, and I made a point of asking about his grandchildren, whom he adored.
result: Over time his hard shell softened. He came to realize that whatever problem management had with him, I did not share those sentiments.