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Job Interview Question Database:
Questions with Excellent Sample Responses, 105-112


The Job Interview Question & Response Database includes 150 of the most typical interview questions that you may face in your job interviews. Questions are in no particular order, so take your time and go through the entire list!


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Displaying Job Interview Questions 105-112


105. Tell me about a time when you came up with an innovative solution to a challenge your company/class/organization was facing. What was the challenge? What role did others play?
    Sample excellent response:
    The trucks at Wal-Mart come loaded by personnel at a distribution center, box-by-box. After receiving a few trucks, I noticed that my employees were unloading broken merchandise that took a lot of time to clean up before the rest of the truck could be finished. The broken glass, paint, or whatever material it was, prevented the employees from proceeding farther into the truck, causing more person-hours than normal. I noticed that the merchandise was broken because heavier boxes were on top of lighter boxes. After a couple of days of this situation, productivity decreasing, I learned that the rest of the stores in my district faced the same problem. As a result, I asked each store to take pictures of the mess so the distribution centers could see exactly what was happening. I also asked each one to write down how many additional person-hours it took to clean up the mess. After we gathered this information for a four-week period, we had a pretty a good estimate of how much the company was losing, approximately $9.50 per person-hour... an average of $125 per store times 15 stores times 30 nights a month, amounts to a substantial sum. We took the information as a group to our district manager. Once he realized how much money his district was losing each month because of broken merchandise in the trucks, he contacted his regional manager, and the trucks after that were loaded more carefully. The district made our Profit and Loss the next month by a 9 percent increase.


    Also, remember the S-A-R (situation-action-result) technique and see a sample S-A-R story.


106. Describe a specific problem you solved for your employer or professor. How did you approach the problem? What role did others play? What was the outcome?
    Sample excellent response:
    When I was working as a receptionist at an apartment complex, a tenant argued that he had turned in his rent payment the day it was due. He stated that he had slipped it under the door because our office was closed for the day. I decided to consult my manager because I realized that maybe the office needed a sign that stated that we did not accept rent money that is slipped under the door. My boss agreed, and we posted the sign. We never again had a problem with tenants who claimed they'd paid their rent that way.


107. Describe a time when you got co-workers or classmates who dislike each other to work together. How did you accomplish this? What was the outcome?
    Sample excellent response:
    When I worked for a law firm, my co-workers and I had a huge mailing to complete. We had the choice of working more efficiently as a team -- or individually in a much more time-consuming manner. My two co-workers did not care for each other and they wanted to complete the mail-out on an individual level. When I presented them with the evidence that we would finish at least an hour earlier by working together, they decided that working together was the right path to take. As a result, we finished the mail-out in a short period and could work on other tasks that day.


    Also, remember the S-A-R (situation-action-result) technique and see a sample S-A-R story.


108. Tell me about a time when you failed to meet a deadline. What things did you fail to do? What were the repercussions? What did you learn?
    Sample excellent response:
    I recently failed to meet a deadline in my communications course with a project I had to do on the Internet. I did not meet the deadline because I underestimated the amount of time the assignment would take me to complete. Therefore, the assignment was incomplete when I turned it in. As a result I lost points on my final grade.I learned the importance of examining tasks more carefully so I can better estimate the amount of time required to complete them. I also learned to build some flex time into projects so that if my estimates are wrong, I'll still have time to complete the tasks.


    Also, remember the S-A-R (situation-action-result) technique and see a sample S-A-R story.


109. Describe a time when you put your needs aside to help a co-worker or classmate understand a task. How did you assist him or her? What was the result?
    Sample excellent response:
    I was studying right before a major finance test. As the class came into the classroom a couple of students indicated that did not understand a concept that I did. Although there was a small section of material that I had not completely mastered, I realized that I knew enough about that section that I could perform well enough to earn a good grade. I knew that the section that the other students did not understand was a major portion of the exam since the professor had an interest in this particular subject. I stopped what I was doing to explain to the small group about the Multiplier Effect of Bank Reserves on the overall supply of money. Those students learned enough from what I taught them that they did well on the exam. I missed a few points on the section of material that I had not mastered, but I did well enough to get an A, and the satisfaction I got from teaching others the concept made me feel proud.


    Also, remember the S-A-R (situation-action-result) technique and see a sample S-A-R story.


110. Give two examples of things you've done in previous jobs or school that demonstrate your willingness to work hard.
    Sample excellent response:
    The day we had inventory at Best Buy, I worked a 13-hour day. I did this because I knew we were understaffed and that a lot of the lower-level employees who would be working with the inventory team were very nervous about being in charge of the inventory when many of them had never done it before. Conveniently, I used to work for the inventory company that was handling our store, so I still had a fairly deep understanding of their processes and methods. I typically work 8-9 hour shifts, but I stayed longer after my shift to ensure that our lower-level employees felt comfortable and that the inventory got started on time and that it took off in the right direction. I met with a few of these employees, and I told them a few tips on how to solve problems they may encounter, and it worked; they all seemed to feel a little more comfortable. Then I walked the store and made sure that it was presentable for our guests and in case we got a surprise visit from headquarters. I couldn't stay for the inventory myself because it would've put me over my 40 hours for the week, but I was glad I could stay long enough to make everyone feel a little more comfortable, and that I had time to make them all feel appreciated.


    Another example of something that merited a lot of effort on my part was my marketing-research paper. I enjoy group projects because I enjoy learning about the perspectives of others; however, sometimes the burdens appear to outweigh the benefits. Having a group project such as this one with 5-6 team members was a difficult task when most of us had school and jobs to juggle. We created an online survey and sent it to everyone on our contact list. We were doing research for a museum, and they had a contact list of award-winning artists whose perspectives they wanted us to use in our project. Anyone whose email didn't work or who didn't fill out the survey we tried to contact over the phone. Then we ran all of that data through SPSS and started to create our paper -- in completion our paper was 120 pages. The project was an amazing experience, and I am so proud to say I've done it. My group was good; they were a solid group of people who were smart and willing to put in the time, and we got the highest grade in the class.
    [contributed by Cynthia Buenger]


    Also, remember the S-A-R (situation-action-result) technique and see a sample S-A-R story.


111. Describe the last time that you undertook a project that demanded a lot of initiative.
    Sample excellent response:
    During my internship with World Market, we were asked to pick an area or a problem and create a way to improve World Market process. I noticed that our food vendors were not really pulling their weight -- with the economic downturn and the price of gas especially, our sales are down right now, which often means decreased payroll -- so at this juncture, it was critical that our vendors perform up to par so we didn't have to waste our payroll hours doing their work. Initially I just wanted to change our vendor survey. The survey had 4 questions for each vendor, who got rated green (good) or red (bad) on each question. So I turned it into 10 questions that each fell under the categories of one of the initial 4 questions. I also changed the rating scale to a 1-5 scale, 1-2 were red, 3-4 were yellow, and 5 was green. I did a Likert scale rather than a simple red, yellow, green concept because I wanted to be better able to track improvement. This didn't seem like enough to me; I decided there were so many other ways I could tweak the process. So then I created a new vendor scorecard (their feedback -- this shows them their weekly ratings in each area) and a new Vendor notes card (this is where any comments go and shows them any specific dates we had problems with their products, like spoiled milk, for example). I also created a new vendor expectations guide that was a little more professional and attuned to be consistent with the changed I made to the survey. Finally I created an idea for development, putting the survey on a hand-held scanning device so the Team Leader in charge of that area of the store could take the scanner around with her as she did the survey, increasing its accuracy. The survey would also show the vendors' scorecard history (last month, quarterly average, biannual average, and annual average) so we could determine whether or not the vendor was improving.
    [contributed by Cynthia Buenger]


    Also, remember the S-A-R (situation-action-result) technique and see a sample S-A-R story.


112.What is the most competitive work or school situation you have experienced? How did you handle it? What was the result?
    Sample excellent response:
    I worked at a retail store, where we had a competition to win an extra discount at the store. Our task was to get more credit-card applications than any other employee. I handled this task by presenting the customer with the benefits of signing up for the credit card and taking the time to explain to them what exactly they were getting into. This seemed to be a great way to deal with this task because people appreciated the honesty and were happy to get the card because of the benefits. I did very well with this task and ended up wining the contest.
    [contributed by Keri]


    Also, remember the S-A-R (situation-action-result) technique and see a sample S-A-R story.


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