Managing people, projects, or processes is not a piece of a cake. Many people imagine long business trips, interesting meetings, and evening coffee breaks with their beautiful secretaries.
That is not the job of a manager, however. Those are just some perks that help us to deal with the real tasks and pressure we face in the job…
Every manager reports to someone, is responsible for someone, and cooperates with someone. We need to meet deadlines, and the workload is often heavy. Interviewers try to understand if you see the job realistically, how you cope with deadlines and pressure, and simply if you have what it takes to really do this job well, for many months or years, without burning out.
While working in sales (use examples from other jobs if you have no experience with managerial positions) we had to meet certain targets every month. In February 2016, on the 21st, I was missing 60% of my monthly sales goal. I decided to work overtime, to push myself to the limit, to do everything to meet the deadline with my sales. Finally I reached only 90% of the target sales volume. Nonetheless, I managed the pressure well, and it didn’t influence me negatively either in job or in personal life.
What if I have no working experience?
A deadline is a deadline. When studying, you need to meet a lot of tight deadlines. There is an exam, the work you have to complete in time, the presentation you have to deliver in a lesson.
Speak about the situation from a school and demonstrate your ability to work hard when and prioritize your tasks, if the situation requires that.
I had just 24 hours to prepare a presentation from a broad topic of accounting when studying at the college. What I did was that I created a plan of work and calculated that to study the topic, prepare the first version, make corrections, prepare the presentation, proofread it and practice, I would need 18 hours at least. It was close to impossible to do it in time. However, I engage my school mate to do the research part, so we worked together and instead of 10 hours, the research took us only six hours. That helped me to meet a deadline and deliver a great presentation in a classroom. You can say I managed the situation pretty well!
Special tip: Did you like the answer? What about brilliant answers to thirty most common managerial interview questions? Check them in my interview success guide for managers.
- Describe the situation when you did not reach the target.
- Describe the biggest management problem you faced in your last job.