To work as a manager is not a piece of cake. If you imagine to go for business trips, enjoy meetings with interesting people and inviting secretary for the coffee every evening, I must disappoint you. Well, these things also belong to the job of a manager, but it’s just a bonus we need to get to be able to sustain the heavy workload and expectation of the others.
Manager is not a free-standing unit of a company. He is a member of a team, reports to someone and leads someone. He has his tasks and need to meet many deadlines, as other people need results of his work to be able to do carry out their own working duties.
Therefor, interviewers try to find out if you are able to meet tight deadlines, what is your experience about it and all in all, how did you cope with difficult situations on the workplace. Once again, you should speak a situation with positive outcome, a situation when you met a deadline.
While working in sales (do not be afraid to use examples from other jobs also, if you have no experience with managerial jobs so far) there was a sales target I had to meet every month. In February 2011, on the 21st, I was missing 60% of monthly sales. I decided to work overtime, to push myself to the limit, to do everything in order to meet the deadline. Finally I reached only 90% of my target. But still, taking into account that February is weak month for sales and what the starting point on the 21st was, it was a good result.
What if I have no working experience?
If you apply for an entry level job, you should realize that 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.
Actually, sometimes I have the feeling that students have to meet more tight deadlines as the employees do… So, all you have to do in this case is to speak about a situation from a school and demonstrate on it your ability to work hard when it is needed and to meet all the deadlines.
I had just 24 hours to prepare a presentation from a difficult 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 and practice it, I would need 18 hours. It was close to impossible to do it in time. However, I engage my school mate to the research part, so we worked on it together and instead of 10 hours, it took us only six hours. This helped me and finally I was able to deliver a high quality presentation on a next day. I managed the situation pretty well.