Job Interview Question & Answer: How Do You Prioritize Tasks?
Looking for Efficient Employees
Time management skills are essential for creating a productive workplace. Managers ask “How do you manage your time?” or “How do you prioritize tasks?” to see the ways potential hires handle their workloads. A strong reply shows how the worker would fit in at the company. This is helpful for employers in the hiring process.
Preparing an Answer
When responding to “How do you manage your time?” mention techniques you have used to increase productivity. For example, to-do lists and scheduling methods are ways workers can focus on tasks. Instead of just listing tactics, candidates should base their replies on real situations in which responsibilities were effectively completed.
Responses to Avoid
Some time management strategies look unfavorable to hiring staff. Be cautious of answers that imply:
- Micromanaging, which puts too much on the worker’s plate.
- Lack of communication because it leads to misunderstandings.
- Procrastinating, as it creates more stress on the employee.
Stay away from discussing such inefficient approaches in a job interview. Consider how employers will see the big picture, and speak to proven methods of success.
Interviewees can review these suggested responses to “How do you manage your time?” Remember they are for reference only. Individual replies should be honest and relate to personal experiences.
Sample Answer 1 – Prep Cook Job
“I best manage my time by setting up a schedule for myself at the beginning of every shift. I consider what the restaurant needs most and put that at the top of my list. At the bottom, I have the tasks I can do between busy periods, like cleaning. This makes me focus on whatever is most pressing.”
Sample Answer 2 – Day Care Worker
“I find that crafting a structured plan in advance helps me with time management. Every night, I lay out what I’m going to do, and when, for the next day. This ensures that I complete all tasks without devoting too much time to one activity.”
Sample Answer 3 – Server
“Time management is extremely important to serving. I have developed a routine for each table to keep up a quick work pace. For instance, I like to suggest appetizers when I get drink orders. Then, I ask if customers need any condiments when I take their food order to avoid making two trips.”
Points to Keep in Mind
Having a quality response if asked “How do you manage your time?” shouldn’t be difficult for job candidates. Remember to incorporate the following ideas:
- Specific techniques that help you manage your time
- Situations where these skills proved effective
- Results of your time management practices
A detailed answer will help job hopefuls leave a lasting impression during the interview process.