How To Handle Conflicting Priorities – Job Interview Question & Answer
So you want to know how to handle conflicting priorities and be able to sound like a master at handling more than one thing at a time.
Well, you are in the right place.
In this post, I’m going to give you 11 questions that you can ask to decide what’s going to come first.
So by the end of this post, you’re gonna have really clear criteria on what you should do and how to decide what comes first.
So stay tuned.
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Okay, so quick story.
So someone commented on one of my old blog posts and I wrote about conflicting priorities and this is what they said:
“If you were someone who is organized and delegated, you would not have had two problems arise together. To immediately cry to your boss and for them to be the one that actually resolves the situation for you is a double concern. Would certainly not use that as an example to a prospective employer.“
Okay, so clearly that person has never been a parent or worked in a fast paced environment. However, I do agree with them on the first one. Going to your boss should not be the first thing that you do.
However, you no matter who you are, just can’t plan for everything.
No one can. That’s how life is.
So, here are the first four questions to ask yourself before you get stuck on what should be next.
First question. How long will each task priority take you?
Two, can you delegate? Can you get help with some of the pieces for the task from any of your co-workers?
Three, how urgent is the priority? Is there a clear deadline for each of them?
Four, how much money is each priority worth to the company?
Then if you’ve already asked those questions, and you’re still stuck, I’m gonna walk through seven questions that are going to clarify even further.
So, say your trying to decide between which customer comes first. Now some of you may argue with me here, but it’s how it is.
Who’s the customer with the highest billings?
Who has the highest customer value?
Second, how many people are affected by each priority? What’s the greatest impact and on how many people? What has the greatest impact on the organization as a whole?
Is something on fire right now? It needs to be dealt with immediately in the next two minutes?
How long is it going to take and can you recruit help from another department?
So once you assess all those questions, then you can go to your boss. I stand by the advice, in my earlier post. Your boss is there to help and support. They are there to give you guidance. They’re not there to give you step by step instructions, but they are there to guide you.
So if you’re really struggling to decide which item should take priority, and you’ve asked all the questions, and you’re still not sure, then ask them.
However, I do want to be clear that it’s not the first thing you should do and it’s never the only way that you should have to solve a problem.
So, there you have it: I hope this has been way more comprehensive on how to handle conflicting priorities without going to your boss. Please let me know if you enjoyed it.
If you’d like more help with these types of interview questions, download my free situational interview guide click here: The Ultimate Situational Interview Q&A Guide
Nailing the interview questions is great! But There is a lot more to interviewing than just answering the questions.
In fact if all you do is answer the questions alone, you’ve already lost the interview.
What you’ll get inside the guide:
Top-ten examples of stories that have proven to be impressive interview answers
The S.A.R.I. formula breakdown of how to answer these questions
The step-by-step of why it works
Fill-in-the-blank templates for each question so, you’ll be able to fill in the blanks and get going!
Now you’ll need to come up with your own stories! (You can steal the ones in the guide if they apply to you though too, I don’t mind)
If you are still getting stuck because you can’t think of your own stories…
I’ve included 25 questions that you can ask yourself to come up with your stories much quicker!
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By the end of working through this guide, you’ll be feeling confident and ready for any situational interview that comes your way!
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By the end of working through the guide you’ll be totally ready for any situational interview question that gets thrown your way!
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And remember, the current system isn’t perfect, but you can outsmart it. I’m here to prove to you that you do have what it takes.
Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time.
In Work & Life
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