What techniques do you use to get things done?

  | James Innes


Classic Interview Questions and Answers

What techniques do you use to get things done?

Alternative and related questions:

How do you get things done at work?

The meaning behind the question:

This is a very simple question. The interviewer wants to know what your working style is – how do you plan and organise yourself to ensure that you achieve your objectives. They don’t just want to hear you say that you’re a very organised and efficient person – they want proof of exactly how you get things done.

Your answer:

Tell it like it is. The interviewer isn’t expecting any magic tricks or a treatise on the latest management techniques. Your answer just needs to outline the systems and tools you use to manage your workload so as to ensure that everything which needs to get done does get done. You should aim to place emphasis on this last point – that the techniques you use are ones which clearly work for you.


Careful planning is critical to my ability to get things done: planning, organisation and action. I rely heavily on ‘To Do’ lists. These enable me to capture and record everything which I need to action. I maintain a master To Do list but also have separate To Do lists for each particular project I’m handling. I review these at least once a day so as to identify my priorities. I always aim to focus on tasks which have deadlines attached to them and also tasks which will achieve the most in the shortest space of time. Less important items I will either postpone, delegate or, if I am unable to clearly identify the benefits, remove from the list completely. While I have a very heavy workload to juggle I find that these systems enable me to always keep one step ahead and to ensure that nothing slips through the net.

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The Interview Question and Answer Book

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