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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.

The Interview Question & Answer Book

The Interview Question and Answer Book

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More classic interview questions and answers


How would you describe yourself? / How would your boss/colleagues/team/family/friends describe you?

In what ways are you a team player?

Do you work well on your own initiative?

What techniques do you use to get things done?

What motivates you?

Are you proactive?

Are you creative?

Are you a risk-taker?

How do you handle pressure and stress?

Can you tell me about a time when you have failed to achieve a goal?

What's the worst mistake you've made at work and how did you deal with it?

How would you handle the following situation?

Can you tell me about a major project you have successfully completed?

Can you tell me about a major problem at work that you've had to deal with?

We have a problem with x. How would you resolve that?

What do you do when you disagree with your line manager?

How would you describe yourself as a manager?

Can you give me an example of when you have successfully coached a member of your team?

What is your customer service philosophy?

How did you get your last job?

What does your current job involve on a day-to-day basis?

What contribution do you make to the department in which you work?

What changes have you made to your current job role since you started?

What have you learned in your last job?

Can you tell me about your last appraisal?

How would you describe your current boss?

Why did you leave that job?

Which of your jobs was the best?

Why is there a gap in your resume/CV?

What do you know about us as an organisation?

What do you know about our products/services?

What do you think are our organisation's greatest strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?

What do you know about the vacancy for which you are applying?

How do your skills and experience match the job description/person specification?

What appeals to you most about this vacancy?

Why have you chosen this line of work?

Are there any other organisations to which you are applying?

How does this job compare to others for which you are applying?

Can you describe your ideal employer to me?

What sort of person would you most like to work for?

In what ways is your degree relevant to the work you are now doing?

What have you learned and how have you developed over the last year/five years?

What sports are you/have you been involved in?

Do you know what the current headline news is?

How quickly can you adapt to a new work environment?

Would it be a problem if we asked you to work overtime/evenings/weekends?

What is your current salary package?

What salary package are you expecting for this role?

When would you be available to start?

Do you mind if we contact your current employer for a reference?