Candidates with superior organizational skills are usually highly sought-after by employers. These capabilities make it easier to get stuff done faster with minimal resources. So, it’s important to check out organizational skills examples for interview.
It comes as no surprise that some managers ask employees about how they organize themselves. And examples of planning and organizational skills include:
- Time management
- The ability to manage projects
Hiring managers can ask behavioral interview questions to understand how you approach your work. In such scenarios, I recommend telling them how you handled previous jobs that needed good organizational skills.
In this article, I talk about how to handle these questions, and I include examples.
What you should know about organizational skills interview questions
There is no denying that interviewers will ask various questions about how you manage time and prioritize different tasks. These questions allow a hiring manager to understand how you maintain structure in your workflow. Depending on the organizational skills you demonstrate in the interview, the hiring manager can determine how your skills fit the role.
So, make sure that your answer provides examples of how you pay attention to detail and plan your workflow. One of the popular approaches to answering these questions includes the star method (situation, task, action, and results).
With this approach, you describe a project or a particular case that required exceptional organizational skills. In this case, you explain your role and the type of tasks you handled. On top of that, tell the interviewer what you did to handle the job and how it turned out.
When you answer such questions correctly, you give the hiring manager a good idea of how you can handle the job in the vacant position. One way to demonstrate superior skills is to talk about the strategies or techniques you use to remain organized.
As I’ve already mentioned, the best way to answer organizational or behavioral questions is to tell a story about previous projects. By doing so, an interviewer gets a sense of how you do your job.
Now, take a peek at some examples of how to answer behavioral questions.
A hiring manager may ask you about a situation when you manage a complex project. In this case, you need to answer concisely by explaining your approach in a way that demonstrates confidence in your abilities. It also proves to the hiring manager that you’re capable of handling the most difficult projects.
So your answer may go something like this. Last year, my employer asked me to handle the finer details of an internship program. This task involved identifying people to assist me in creating a working plan. After that, we got the ball rolling by recruiting interns and assigning them to different departments in our organization.
Over time, we monitored each intern’s progress. We also interviewed them individually before talking to supervisors of the relevant departments. At the end of the program, the manager who assigned me to the project congratulated my team and me for a job well done. Senior management then decided to make the program a permanent feature at the company.
Your interviewer might ask you to describe a time when you had to work under pressure. This question allows you to show that you can remain organized even under pressure.
A hiring manager wants to determine whether you can still handle your tasks efficiently without delays or mistakes. So, it’d be best if you described how you got the job done in a particular project or task despite the deadline pressures.
Here’s how you might answer a question like that.
I’ve worked under tight deadlines on many occasions. But there’s this one complex project I had to complete within 24 hours. Given its complexity, this deadline gave me very little time to complete it. Thanks to my organizational skills, I accepted the task with confidence. I knew efficiency was the key to meeting the deadline, so I organized the tasks sequentially. On top of that, I took into account the dependencies between the various tasks when I arranged them.
Thanks to the organizational technique I adopted, I made so much progress during the first five hours. Eventually, I completed the tasks with a few hours to spare. My supervisor was so happy with the results that he shared the news with the entire department.
When a hiring manager asks you please explain why you feel you’re organized as a person, they may put a multitask component to the question. In this case, you really have to talk about a time when multitasking was important to get the job done correctly.
Although multitasking isn’t always necessary for some projects, it’s a critical skill when it comes to organizational capabilities. So, you should be able to demonstrate your ability to multitask when required.
A good answer to organizational skills interview questions and answers like this would be: In my previous job, I was responsible for keeping the office well-supplied and organized. The role involved multitasking in getting things done quickly and efficiently. So, I often had to juggle restocking the supply cabinet, fixing printer malfunctions, and managing stock records.
Over time, I developed an effective way to stay organized. Because of this, I could switch from one task to another depending on the priority level. My bosses recognized my ability to handle these demanding tasks efficiently and promoted me to a supervisory role.
Another question you’re more likely to get asked is whether your organizational skills have previously assisted you in excelling while working on a team. This behavioral question puts the spotlight on your organizational skills at work and your ability to handle teamwork.
Since the question focuses on behavioral aspects of your organizational skills, the star format should guide your answer.
Keeping in mind what star stands for, situation, task, action, and results, your answer to the question should go something like this.
I was once on a team responsible for organizing an event for the company (situation). The team leader tasked me with ensuring that the catering went according to plan (task).
As I planned the catering tasks, I came up with an activities and supplies list. With this list, I created a schedule based on each task’s priority level. Before finalizing my schedule, I collaborated with other team members to make sure that we could progress in sync. I asked everyone to assign a lead time (estimate) for each task to ensure we knew how much time each team member would take to complete a given task (action).
After days of hard work and smart collaboration, the event took place without a glitch. Our manager congratulated the entire team for a job well done. She singled me out as someone who stood out, thanks partly to my organizational skills and willingness to help my coworkers handle roles more effectively.
When it comes to organizational skills examples for interview, you may be asked to say which organizational techniques or strategies are most effective. It’s prudent to use the opportunity to highlight organizational methods you use regularly. You can tell the interviewer about your strategies for prioritization, tracking documents, and determining how well your workflow works.
Here’s what you could say:
In my last job, I came up with a weekly routine that helped make auditing administrative files more effective. During the early days in this role, I discovered that the existing system was inefficient and disorganized. The disorganization was because everyone referred to the database when looking for administrative files, leaving the physical documents in disarray.
So, I decided to do something about the situation. At that time, I realized that the task required physical organization and some degree of mental organization. This situation got me thinking about different organizational strategies that yielded results throughout my career and in my job at that time.
The most effective is prioritization, which is very useful when multitasking. I’m also a firm believer in goal setting to stay focused on a particular objective. In doing so, I avoid becoming disorganized in my workflow routine. For that reason, I rely heavily on these organizational skills at work. I also understand the importance of smartphone planners and calendars, desk organizers, smartphone reminders, and spreadsheets.
How to describe organizational skills on resume
Sharing organizational skills on your resume is vital to showcasing critical skills that employers are looking for. It’s a practical way to demonstrate your ability to handle tasks efficiently and effectively, even with minimal resources.
Examples of what you can list in your resume include:
- Good project management skills
- Attention to detail
- Time management
- Inventory tracking
- Strategic planning
- Coordinating events
There are factors to consider when deciding which organizational skills to include in your resume. For instance, matching specific organizational skills for the job description is vital. Roles that require considerable teamwork typically demand project management skills. Employers will begin to know whether you can work efficiently as a team.
Also, highlight situations where your organizational skill helped you achieve a particular objective. It’d be best to consider incorporating bullet points to highlight your skills.
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Founder of Eggcellentwork.com. With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.