Competency Interview Questions in Time Management

Competency questions for time management will be asked by interviewers for most jobs, from office work to managerial positions. In any job sector, time management is an essential skill to have, as it ensures you can meet most deadlines, tackle problems quickly and will be easy to work with in terms of planning and organising projects.

What type of questions will I be asked?

You'll find that most competency questions in time management will ask for examples. Your interviewer will want to know a particular situation that displays good time management skills, how you dealt with the situation, and the result. Or, they may simply ask straight forward questions that require a simple answer, but your specific answer will dictate whether or not you have good time management skills.

The list below highlights some of the most common competency questions in time management you should expect in an interview. These questions could be for any level of job - from entry positions to graduate positions.

Typical Competency Questions

  • Tell me about a time you had many tasks to complete at the same time; how did you prioritize? How did you keep track of your progress?
  • Describe a situation where your approach or project had to be changed due to a setback. What was the setback? How did you deal with the situation?
  • How well do you deal with tight deadlines?
  • How do you respond to sudden changes to plans, changes to deadlines or additional pressure?
  • Give me an example of how you've handled heavy workloads in the past.
  • Can you give an example of time when you have to sacrifice the quality of a project to meet the deadline? What did you sacrifice, and how did you come to this decision?

How to Answer Competency Questions

When answering competency questions for time management skills, you should start by first outlining a situation, describing what you did in that situation (remembering to keep your answer specific to time management skills) and what the results was after your intervention.

You should always use actual accounts when providing examples, and avoid ficitious stories. Before any interview, spend some time thinking back to previous roles and try to recall some situations where you displayed excellent time management skills. If your experience didn't end as well as you hoped, you can still use it as an example in an interview, but you should always assure the interviewer that you learnt a valuable lesson and haven't made the same mistake again.

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