Was there a time when you were overwhelmed with work?
Interviewers ask this question to see how well you handle stress. You'll need to stay calm and give an answer that demonstrates your attention to detail and how you work under pressure.
Don't get stressed out! You don't want to give the impression that you would be overwhelmed by work or react badly if faced with pressure.
Find out what to say by reading our guide to the STAR interview question. If you prepare with the right wording, you'll knock it out of the park in the interview room.
My manager gave me the responsibility of managing a large project with many moving parts
S - I remember a time when I was working on a large project that had many moving parts.
T - My manager gave me the responsibility of managing all of them, which was fine at first, but as the months went on, he kept adding more and more responsibilities to my plate. At one point, I felt like I had no idea what I was doing anymore.
A - I decided to take a step back and look at the big picture. Instead of focusing on each task individually, I looked at how they were connected and how they related to each other. This helped me see how they were all connected and how they fit into the overall project's goals and timelines.
R - After taking some time to put everything in perspective, I was able to come up with a plan for how best to manage my tasks so that each one could be completed without having an impact on any other aspect of the project.
My manager asked me to make sure our products were always in stock and ready for sale
S - I remember when I was working at [company name] and the manager asked me to take on more responsibilities.
T - He needed someone to make sure our products were always in stock and ready for sale, but he didn't have time to do it himself.
A - I took over as the product manager and made sure we always had enough inventory on hand so that customers could find what they needed without delay. I was able to do this by communicating with vendors and suppliers, but also by keeping track of what items sold well in which stores. By tracking sales trends, I could see if we needed to order more of one item or another.
R - This was a big responsibility for me because it meant making sure all our products were available when customers wanted them—but it also helped me develop my skills as an employee who is capable of taking on new challenges!
My manager gave me a lot of tasks to complete and they were all high-priority
S - There was a time when I was overwhelmed with work. It was the first month of my job as a [position name] and I had to learn so much. My manager gave me a lot of tasks to complete and they were all high-priority. I felt like I could not keep up with everything that was expected of me.
T - I felt like the most important thing for me at the time was to get familiar with how things worked at my company and learn as much as possible about my role.
A - I decided to focus on just one task at a time. For example, when my manager asked me to do something in our database, I would do it before moving on to another task or project.
R - This helped me learn how everything works within my company and also allowed me to make sure that each task was completed correctly before moving on to something else.
It was difficult to get everything done on time.
S - I once found myself in a situation where I was overwhelmed with work.
T - I had been given so many tasks at the same time, and it was difficult to get everything done on time. My manager did not give me much direction on how to complete the tasks, so I had to figure out how to do them on my own.
A - I decided to go back through my previous work and determine which tasks had been completed successfully, which ones hadn't been completed yet, and which ones had been started but could be easily finished by someone else. From there, I decided which tasks would be best suited for other people and delegated them accordingly.
R - This approach helped me organize my priorities and delegate effectively. The result was that I was able to complete all of my assigned tasks without having any negative consequences because they were done on time.
As a junior graphic designer, I redesigned the company's marketing materials
S - It was my first job as a junior graphic designer.
T - I had been assigned to redesign the company's marketing materials, which included brochures, web banners, and social media graphics. The project was quite large, so I was given an assistant who would help me with some of the tasks.
A - I felt overwhelmed at first because I wanted to get things done perfectly and there were so many tasks on my plate. However, I quickly realized that if we worked together closely, we could accomplish more than either of us could have done alone. We began by dividing up the tasks and then working together on each one. We also shared feedback after each task was completed and discussed how we could improve it.
R - In total, we were able to complete all of our tasks within two days! This meant that we had some time left over to brainstorm ideas for new projects before they were due.