Advanced search

"How do you ensure quality whilst meeting tight deadlines?"

(11 Posts)
lljkk Mon 14-Jan-13 11:13:17

I have done such things before but so long ago I don't remember any true anecdotes. So might have to go with the "planning is key" theme. I can plan for England, so no problems there.

slhilly Mon 14-Jan-13 10:38:18

Re-reading your original question, you asked what the best answer was. I think the best possible answer would be if you could tell a short anecdote that described a situation in which you took some specific concrete actions that ensured you delivered high quality to a tight deadline. It should be 1 to 2mins long, and should demonstrate the key attributes you decide are most important (eg planning, check-ins, documentation). Key thing is to make it real for the interviewer, so they can see you really have done this before.

yuleheart Mon 14-Jan-13 10:34:46

I ran a really busy dept with sometimes ridiculously tight monthly deadlines and recently had to interview for an accounts clerk.

Did I employ the person who said 'I'm available for all overtime, I don't mind staying in the evening and coming in at weekends, I know things always go wrong at month end' ?

No, I employed the person who said:

'If we keep on top of everything throughout the month, pre-empt any crisis and work as a team that should give us some leeway at month end if anything goes wrong, which it won't grin.

And she turned out to be gem.

UsedToBeAPixie Mon 14-Jan-13 10:28:43

There's always that possibility! I would stay clear of offering extra hours unless it's brought up though - people I've interviewed have said that to me instead of the other answers and I wasn't sold as really, no one WANTS to do that! I'd much rather have an organised, proactive planner in my team ;)

slhilly Mon 14-Jan-13 10:27:44

A focus on the essentials, ie ruthless prioritisation and frequent discussion / check-ins in case the objectives / measures-of-success need to change because circumstances or understanding has changed.

There are often two different definitions of quality:
- do everything on the original list ("completeness")
- do what really counts to an exceptionally high standard
I find that people who want you to stay up all hours are often focused on the former when they should be focused on the latter.

stealthsquiggle Mon 14-Jan-13 10:25:47

I would be pretty sure they don't want that answer. I would include prioritising, ensuring realistic expectations, regular checkpoints with all "stakeholders" (awful phrase) as well as the obvious planning stuff.

lljkk Mon 14-Jan-13 10:20:56

Thanks, those are good.
I was thinking "planning is key", too.
BUT, I wondered if the answer they wanted was:
"I will work all hours staying until midnight and back in at 5am every day if I have to, in order to get the work done." In other words, maybe employer has a habit of setting rather unrealistic deadlines. hmm

yuleheart Mon 14-Jan-13 10:16:51

By being pro-active instead of re-active.

By having a clear understanding of my deadlines and the impact on others if these deadlines are not met.

By making sure I have all the resources and knowledge available to me to help me meet the deadlines.

UsedToBeAPixie Mon 14-Jan-13 10:07:19

What kind deadlines are we talking about? Depending on that I would mention things like:

*I make sure I know the deadlines/timescales I need to work to

*Make sure I know the bigger picture - ie what depends on my hitting that deadline and what are the consequences if I don't

*Plan out my project/report/daily tasks to ensure it's not done last minute and nothing is missed (you can expand this depending on the scale of the deadlines - use of Outlook calendar/diary, project plan, to do lists, milestone meetings etc...)

*Ensure I have the right resources before committing to a deadline (including time!)

Bit sleepy right now, but I'm sure more will occur to me...

Good luck!

LunaticFringe Mon 14-Jan-13 09:58:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lljkk Mon 14-Jan-13 09:48:01

What's the best answer to this question in an interview or on an application form?
(Forgive me for Shameless mining of MN minds)

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now