Decision Making

Preparing for the Decision Making Questions You May Face

In today’s job market, hiring managers need to understand potential employees before offering them a position. It is essential to invest in individuals who will positively contribute to the overall work environment and consistently do their best to be effective. As such, they don’t want to hear the same prepared answers to the expected questions. How you respond to an inquiry regarding your decision making skills can set you apart from the other candidates who applied for the position.

Depending on the type of job you are seeking, how you arrive at decisions and why you take actions is incredibly important to your professional success. Furthermore, employees who can make sound decisions under pressure are great assets to the enterprise’s market advancement. You may not be able to prepare for every single decision making question, but you can practice answering confidently. Remember, the way you answer a question reveals as much about you as the words of your response.

If you research the company, you will have a better idea of what they need, which gives you insight into what questions you might encounter. Additionally, knowing more about the company will help you tailor your responses to what the hiring manger wants to hear. Before your interview, ask a mentor or trusted friend to help you prepare. Set up a short mock interview and have him or her ask you common interview questions for your industry. Think about your responses and improve where you can.

Examples of Decision Making Questions

If you are beginning to advance through the ranks of your industry, you may not have encountered decision making questions before. Here are a few examples of what you can expect:

  • How do you plan to reach your professional goals?

    • What lead you to choose this career path?
  • Describe your typical process for making a decision and forming a plan of action.

  • Have you ever delayed choosing a course of action? How did that hesitation affect you, your customers and the overall business?

  • Do you find you make better decisions alone or with a group?

  • Have you ever had to make an important choice that did not necessarily fall into your specified job responsibilities? Briefly describe the situation, your decision and the effects of that decision.

  • How do you react to instances that require immediate decisions? How does the importance and intensity of the situation affect your thought process?

  • When working with colleagues on a joint project, how would you divide responsibilities? Also, how do you arrive at this choice?

  • Can you recount an occasion where you had to choose between equally viable options to accomplish a single goal? Explain your thought process.

  • When supervising employees, what is the best time and way to discuss possible shortcomings in their work?

    Keep in mind what kind of projects you are likely be responsible for in your new job. Try to align you responses with what will be expected of you in the industry. The interviewer really wants to see if you can roll with the punches and if you can make quality decisions when it counts.

    Tips for Answering Decision Making Questions

    Since you can’t predict what question the hiring manager will ask you, you won’t be able to write a stock answer in response. Anyway, memorized stock replies sound rehearsed and may indicate that you are treating this interview as a run-of-the-mill experience. A more candid reply will do a better job of conveying your enthusiasm for the industry and the position. No matter what form the question takes, keep your cool and remain confident.

    There is not a right or wrong answer to these questions. The interviewer just wants to know more about you and how you react in the work environment. As such, take care to use strong examples from your past work experiences. Before the interview, think about moments where you really excelled professionally. If a supervisor or co-worker has ever commended you on your decision making, this is likely a great experience to share with the hiring manager.

    Overall, you want to show that you can positively contribute to the working environment and make sound choices. Don’t be afraid to let your guard down a bit and highlight your professional triumphs. Of course, take care to not be overly self-complimentary, but do show off your best qualities.

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