I don’t believe in trying to get by with the least possible effort, and I am always willing to go beyond the call of duty to perform an assignment successfully. My anthropology class was given a group project in which each group had to teach a topic to the class for 50 minutes. I was a freshman and everyone in my group was either juniors or seniors, so I was very nervous and felt that I needed to prove myself. My topic was Botswana. I went online for hours, as well as to the library trying to find as much info as possible, but there just wasn’t enough to fill a 50-minute presentation. Instead of working with the little material that I had, I continued to search in other libraries. I ended up writing a very good paper. In addition, I taught myself how to use PowerPoint, and came up with a substantial slide show. I met with my group, and they were amazed at the work I had done. My team earned an A for the project.
Describe a time when you stood your ground for a principle you believed in.
When I was a bureau chief and reporter, my editor wanted an in-depth interview with the family of a young girl who’d fallen through the ice at a nearby lake and was in a coma with brain damage. We clashed on the morality and sensitivity of doing such a story for the sake of headlines, and I ultimately convinced the editor that shining a spotlight on a family so obviously grief-stricken was not a good course of action. We held the stories until after the girl recovered and was no longer in critical condition.
Tell me about a situation that tested your coping skills.
Two years ago, my brother committed suicide. I am a call-center representative, and people call with all sorts of problems that seemed very trivial to me in the state of mind I was in after my brother’s death. It was very hard to separate my pain and sadness from my professional life. I would mentally prep myself each day knowing that the people I was talking to did not know what happened. I had to detach myself so I could provide excellent customer service. I sought out special projects to complete for my manager until I was ready to return to the high pressures of my demanding job.