Describe an instance when you had to think on your feet to extricate yourself from a difficult situation.
When I was a resident assistant at my college, a student I did not know asked me if he could use my phone to call another room. Although I did not know the student, I allowed him into my room. He used the phone and in the course of his conversation, he stated that he had just come from a fraternity party and was high from taking some drugs. After this conversation, I had to enforce the student conduct code by writing him up. He became very hostile toward me and would not give me any identification or information. I stood in the doorway to prevent him from leaving. I noted the serial numbers on his keys, so when the situation got to the point where I felt unsafe, I allowed him to leave. I still performed my job without jeopardizing my or his physical welfare.
Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.
I had a client come into the bank where I worked and request a $5,000 personal loan to “pay off some bills.” In the customary review process, I determined that what was really needed was a $25,000 debt-consolidation loan. Rather than giving the customer a “quick-fix” to the problem, I logically solved the problem in a way that was in the best interest of both the bank and the client.
Give an example of a time in which you had to be relatively quick in coming to a decision.
This situation happens often in the IT industry, but one recent example was when we had a core backbone switch die. It died at the worst possible time “ during a crunch production period “ as they always seem to do, and I needed to get it back up and running quickly. I analyzed the logs and system status, and using my previous experience, I made some quick decisions that rectified the problem and got the equipment back up only minutes later.