Are you a team player?
Absolutely. I once had a supervisor who did not have computer skills, but she was an excellent typist. Our computer system was very finicky and old, and the least quirk could render it inoperable. My typing skills were less than impressive, but I had better computer skills and more importantly, I could quickly learn these old computer programs, and I was sometimes able to fix problems with the computer. Between the two of us, we produced a newsletter, several reports, and fundraising appeals. She had faith in me to deal with the computer and the patience to allow me to type at my own best speed, though she had no problem with contributing to the typing when we were under tight deadlines. In return I contributed my strong sales abilities in contacting contributors, which increased donations for our silent auction by 35 percent, which in turn increased our profits from a fundraising event. She rewarded me with the chance to single-handedly organize a new fundraiser in a smaller setting, and she acknowledged my efforts to the board members.
Do you handle pressure well?
Yes, and a good example came in the aftermath of Hurricane Rita when communications were virtually shut off. I had to respond appropriately to whatever problem arose and react very quickly without intervention from my supervisor or home-office support. I had to prioritize my own challenges and responses and come up with an action plan to fix whatever came along while conforming to company policy and procedures. It made me feel in control of the situation and fed my desire and ability to be a true leader.
Yes. My past experience as an Administrative Coordinator required me to deal with many serious situations since I held emergency on-call duties as a supervisor. One example was when I was called by a Resident Assistant to deal with an attempted suicide on her residence-hall floor. The situation required that I think clearly and quickly in this life-and-death situation. I had to weigh the many tasks that needed to be completed. I had to assign RAs to call 911, make sure the paramedics could get into the locked building, while at the same time applying first aid, and ensuring that the rest of the residents on the floor were OK. I also had to make sure the privacy of the resident in need was respected. I basically prioritized and dealt with each task by its importance. I delegated responsibility to RAs for things that they were capable of handling because I could not physically be in many places at once. Once the resident was taken to the hospital, I handled the paperwork and follow up to make sure the staff members, residents, and the resident in need adjusted back to “normal” life. I know this is an extreme example not found in the financial consulting field; however, it shows just how well I can deal with tremendous pressure.