Would you describe yourself as goal-driven?
Yes, and I demonstrated my goal orientation as president of the local Jaycees, a community-service organization. I am very proud of the fact that I set a goal of signing 50 new members by the end of the year, and I accomplished that.
Absolutely. One of my recent goals as sales manager was to get an underperforming account executive who had been with the company for six months to start performing better and start nearing or exceeding goals. During his six-month performance evaluation, we confronted the numbers head-on and discussed ways to increase sales. I encouraged the employee’s feedback and had him participate in generating ideas on how to boost sales, such as maximizing calls, managing his territory, and addressing his training needs. As a result, this salesperson hit his goals two of the last three months of the year and was close the third month. This was a big accomplishment for me as a manager because developing team members so they succeed is probably one of the most important goals a manager can have.
Stories, in fact, work well with most traditional interview questions, as in the following examples:
How did you choose this career?
My father and I have always shared a love for music. When I was young, he took me to see a famous classical guitar player. Before this concert, I had always viewed classical music as something boring that only my grandparents listened to. To see the guitarist fuse together jazz and classical with such virtuosity brought the music to life in a way I had never experienced before. This performance alone inspired me to engage in music studies. I started as a performance major in college but decided to switch to marketing. I love performing, but I would much rather reach the masses by promoting music on a larger scale “ in hopes that many young listeners can discover their love of music as I did.