Important Multitasking Interview Questions & Answers (2022)
Multi-tasking interview questions and answers. Hiring managers frequently ask interview questions regarding multitasking to gain a better understanding of your experience and talents. Some businesses place a premium on multitasking and require new workers who grasp the value of prioritizing. Multitasking successfully has a number of benefits, including higher productivity, which aids organizations in the allocation of daily work.
What does it mean to multitask?
Multitasking is the act or talent of juggling many tasks at the same time. Employees are regularly required to manage many projects or activities at once. An executive assistant, for example, frequently takes notes during meetings while individuals talk.
They both listen and write to ensure that the meeting is properly documented.
Related: What do you bring to the table? (Interview Question)
What to avoid saying in your answer
Don't exaggerate the truth. You'll very certainly be caught, and you'll lose the job offer or the position after you've been employed. Even if you are able to deceive your way into the job, you are unlikely to be satisfied in your new position. Why? Because, no matter how much you've persuaded the recruiting manager, you're not a good fit.
Make sure you don't seem disorganized. Being able to multitask well entails being able to alter attention quickly. Make sure your response proves that you can finish tasks and achieve goals rather than working on many projects at the same time.
How to give the best answer
Determine if multitasking is a prerequisite for the work. Read the job posting carefully, giving special attention to the prerequisites part. Whether this profession demands multitasking or concentrated attention should be quite evident. Emphasize the abilities that are relevant to the position.
Demonstrate your ability to build coping techniques in the face of adversity. Let's imagine you're not a natural multi-tasker, but you need to be able to manage numerous tasks as part of your job. In this situation, discuss what you've done to prepare yourself for success in that sort of setting.
Related: What is your biggest failure? (Interview Question)
How to respond to multitasking interview questions
Consider the job description as you prepare your response. Would multitasking be beneficial in this profession, or would it be seen as an indication that you can't concentrate on one task at a time?
Match your credentials to the position and emphasize the talents that are most important to the business once you've worked out what the interviewer is searching for.
If you're seeking a job as a graphic designer on a busy design team, for example, bring examples about how you deal with various deadlines, responsibilities, and demands to the interview. Then, be sure to list any hard talents you have, such as software packages that are required for the position.
Related: Describe your sales experience
Multitasking-related job interview questions and sample answers
To help you prepare for your next interview, here are some sample multitasking questions and answers:
- What exactly is multitasking, in your own words?
- Do you have any multitasking experience?
- What are the advantages of multitasking?
- What is the key to multitasking success?
- Can you give an example of a moment when you needed to multitask? What was it about the circumstance that made multitasking necessary?
- What criteria do you use to set your priorities?
- Can you describe a situation in which you had to listen and write at the same time?
1. Define multitasking in your own words.
Individuals having a rudimentary comprehension of the phrase should be considered for roles that involve multitasking as part of the work. To the best of your abilities, define the phrase and give an example of a time when you employed multitasking in the past. If you can't think of a moment when you effectively multitask, use a hypothetical scenario to tie it to the present position you're applying for.
"Multitasking, in my opinion, is defined as doing numerous things or performing multiple activities at the same time. It aids in the completion of activities at a faster rate, increasing productivity. In my previous profession, there was a moment when I needed to use a headset to listen to a client while conversing with another customer in person.
I opened two instances of our customer support software, one for each of the two customers. I fill up the appropriate fields with their information. After a few seconds on the phone, I concluded with the customer and turned my whole attention to the customer in person."
Related: What's your ideal job?
2. Have you ever tried multitasking before?
When an interviewer asks this question, he or she is looking for further information about your past multitasking experience. It's a critical talent in almost any career, but if you can't recall a moment when you utilized it in prior employment, think about your personal life. Explain your experience and what you learned as much as you can.
"Back in high school, I was in charge of a group project. We only had less than 24 hours to do it, and I was in charge of both team management and a single assignment. Team members came to me for help when difficulties emerged during the day. Because it distracted me from my core objective, I devised a different solution.
I instructed my team members to SMS me the specifics of their problem. I took a break after spending a significant amount of time on my core assignment to deal with some of the incoming difficulties from others."
3. What are the advantages of multitasking?
Interviewers may ask you to describe the advantages of multitasking in order to assess your comprehension of its significance. List some of the advantages you associate with multitasking based on your personal and professional experience.
"Multitasking was something I used to do at past jobs and in college. Depending on the activities involved, it might be a tough talent to master, but it can save a firm time and money. Duties require less time to complete, resulting in little or no overtime and enabling employees to shift their focus to other tasks. As a result, it boosts productivity by allowing people to finish more work during the day."
4. What is the key to multitasking success?
There are no right or wrong responses to this issue in general. Interviewers frequently ask this question to learn about your personal perspective on multitasking and how it works best for you. Consider all of the times you've utilized your multitasking abilities and figure out what worked best for you each time.
Related: STAR Method
"Prioritization is the only way to multitask successfully. A mixture of tasks is referred to as multitasking. You divide each task into smaller tasks and arrange them in a priority order. The talent is recognizing which activities are more essential than others and focusing on those jobs first, which is commonly done in the heat of the moment. You excel at accomplishing all of your responsibilities after you grasp which activities are the most important."
5. Can you describe a situation in which you had to multitask? What was it about the circumstance that made multitasking necessary?
When an interviewer asks this question, he or she is usually looking for further information on why you believed multitasking was the best option. Introduce a circumstance from your past, then go into depth about why you picked multitasking as your strategy.
"In a previous job, there was a day when I concentrated only on a high-priority task. While doing so, management convened an all-hands meeting for my department over the phone. I couldn't leave my desk, so I joined the call and continued working.
I knew I had to keep working since my present assignment was so important. I decided to multitask since I needed to do both tasks at the same time because they were both critical."
6. What factors do you consider while deciding on your priorities?
Instead of addressing the talent of multitasking directly, interviewers might use this question to gain a better understanding of your mental process while multitasking. They must realize that you excel at prioritizing the most important tasks first. Consider all of the times you've multitasked in the past and how you prioritized each activity.
"When it comes to prioritization, I have my own set of rules. I start by looking at any deadlines that have been set. Few projects, for example, are due on the same day that management assigns them. I have the power to postpone them if required. The time it takes to perform a task is the next factor to consider. In many circumstances, I put the more straightforward jobs first. As a result, I am able to get more done during the day.
I break down projects into smaller targets if I have to multitask and do all things in the same period of time. I assess which smaller objectives are more important for completing the entire assignment and prioritize them first."
7. Can you describe an instance when you had to simultaneously listen and write?
Multitasking includes listening and writing, which is especially useful for individuals in aiding jobs. This is a frequent question asked by interviewers to learn how you handle multitasking in a specific and common circumstance. Consider your prior experience and recall a period when you had to listen and write at the same time in order to accomplish several goals.
"I used to work as an administrative assistant. Inputting data and answering phones were also important aspects of the work. While on the phone with my boss, I had to make a change to an old record in our bookkeeping program. He walked through it rapidly because there was a lot of information. I had to keep track of every figure he said and keep up with his pace.
I went to a notepad and utilized shorthand for every number to keep up. I realized how critical it is to come up with new ideas on the spur of the moment. While multitasking, using the notebook was quite beneficial."
What is a good example of multi-tasking?
Good examples of multi-tasking are listening to a podcast while working or writing. In an office setting, answering phone calls while filling out forms, is another good example of multi-tasking. Successful multitasking is when two or more jobs or tasks can be accomplished at the same time. Usually, there is a primary task and a secondary task.
How would you describe your ability to multi-task?
Here's how to answer an interview question about multitasking skills:
"I would describe my ability to juggle conflicting priorities at a high bar. I'm capable of managing multiple projects and multiple tasks at the same time. I think of this as my ability to reach a critical stopping point with one project and then have the ability to switch tasks. And then repeat this process. In addition, when multiple things need to get accomplished in a single week, I tend to batch tasks. Or when multiple deadlines need to get met, I plan out my weeks according to large, medium, and small tasks."
Our favorite resources are included below.
Job interview resources
- Common Interview Questions by Marquette University
- Prepare for Behavioral Interview Questions by Marquette University
- Preparing for Job Interviews by the University of Kansas
- Mock Interview Handbook by CSUCI
- Interview Guidebook by Lebanon Valley College
Resume and cover letter resources
- Writing a Resume and Cover Letter by USC
- Resume Writing Tips by the University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Resume and Cover Letter Guide by Harvard University
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