Tell me about a time when you failed to complete a task or project on time, despite intending to do so.
During my third year at university I failed to deliver my year 3 project by the due date. This was because I was heavily involved in cutting-edge research right up until the end of my course and was waiting for imminent results from surveys being undertaken by researchers at other academic institutions.
Considering this was my final piece of academic work in third year, I wanted to ensure it was based on the most accurate and up-to-date sources of information available, even if this meant a delay in production. To ensure no marks were deducted from my essay, I contacted my course director and personal tutor two weeks before my dissertation due date to discuss my particular situation. I argued my case, and was consequently allowed an extra two weeks to produce my work.
Although my work was delayed, I feel that this delay was justified in that the work was of the highest quality it could be. Furthermore, I sufficiently organised myself in relation to my department and tutors, so that all relevant people were aware of a possible delay in the production of my project
Give an example of where you have seen an opportunity to improve something and have acted upon it. What did you do? What happened as a result?
When I was working at Vodafone I realised that all of the accessories were cluttered and in no particular order. I approached my manager and informed him that it was difficult for customers to find headphones, memory cards, cases etc and more and more customers were asking staff members if they had specific accessories in store which were not obviously visible on the display.
As a result, I asked my manager for permission to put the products in alphabetical order on the shelf and according to size so as to increase sales and make it easier for customers to find what they were looking for. The manager agreed and the situation was improved dramatically.
Delegation skills :
I think one area I could work on is my delegation skills. I am always so concerned about everything being done right and on time that I can get stuck in that mentality of “If you want it done right, do it yourself.” Unfortunately, that’s not always possible and I’ve realized that I can slow things down if I am too controlling
I signed up to become a Store Form Representative within Tesco help with this.
At tesco, I had manage a new starter at a different counter (pizza) while her manager was away for 2 weeks. I have never had to do this before so this was a huge educational experience for me in many ways. It taught me how to delegate tasks within my counter effectivly and efficiently while I could spend my time with making the new starter feel more comfortable and confidient.
What steps would you take to ensure you gained as much as possible from the Programme?
Standard Life are committed to developing its employees and empowering them to make decisions and provide them with confidence to distil complex information when doing so. I would remain focused and adaptable when learning new training. Not only that, I would also commit to personal development strategies in order to skyrocket my potential within this organisation. This may involve taking park in exams to strengthen my current qualifications, participating in secondments, other work experience initiatives and also volunteering myself for more challenging roles. As a current law student, I am familiar with the benefits of adhering to regulatory responsibilities. I would ensure that I continue to contribute to the achievement of your overall business goals and objectives as an individual or working within a team. If I am accepted for this role, I plan to stay for the long term.
What would you describe as your strengths and your development areas?
I’m an adept problem solver. I thrive at taking a problem and looking at it from every angle. I enjoy work that challenges me and pushes me to think outside the box. I enjoy situations where I am allowed to work with other people to come up with creative solutions. My business was faced with an issue and I had to come up with ways to increase our work flow without decreasing our accuracy. By analysing what every employee was doing and finding ways to work together more efficiently, I was able to not only streamline the process, but made it possible for us to beat our previous deadline by three days with a superior product as an end result. There is always room for improvement, When faced with a project I sometimes find it difficult to get started as I generally have lots of creative ideas. The way I try to overcome this is to start with the end in mind. Once I have established what the result has to be I can then list all the important points to get there. When I have the order ready, I can then tackle the beginning and my creative flair can be added along the way.
Tell us about a specific situation when you identified a particular development need. What action did you take to address this need? What was the outcome?
I have had problems in the first year of my degree with taking on too many projects and then not delivering quality and, in some cases, not delivering on time. I was simply stretched too thin in too many areas with not enough time to deliver in a quality manner. I think that’s the problem as a new undergraduate student, you want to do everything and be involved in everything. However, I’ve learned that I’m not at my best when I have too many conflicting priorities. I’ve had to cut back on some of the less important extracurricular activities to focus on delivering my academic projects with the highest quality. In my third year of University, I had several essays that were due the same week, so I met with my supervisor to prioritise the delivery schedule. She helped me focus on both the timing and the quality of the work. In the end, all three projects were submitted with high quality results.
What do you hope to gain from the Graduate/Intern Programme? (max 250 words)
I hope to prove myself after being given the opportunity to lead an operations team unit. I will gain the knowledge needed to effectively train and lead the team in order to meet the company objectives. The opportunity to work in this company presents an enlightening proposition for me to learn from some of the best minds in the field. I am hoping to be equipped with the skills and knowledge to move forward in my career. One of the reasons I want to work for this company is your reputation for staff development. Learning and growth are important values to me. I want to continue to gain experience and become a top performing employee in a company such as this one. I want to contribute as much as possible to the organisations expansion and success. I sincerely believe I am the right person for this job and for this company. My goal is to be the best at whatever level I am working at within the company.
QUESTIONS AT END
How is success in this role evaluated?
Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?