Today's "Weekly Interview Prep" Question: Tell me about a challenge you faced in your last role, and how you overcame it.

Today's "Weekly Interview Prep" Question: Tell me about a challenge you faced in your last role, and how you overcame it.

POST A COMMENT with the answer you'd give in an actual interview. LIKE the responses you think are great answers. REPLY to fellow Jobcasers' comments to help them improve their responses--and their chances of getting hired soon!

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Margret Wilson
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I had a coworker who liked to take extra long breaks, leaving me to cover their tasks until they got back. It was really hard on me since it meant I was doing double duty during that time. I finally spoke with my coworker about needing to be back on time from breaks so I could focus on my work, and that if things didn't change, I would need to speak with our supervisor.

4y
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Michael O'Donnell
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Problem/Situation: The company's plant in China frequently received rare earth (RE) product which was out of specification and had to be rejected. The company purchased large quantities of RE on a nearly JIT basis and every lot rejected led to potentially halting finished product manufacturing and stressed global production targets. Often a supplier's Certificate of Analysis (COA) did not conform to the tolerances defined on the company's specification or sample testing in the company lab did not return the same results as the supplier's COA. Upon investigation, it turned out that each of the company's labs were evaluating samples using different specifications for the same RE element.

Actions:

  • Ensured all labs utilized a common set of specifications for analysis. Recruited global resources from each of the labs and Quality and R&D functions to collaborate on developing a common enterprise-wide specification for each RE element purchased.
  • Drafted a written sampling-analytical-dispute resolution protocol that defined manufacturer's lot size and identification rules, manufacturer's sampling methodology, required pre-shipment samples from each lot prior to delivery, analysis and approval of each pre-shipment sample by the buyer before release and shipment of that lot, as well defining the analytical process and lab equipment used in both the buyer's and the manufacturer's labs to populate the values documented on the COA for each lot. Also, outlined a detailed dispute resolution process in case the two sets of findings did not reconcile; the resolution procedure mandated the submission of retained samples from each party from each lot in question to pre-qualified third-party laboratories whose analytical results would then govern.
  • Visited each approved RE supplier, introduced the manufacturer to the protocol and garnered buy-in and commitment.

Results:

  • The company obtained a common set of RE specifications that applied to plants world-wide, a well-defined analytical process for each line on a supplier's RE COA and a requirement for analyzing pre-shipment samples prior to full delivery to avoid dealing with truckloads of rejected material and a slowdown to production scheduling.
  • Cost savings of 4.9% resulting from an upgrade in product shipped by the manufacturers. The company's specification for RE oxide basis was 95%, in order to conform to the standardized specifications the suppliers began to ship RE that was 99.9% RE oxide basis at the same price as the legacy product.
  • The manufacturers welcomed the new standard because of the clear expectations and requirements, equitable treatment of all manufacturers, and elimination of the rework and costs associated with rejected lots.
  • Because of the pre-shipment analysis requirement, the number of rejected shipments went to zero.
4y
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Steven Robertson
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The challenge - I had to deliver a technically in depth training course where the client was responsible for configuring the materials. Upon arriving on the site nothing was configured and contractually I could not put any systems on their network or install any software.

The result - I was able to configure what was needed on DVDs to deliver the course without violating any of the contractual agreements.

4y
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Suzanne Bennett
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I recognized that I have no business paying attention to what others may or may not do. The challenge is recognizing I had no control over how others handle their challenges at work. When this idea sunk in, I found my challenge was gone and I was able to bring a new curiosity, learning new skills to get ahead and the creativity that my "challenge" not only made me a better employee, it also made more open to other options on job in the company, because my bosses noticed the change in my attitude and job performance. A Hard and Good Lesson for me at least.

4y
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Nathan Holmes
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Feeling burned, stressed, and over-worked to meet production deadlines. I always felt pressured to volunteer for overtime in order to stay in the manager’s good graces. I created a list of personal guidelines and strategies to balance work and home then I scheduled a meeting with my supervisor to explain my concern and discuss a over-time monthly limit that would satisfy work and my personal time.

4y
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