Companies love to put plenty of motivational phrases and “power words” on their job ads, while describing your future duties and responsibilities. They try to sell you the offer, make you interested in the job, convince you to apply for the position. In reality though, 90% of all jobs are highly repetitive, and it doesn’t matter whether we talk about manual labor, or about office jobs in big corporations. You will have your routine, and will have to take care of repetitive tasks. Week after week, day after day, hour after hour. Logically they wonder how you handle it.
The question isn’t as difficult as it may seem for someone new to the world of interviews, however. As a rule of a thumb, you should try to convince the hiring managers that you either do not mind repetitive tasks, or outright prefer them, or, despite the fact that you do not like them, you can and will handle them, because you understand they belong to the job, and you won’t meet your goals unless you take care of them. You can do this with a variety of answers, and we will have a look at seven interesting sample answers now.
7 sample answers to “How do you handle repetitive tasks?” interview question
- Speaking honestly, I actually prefer repetitive tasks. Each of us has some strengths and weaknesses, and I can admit that I am not the most creative or intelligent person in the city. Hence I prefer to have my routine, and leave the job with a clear mind right after the shift. This is much easier to do when you take care of simple repetitive tasks than when you deal with some elaborate problems. And getting bored from repetition? Well, I know why I go to work, and it motivates me to try to do well, because I obviously need a job to earn money.
- In my personal opinion, no job is completely repetitive, as long as you have the right attitude to it. I know that I will do the same things here with almost every customer, even saying the same words to everyone. Still, every person is different, many things do happen in a busy restaurant on a daily basis, and I have good attention to detail. What I try to say her is that my way of handing repetitive tasks consists in enjoying the little nuances that actually make them much less repetitive as they may originally seem.
- Repetitive tasks have one big advantage–after some time you do them almost subconsciously. What does it mean? You do not have to think about them anymore. Your hands simply take care of stuff, and you can think about whatever you want. And I am a thinker, and enjoy thinking. So it easily happens that physically I am in the factory, at the assembly line, doing repetitive tasks, but in my mind I am somewhere else, dreaming, planning, remembering, and before I know it is the end of the shift and we go home. That’s how I handle repetitive tasks.
- This is my first ever job application, and hence I do not have much experience with repetitive work–or any other work. Of course, I dream of creative jobs in the future, something in marketing or even in research and development. But I am also realistic about my chances. Look, I still study, have no experience and no degree. The only jobs I can realistically get are manual jobs in retail stores, fast food restaurants, and so on. And such jobs are repetitive by nature. Will I enjoy them? I cannot tell. Maybe most people do not enjoy such jobs. But I need money to support my studies, and I know that unless I meet the expectations of the employer, I won’t retain the job. That’s why you can be sure I will try my best every day at work, regardless of whether I enjoy the repetition or not.
- I handle repetitive tasks by constantly trying to perfect the way I do them. Let me explain. Even if you just prepare a burger–the same every time, or do a quality check of some product–again the same product a hundred times over each day, you can always try to do it better. Perhaps you can manage more checks in an hour, or minimize the number of mistakes, or arrange those ingredients in the burger a bit better. I make such personal challenges, and you can even call it a form of gamification. In any case, it helps me to handle repetitive tasks, and to actually enjoy the process.
- Speaking from my last working experience, the team in the workplace can help a lot. Because it isn’t only about the job you do. It is also about people you share the workplace with, conversations you have, and so on. I had amazing colleagues in my last job in a restaurant. We worked hard, but we also had a lot of fun, and the place had a good vibe in general. When you are surrounded by nice people and have interesting interactions with both colleagues and customers, you find it much easier to handle the repetition. Or at least that’s how it worked for me.
- So far I haven’t had to handle them, because I had the job that required a lot of thinking, and I faced new challenges in the office daily. Initially I though how lucky I am to have such a job, that I will grow a lot in it, and learn so many things. But I quickly realized I was wrong. It isn’t easy on the mind to always have to deal with something new. Soon enough I couldn’t stop thinking. Driving home, eating dinner with my partner, trying to fall asleep–I always had these problems on my mind. Sleep deprivation followed, and things sort of spiraled out of control from there. I experienced a burnout, and had to quit my job. At the moment, simple repetitive job is exactly what I am seeking in my life. I do not want to strain myself mentally any longer. Hence I am actually looking forward to repetitive tasks, though I cannot tell yet how I will handle them.
* Special Tip: This isn’t the most difficult question you will face while interviewing for any decent job. You will face questions about prioritization, dealing with pressure, solving problems, and other tricky scenarios that happen in any workplace. If you want to make sure that you stand out with your answers and outclass your competitors, have a look at our Interview Success Package. Up to 10 premium answers to 50 tricky scenario based questions (+ more) will make your life much easier in the interviews. Thank you for checking it out!
Your attitude matters more than anything else
Regardless of what you have done before, and whether you enjoy repetition or not, hiring managers care mostly about your attitude. When you read the seven sample answers on my list, you can observe a certain pattern: Regardless of their past, experience, and preferences, all candidates show their desire to do the job well, and to take care of repetitive duties.
And that’s exactly what the hiring managers are looking for. Perfect jobs do not exist. You will enjoy some tasks more, and some tasks less (unless you hate everything in your job, but in such a case you should simply leave it and look for something else). This is a reality of every workplace. Ensure the interviewers that you will take care of all duties, regardless of how repetitive they are…
Ready to answer this question? I hope so! Do not forget to check also sample answers to other tricky interview questions:
- How do you handle multiple deadlines?
- Why should we hire you?
- Tell me about a time you had to make a major change to your daily routine.