Profit margins are thin, competition is high, and employers expect a lot from their employees. Welcome to the corporate world of 21st century. In most places you will have your hands full. Packed schedule, deadlines, weekly, monthly and quarterly goals. Daily meetings to attend, phone calls to make, emails to answer. It isn’t easy to handle the workload in a modern corporation while staying sane and working less than sixty hours a week, even if you are organized. That’s probably the main reason why hiring managers try to understand your level of organization, and whether you can handle the workload without getting crazy and experiencing a burnout.
As a rule of a thumb, you should avoid short answers. Saying that you consider yourself organized and not elaborating on such a claim will easily create an impression that you say so simply because you know they are looking to hire someone who is organized. Try to add something to your answer. Explain what you do to stay organized at work, how various routines and tools help you to handle the heavy workload and meet your deadlines.
And if you struggle with something, admit it in an interview. Hiring managers know that nobody is perfect, and they prefer to hire honest candidates. What’s more, we cannot address any problem without acknowledging it first. So if you struggle with something while organizing your daily schedule, you can definitely admit it. Ensure the interviewers that you are aware of the problem, and try your best to get rid of it, or at least improve on your weakness. Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to the question, including answers for fresh graduates, experienced people, as well as couple of unconventional answers.
7 sample answers to “How organized are you?” interview question
- I would say I am quite well organized. I try to keep things simple. Daily and weekly schedule, tasks with different priorities, and staying focused while in the office. Of course, the workload can get heavy sometimes, as it happened in my last job. On such days I do not have an issue with staying a bit longer at work, or asking my manager to assign some of my tasks to one of my colleagues, someone who’s schedule isn’t as packed as mine. It happens to me rarely that I miss a deadline, which is another reason why I consider myself well organized. Having said that, there is always room for improvement, and I am definitely open to learning new ways of working even more efficiently.
- This is my first job application, so I cannot tell about experiences from work. But I was quite well organized at school, always having clear priorities, and knowing what I should do in order to achieve my goals. I do not find it hard to plan my days properly, to allocate enough time to studies, house chores, exercising, and other activities. And I sincerely believe to be able to transform this into the workplace, though I am aware that the level of pressure will be much higher than it is at school. But I feel ready for the challenge.
- To be honest, organization does not belong to my strengths. I do sometimes panic, and struggle to organize myself at work. That’s why it is crucial for me to have a boss, someone who excels in planning and organization, and can help me with my schedule and goals. I have thrived under such leadership in my last job, and did not struggle with my work. But the company has suffered because of the pandemic, I had to leave, and now I am looking for a new job.
- I would say that it depends on the level of pressure I experience in the workplace. When the pressure is low or moderate, I do not struggle to organize myself, and take care of all my duties. When the workload gets heavy and I become stressed, however, I sometimes make wrong decisions or do not know what to work on first, and it eventually results in delays and other problems. I am aware of my weakness and started to work with a mental coach recently, in order to learn to handle stressful situations better. Without a doubt it will help, and I can already see first fruits of our cooperation.
- Organization is one of my greatest strengths. But I do not rely on my mind and memory only. On the contrary, I use modern tools such as project management software, online calendar with notifications, and other tools that make it easier for me to stay organized, and help me decide how to allocate my time at work. In my opinion, I did a great job as a manager in my last place of work, and my organizational and time management skills played a vital role in the process. I hope to achieve the same results, if not better, while working for your company.
- I’ve never worked anywhere before, so it is hard to assess how organized I am at work. But I can assure you that I am responsible, and I do care about my results and my colleagues, and I will try my best to meet deadlines, and handle the workload to your satisfaction. What’s more, this is an entry level job. In my opinion, entry level jobs are for us to learn, and one of the things I hope to learn in your company is how to stay organized and effective in a fast-paced environment.
- I definitely see room for improvement in my organization and time management skills. Because it happens to me often than I spend too much time with unproductive tasks, such as replying to emails–some of which do not even require my reply–instead of focusing on the core of my job. But I am aware of this problem, try to learn to manage my time better, and see a new job as an opportunity to do so.
Ready to answer this question? I hope so! do not forget to check sample answers to other tricky interview questions though:
- Are you a perfectionist?
- What motivates you at work?
- Tell us about a time when you had to meet a tight deadline.