It may surprise you, but you may have to organize something in almost every job. In some cases you will organize events, meetings, or workers on a shift. In other cases, you will organize “only” your work, and your own schedule, making sure that you manage to reach your goals and meet the deadlines. One way or another, when there is a certain level of independence at work, we have to organize ourselves. And that’s exactly the reason why the hiring managers may ask you this question in many different job interviews. Before we look at seven sample answers to it, I’d like to point out two important things you should remember.
First one, example situation is always the best answer. It you’ve worked anywhere before, best way of describing your organizational skills is narrating a situation in which you demonstrated such skills. Second one, do not hesitate to admit that you still see some room for improvement. Organizational skills may belong to your strengths. Nevertheless, you always strive to improve on your skills, and are not complacent with the status quo. That’s the attitude hiring managers seek in the best job candidates. Let’s proceed to the sample answers:
7 sample answers to “How would you describe your organizational skills?” interview question
- I would describe them as proven by experience. I worked in event management for seven years. My responsibilities ranged all the way from planning an event from scratch to overseeing the staff members when it finally took place. As you can imagine, I had to organize a lot of things–venue, technicians, catering, temporary staff , and so on, and so forth. It was not always easy, and we faced many challenges, but most events ended up and enormous success, and I believe that they are a testimony to my excellent organizational skills.
- So far the only thing I have to organize is my own life. This is my first job application, and my organizational skills–when it comes to organizing other people or resource–have not been tested yet. However, I believe to have a sense for planning and management, because I succeeded in managing my life well so far. Finding good balance between studying, sports, and arts, I came to a point when I really enjoy my life, and look forward to what’s next. Can I transition it to the workplace, when organizing other people? I am confident I can, and hope to get a chance to prove my words in the job with you.
- I think a situation from my last job describes them the best. We were in the midst of pandemic, and suddenly 30% of employees had to stay at home–they either contracted the virus or were in contact with people who got it. So I had only 70% of employees for 100% of work. What you do in such a case? Well, first of all, I called all staffing agencies in the city, to get some extra manpower. Then I tried to understand the workload on every shift, and allocate both permanent and temporary workers accordingly. I also had to motivate the people, and convince them to stay overtime, which was not easy to do, but I promised some bonuses and also went by an example, also staying overtime. Eventually we managed the situation, met the deadlines, didn’t let our customers wait, even though we lacked 30% of workers for two weeks. I believe it demonstrates that I can organize people and resources, and won’t crack under pressure.
- I definitely see some room for improvement when it comes to my organizational skills. Speaking from experience, I sometimes struggle to allocate my time effectively, and to organize my day at work in a meaningful way. As a result I often had to stay overtime in my last job, in order to finish the workload for the day. However, I believe that practice makes perfect, and the longer I work in the corporate sphere, the better I will manage to organize both myself and the others.
- This is my first-ever job application, and I cannot say that my organizational skills have been tested yet in the workplace. I can tell about example from sport, however. Being an avid runner, I organized some races for local community. And such an organization demands a lot from you. You need to get a permit, plan the race, promote it, get the volunteers for aid stations, and then organize everything on the day to make sure athletes enjoy the experience. What’s more, I got no money whatsoever for my efforts–everything went back into the organization of the race, and the prizes for the winners. When I think about it now, I feel that I can organize events that people enjoy, and hope to benefit from it in my professional career as well.
- I would describe my organizational skills as in the making. One cannot really learn certain things in theory, or by daydreaming. You have to try stuff to learn it. And that’s exactly the case with my organizational skills. Because so far I always worked on my own, and had a superior. Sure enough, I managed to organize my time at work, and had no problem of working without supervision. But organizing a team of people or an event is a completely different level, and the only way I can learn to do it is by experience. I can assure you that I am motivated to learn and work hard on my organizational skills, and hopefully you will give me a chance to prove my words in the job.
- Being completely honest with you, I’d describe them as mediocre. I was responsible for a lot of stuff in my last corporate job. And I have to admit that I haven’t always managed to organize my time, or time of my colleagues properly. Instead of looking for excuses, however, or blaming someone else for my mistakes, I try to look backwards and understand what I could have done better. And I came up with many ideas: having more frequent one on one meetings with key employees, empowering certain people in the team to lessen my own workload when it comes to making decision and organizing daily workload, and so on, and so forth. I sincerely hope that I’ve learned from my mistakes, and will do better in your company when it comes to organization and management.
Honesty can take you a long way in the interviews
People typically focus on their strengths in the interviews, while trying to stand out and win the job. And while it is generally a good strategy, because at the end of the day you try to present yourself in the best possible way, you should not forget that employers understand a perfect job candidate doesn’t exist. Everyone has some weaknesses, and being able to admit them openly is actually a strength not many of us posses.
What I try to convey here is that organizational skills aren’t typically that crucial for the job. You can pick them as an area of improvement, and this interview question is a great opportunity to do so. Check sample answer no. 7 on my list as a great example.
Answers to other tricky interview questions
This isn’t the only difficult question you will face while interviewing for any decent job. You will face questions about prioritization, dealing with pressure, dealing with ambiguity, and other tricky scenarios that happen in the 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 31 tricky scenario based questions (+ more) will make your life much easier in the interviews. Thank you for checking it out, and good luck in your interview!
May also interest you:
- What are your career aspirations?
- How would you describe your communication skills?
- What is your management style?