woman(Who is Margaret? Margaret – Senior Level Marketing Communications Professional seeking position with University)

Terry: All right.  What would you do if you were in a situation where you needed to supervisor a pretty large pool of people, you know, subcontractors, designers?  We have a pretty big operation here and, clearly, it’s one thing to do a lot of the work yourself.

That takes a particular kind of skill set, but part of the different skill sets is to manage artistic personalities, temperaments, multiple projects and keep things moving.  Tell me what you would do if you had a large team that you had to run with multiple documents, reports and things you need to do to make sure were of an appropriate quality and on time.

How would you handle that situation?

Margaret: Each publication and project would need to have its own set of deadlines, so each project would have its own Excel spreadsheet with interim deadlines.  Then for all the projects, there’d be another Excel spreadsheet that had all the projects on it.

One thing that one has to know in organizing creative people is that they really need a certain amount of time.  You can’t short trip the amount of time that they’re going to need, because their creative process takes a long time.  That goes for writers as well as for designers and photographers.

If you don’t give them that amount of time they’re not going to come up with the product that you expect and they also will get frustrated with the process, so those are important things to keep in mind.

Also, it’s important for the administrative assistants to feel very much a part of the project, so I would not exclude them from meetings.  I would keep them in the meetings.  There has to be a lot of meetings with everyone included for each project.

Terry: So you would have meetings for each of the projects?

Margaret: Yes.  Well, not for each of the projects.  Sorry, I misspoke, when you’re meeting on several projects.  We’re all doing several projects at once, so you’d meet with the team working on all of the projects at once, but sometimes there would be separate meetings because not everyone would be involved in every project.

For the Annual Report there’d be Annual Report meetings, for the magazine there’d be magazine meetings and that sort of thing.  There would be some crossover, but you can’t have everyone involved in every single project, except for the administrative assistant.  That person would need to be involved in pretty much every project.

Here’s how I would rate this answer . . .

Q8. What would you do if . . . – MARGARET QUICK RATING – B

Good addressing both the task side and the people side. Question to you: are there any other aspects you’d want to include? Is there an opportunity to organize and list all the factors up front before going into the specifics?

This Guide will help you with samples and complete how to answer training for even more questions you face in your job interviews.

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