Answering the Interview Question – How Do You Stay Organized?
Do you remember going for an interview and coming out disappointed? Have you ever forgotten to carry the necessary documents and materials for a session or presentation? Do you waste valuable time trying to find one or two pieces of equipment when facing a panel? Have you felt dumbfounded when asked a question you weren’t expecting? Are you that employee or worker whose colleagues complain incessantly about because your desk is always scattered? Do you find yourself constantly giving your boss excuses because you are unable to find a file he or she requested for? Well, all this and more happens if you fail to keep yourself organized.
The pitfalls and consequences of not keeping yourself organized cannot be over-emphasized; it doesn’t just prevent you from reaching your peak, it also gives your employer and coworkers a negative impression about you. In addition, disorganization might even prevent you from meeting up with set goals and targets. When your schedules and things are not well planned and kept, you waste valuable time trying to fix them, and thus, find yourself playing catch up to others. Similarly, not being organized might lead to punishment, suspension, or sack depending on the severity. Imagine accompanying your boss to a meeting with a client and forgetting the most important file or document needed for the meeting; the repercussion will be grave. Not keeping yourself organized can make you forgetful.
During the interview, recruitment managers ask questions related to your organizational skills. A good example is a question being discussed. To be organized refers to being able to effectively utilize your energy, time, and resources to achieve set goals and targets. Having efficient organizational skills is critical and vital to success in every role, position, and work of life. When you are tasked with leading or supporting others, you need to keep yourself organized because you will often be required to handle tons of tiny details.
Crucially, you can learn organizational skills or keep yourself organized; no one was born organized. However, determination, commitment, and hard work are needed to cultivate or harness organizational skills. You can learn to stay organized when you have the will to practice and put in the effort to plan things, jot things down, ditch unnecessary things, and focus on the things that are important amongst others. Hence, this article will look at why interviewers ask this question and provide guidelines on how to answer the question effectively.
Why do Hiring Managers ask- How do you Stay Organized?
The recruitment manager asks this question to find out and learn how well job candidates will respond to workplace-related responsibilities. Also, the hiring manager wants to know if you have an effective system in place to get your work done. In relation, an organizational skill is a soft skill; candidates need to have such skills that enhance efficiency and productivity at work. People who keep themselves organized can use the limited time and scarce resources more wisely when compared to employees who don’t.
Things to Consider Before Answering the Question
Describe what works for you: Before answering, think of the things that work for you and relay them. Also, try and remember what device, technique, or platform you use to organize and keep your documents and other vital equipment. Some employees use the digital space to remember and store things, while others prefer using the analog format. Keep all this in mind before you answer.
Explain your time management strategies: Time management is crucial to being organized. When thinking of answering the question, try and remember cum explain the strategies or techniques you use to manage time effectively. It is worth noting that you may encounter a situation where you have to get a large chunk of work done in a limited time. Remembering your time management strategy will help you give a good answer
Arrive on time to demonstrate your level of organization: This is an essential tip. Arriving at your interview venue on time is a good way to show your future employers, your level of organization. Make sure you answer all the questions you are asked thoughtfully; try and address all aspects of each question. Don’t forget to thank your interviewer at the end of the interview.
Give past examples: Recruitment managers appreciate the use of examples and past experiences when answering questions. Therefore, try and recall examples that will help to depict your organizational skills. Give a specific scenario of what you did to keep yourself organized from your previous role or employment. If you are applying for an entry-level position, use examples and experiences from your time in school or during an internship.
Be as honest as possible: Honesty is another trait interviewers look out for in job seekers. Let your interviewers know that even when you take the initiative to stay organized, things don’t always go as planned. The key to answering the question effectively is to convey that despite the unexpected, you remain consistent in your methods and adapt to changes easily. Showing that you are flexible helps the hiring manager to understand your personality better.
Tips on How to Keep Yourself Organized
The tips below should give you an idea of how to answer the question. Arguably, these are the major things to do to keep yourself organized, therefore, read through them carefully and include them in your answer.
Write Things Down
We all know someone that remembers every birthday and sends cards for every holiday. It’s not magic and they don’t use memorization. Trying to remember things will not help you to stay organized; you should write them down instead. You can write things down in diaries. Alternatively, you can use digital means to write and store information. You can create a folder on your computer where you write everything down. Also, dates and times can be confusing, hence, the need to write things down.
Make Schedules and Deadlines
Organized people don’t waste time; they recognize that keeping things organized will enable them to stay productive. They make and keep schedules for the day, week, and month. Additionally, they make deadlines and set goals. Most importantly, they stick to them. Therefore, look at your bucket list for the year and break the goals into the short and long term. Then, you should set a deadline and an action plan for each goal. You can further break it down into weeks and days as well.
One of the impediments to success and productivity is procrastination. People who are organized don’t procrastinate; instead, they strive hard to get things done immediately. The longer you wait to do something, the more difficult it will be to get it done. If you want your work to be less stressful and less demanding, then get it done as soon as possible. Putting in the effort to get things done early will lift the weight off you. You won’t have to worry about not getting it done on a set deadline.
Give Everything a Home
You will keep yourself organized when you give everything a home. Individuals who are organized always have a labeled space to store everything. Thus, make it easy to access storage spaces for things you use all the time, and don’t let your storage spaces get clustered. Be creative about finding places for things. Additionally, refrain from labeling a storage space as “miscellaneous” for example. You will end up confusing yourself the more. Preferably, get a secure space at home or in the office that you can re-organize easily. Group your files and items; put similar items together when grouping.
Individuals who are organized try to organize their things regularly. If possible, make sure you organize and arrange your things every week. Kinds of Stuff do not stay organized on their own; they need to be reorganized continuously and consistently. Decluttering regularly will help you remember where each document or equipment is kept and stored easily.
Keep Only What You Need
Have you ever felt like you don’t have the space to keep all the stuff you own? Instead of renting a storage unit or demanding a larger office space, get rid of some things. Having more stuff means more clutter. When you are organized, you only keep what you need and what you want.
Organized people don’t overfill themselves with responsibilities, meetings, and deadlines. They do less because they delegate responsibilities to others where possible; this reduces stress. Therefore, make a to-do list, go through it, and find out tasks you can delegate to others. This is why experts keep emphasizing teamwork.
Sample Answers to the Question
- I employ a myriad of tools to help me stay organized and remember vital events. I have an online calendar that I use most times; it enables me to share my calendar and projects from work easily with others. Also, I always have a notepad with me where I write down quick reminders and my to-do list. At the end of every workday, I make time to transfer the details of my handwritten notes into my online calendar. This makes me not miss any essential details from my day.
- When I worked at Delight Consults, I was entrusted with the responsibility of organizing the organization’s meetings and events. When my supervisor started requesting more gatherings, I made up my mind that it was time to develop a quick system for booking venues and vendors. Once I had this system in place using some of my favorite applications, online tools, and software, I was able to book everything in advance within a matter of hours. My supervisor was so impressed with my efficiency that he promoted me from marketing assistant to an event manager.