An interviewer or recruiter may ask you specific questions during a job interview. Each question has a distinct purpose in terms of revealing information about you and your skills. These questions can apply to your ability at multitasking, as the position can be demanding and require you to tackle several tasks or projects at once. Rather than simply answering that you are capable of multitasking, provide examples of how you tackle different situations and projects.
Prioritizing Daily Tasks
Expect to be asked how you plan, organize and prioritize your tasks for any given day. If the position is demanding and requires you to work on several tasks at the same time, the recruiter wants to know how you handle numerous tasks at once. While some tasks may be more enjoyable to do, the recruiter wants to ensure that you can schedule top priority items on your daily schedule.
In your multitasking interview answer, explain how you evaluate tasks and how you plan your daily activities. Answers can include planning ahead, analyzing various possibilities and solutions and maximizing workload.
Long-term Project Multitasking
Among the many interview questions on multitasking, the interviewer may ask how you plan and prioritize tasks and schedules for a single project that could take days or weeks. This question is particularly applicable for managerial positions. The answer should focus on listening to each department’s individual needs in the project, how to analyze possible risks and addressing issues or troubles while moving continuously forward in the project phases.
Give Concrete Examples
Although the above two questions deal with the planning aspect of multitasking, the recruiter may ask for concrete examples of how you have previously handled several projects at once. Provide examples of situations where you had to handle several projects at once, where you had to prioritize tasks and responsibilities at one given time. Also provide information regarding your risk assessments, so all of the projects and tasks will be completed on time and in an accurate fashion.
The Third-Person Perspective
Since your multitasking abilities and skills can severely affect other coworkers and employees in the business, your previous managers or bosses may have an opinion about your multitasking abilities. The recruiter may ask you to explain how a previous manager or boss would explain your multitasking skills like handling multiple tasks and meeting all requirements of the job. Provide context for the answer by briefly explaining your multitasking situations before providing the final answer.
Based in Toronto, Mary Jane has been writing for online magazines and databases since 2002. Her articles have appeared on the Simon & Schuster website and she received an editor's choice award in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology of language use from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.