The recruiter or hiring manager may ask you this question to obtain information on how you manage time and daily workload. To leave the impression of an organized candidate, it’s important to address your affinity working with to-do-lists and frameworks. What better way to answer “How do you prioritize your work?” interview question using the Eisenhower Matrix!
Example Answer (Experienced)
“As soon as I get to work, I start with a daily to-do list using Trello and categorize each task using the ‘Eisenhower Matrix’, also referred to as the ‘Urgent-Important Matrix’. Like the name suggests, it’s a simple yet effective tool for sorting out less urgent and important tasks.
Once finished, I message and/or meetup with those involved to ensure my schedule meets my colleagues’ and other stakeholders’ expectations. What I’ve learned in my previous job though, is that priorities can shift unexpectedly. Therefore, I try to limit the number of daily tasks so I can easily adapt to unexpected situations and still meet all of my deadlines.”
Example Answer (No Experience)
“During my time at [University XYZ], I started my week by creating a ‘to do’ list of everything I had to complete each day. I used a great online scheduling tool called ‘Trello’ which made it easier to prioritize my assignments, revisit and update my schedule if necessary.
I’ve also used Trello as a project management tool to ideate, plan and manage work with my peers. You can easily assign or delegate tasks and sort cards based on priority. As a result, we finished [Project] in time and received the highest grade of the year.”
Interview Question Tips
- Don’t say, as a result of prioritizing, that you work harder, longer or that you do whatever it takes to get the job done. Key here is to show that you are capable of working efficiently and effectively. A healthy work-life balance is more important for long-term mutual success.
- Do show how you organize your day using to-do lists and online scheduling tools (e.g. Trello)
- Do explain how you deal with unexpected shifting priorities
- Do provide a real-life example that proves you’ve actually applied the strategy (optionally)