How did you deal with conflicting demands?

Interview Question: Describe a time where you had a number of conflicting demands on your time and how you dealt with this.

This interview question is reflective of the situation in which many employees find themselves. With increasing workloads, rising targets and deadlines to meet, interviewers want to be sure that interview candidates can manage this type of situation.

As a graduate, examples you could use would be writing your dissertation during the end of your studies with upcoming exams or even the job search, application and interview process itself, which can be very demanding.

Even more pertinent examples would be periods of work experience or extracurricular activities, such as organising an event; fund raising; organising a trip abroad, or any experience which has a number of variables over which you have no control.

Think about how you prioritised your time, what actions you took, what you delegated, what support you sought, what feedback you got and the outcome you achieved. Also think about what you learned from the experience and what would have happened if you had got things wrong. Contingency planning is key to survival in business when situations are constantly changing.