For more senior level executives a common interview question that you can expect is “What was the last project you led, and what was its outcome?” Since this question is asking specifically about the “last” project you led, make sure you are not bringing up a project from several years ago. If your last project was a disaster, move on to the next one.
Do not mention failed projects
It’s perfectly fine to have one main project that is your go-to project to bring up when being asked this interview question.
What you don’t want to do is tell the story in the same way for every position. Every hiring manager and company have different things they are looking for in a candidate: different skills, personalities, and experiences.
Make sure to take a look at the job description and figure out what seems to have the most weight. If you absolutely cannot mention any recent examples of a project that was successful, you can resort to saying a failure.
If you must mention a failed project
Make sure you can explain why it failed and what you learned. Check out the 50 Top Job Interview Questions And Answers for more interview magic!
Establish "The 5 W's & 1 H Format"
Everybody calls this the “5 Ws” format but I refuse to discriminate against “H”. This stands for Who, What, Where, When, Why & How.
- Who was involved?
- What was your action or what was the desired outcome?
- Where did the project take place?
- When did the project occur?
- Why did the project succeed/fail?
- How did you or your team achieve the desired outcome?
Great! You are 80% of the way there. By now, you should be looking forward to being asked what is the last project you led, and what was its outcome! The most important part of your entire answer is going to be the “how.” This is your opportunity to display all of the qualities from the job description that your interviewer is looking for.
How did you achieve your desired outcome - through leadership, teamwork, and determination! That’s easy for me to say, but it won’t be so easy for you. You need to dig a little deeper and give more information than just a few adjectives.
Try to quantify your achievements whenever possible. This provides supporting evidence for your success and helps the interviewer understand the situation more thoroughly.
Need extra help?
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