Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
INTERVIEWS / JAN. 27, 2015
version 4, draft 4

How to Answer "What Was the Last Project You Headed Up, and What Was Its Outcome?"

Business colleagues standing together Team

When you’re at a job interview, be prepared to be hit with a "behavioral" interview question or two. These are questions that pose hypothetical situations or ask you how you’ve behaved in certain real-life work situations to get a sense of how you’ll behave in similar situations in the new job.

One such question might involve discussing projects you led and how the projects turned out. The question is aimed at gauging your leadership skills, your organizational ability and your initiative, among other skills that may pertain to the particular job for which you’re applying. If you think it’s a fairly loaded question, you’re probably right. Here are some ways to answer it.

Review the job posting.

During a job interview, everything that comes out of your mouth should be geared toward proving that you have the skills and qualifications necessary for the job in question. As such, the project you decide to mention should pertain in some way to the new job. If you have experience leading teams in sales as well as marketing, but the job involves marketing, you’d better choose an example that covers marketing. The job posting is a good place to pore over core competencies or to get ideas about what types of projects you’ll handle in the new job, and to jog your memory about examples that might pertain to the new position.

Employ the 5 Ws.

With an example pertaining to the job posting in mind, lay out the details in your mind using the "5 Ws" format. Think about who was involved, what you did or what the desired outcome was, when the project occurred, where the project happened, why it did or didn’t work, and how you organized the team to achieve the desired outcome. If the project did not have a positive outcome, explain what you learned from that experience and how you grew from it. If there was a positive outcome, give specific examples of your success, such as how much you increased sales, how many new clients you garnered or other measurable outcomes.

Haven’t led a project at work? Look to other aspects of your life.

So what do you do if you don’t have experience leading a team at work? Look to other experiences you’ve had outside the office. Maybe you were the captain of your football team or you were the youth group leader at your church. Maybe you organized a community watch program in your community. If you’re interviewing for a leadership position where new or emerging leaders are being considered, it might not matter so much that you don’t have leadership experience on the job – only that you have some leadership experience and that you’ve learned and grown from the experience.

Expect your job interview to involve any number of oddball questions that can throw you for a loop; but if you’re applying for a leadership position, be prepared to discuss your past leadership and how your experience makes you the best candidate possible for the job.

Get our FREE eBook!
'6 Steps to Landing Your Next Job'





How to Answer "What Gets You Up in the Morning?"

Here we go again – another round of job interviews and the inevitable probing into your life that comes with it. Among the variations of the common questions is one you...

How to Answer, “What Will You Miss About Your Present/Last Job?”

Unless you're applying to your first ever job, the interviewer will more than likely ask about your previous job. The answers given to questions regarding your previous...

How to Answer - "What Are You Most Proud Of?"

One of the toughest job interview questions to answer is, “What are you most proud of?” It’s a popular question that comes up frequently, and it’s one that you can...

job interview

During the weekends, I like to congregate with my friends and discuss about the job market experiences they’ve had during the week. I particularly pay keen interest to...

How to Answer: "What Book Are You Currently Reading?"

“What book are you reading?” is one of those interview questions that seem to come out of left field…but it’s really not uncommon. The secret to answering it well is to...

How to answer "If you could retire tomorrow, what would you do?"

This question is a toughie, so make sure you get it right!

Get our FREE eBook!
'6 Steps to Landing Your Next Job'
G up arrow