One of the most common job interview questions is, "What is the toughest problem you've had to face, and how did you overcome it?" Here's how to give a winning answer.
First, realize that this popular interview question provides you with an excellent opportunity to shine. Everyone wants to hire people who are good at solving problems. Think of a good example concerning a problem that faced your company and not just you personally. The bigger the problem, the better.
Give specific examples of the skills and techniques you used to resolve this problem. Emphasize the successful results.
Be generous in sharing credit if it was a team effort, but be sure to highlight your specific role.
"When I assumed the role of Chief Dog Groomer at Mutts R Us, team morale was low, sales were lackluster and customers were dissatisfied. I immediately took action to identify the specific problems, analyze alternative solutions and pick the best options, and set a timeline for implementing the corrective actions. I reorganized the team structure and established written goals that focused on teamwork, improved customer service and increased productivity. One specific example is that I implemented a 'satisfaction guarantee' for quality and timeliness with each grooming service, and tied in performance-based rewards for employees. These actions greatly improved morale and increased our sales by 48% in the first three months."
Conservatories are increasingly popular, and a great way to add space and light to your home. However, all too often they will only get used for a few months out of the year, as they can grow too cold in winter and too hot in the summer.
At least a quarter of the heat lost from conservatories escapes though their ceilings, so this is the first place to start when trying to improve your conservatory's insulation. However, you won't want to compromise on the room's space or light, as you want it to remain a beautiful space for you to enjoy.
Conservatory ceiling insulation experts will take into account the potential for damp in these situations, and may be able to offer you a more durable solution. It's best to speak to an insulation expert before trying to install anything yourself, or employing someone to do it without first seeing their credentials.
Once you have effectively insulated your conservatory ceiling, you won't want to have to revisit the project a few years down the line. For this reason, it is always best to contact an expert in the trade.
The correct conservatory ceiling insulation will not only provide you with a more comfortable living space, but it will also minimise your energy bills and make your home more environmentally friendly.
The best way to properly insulate your conservatory ceiling is through a professional insulation company. These companies are usually experts in their industry, and will be able to provide you with the best quality workmanship and materials. Professional ceiling insulation can reduce the amount of heat lost by 80%, so it is well worth the investment.
If you think your conservatory ceiling is too damp to repair, you may want to consider replacing the entire ceiling. This is often more affordable than you might think and will make the world of difference to the comfort and value of your conservatory. With proper insulation, it will feel like you have a brand new conservatory.
Plus, most professional conservatory insulation companies will provide a long-term insurance policy, meaning that if you encounter any future problems, they will come back and repair or replace your conservatory ceiling free of charge. For the added piece of mind that this brings, it can often be worth the initial payout.
Here's another interview question that is very similar...
"Describe a situation where you used your own initiative to solve a problem."
It's unlikely that you'll be asked both, but have two different problem-solving examples ready just in case, with one emphasizing initiative.
However, if this is an expense you can't manage at the moment, there are several other things you can do to improve your conservatory ceiling insulation in the meantime.
An extremely cost-effective option is to install blinds or curtains to the spaces between your conservatory rafters. However, even if you use costly insulated curtain material, you are unlikely to see much of an improvement in your conservatory ceiling insulation.
Using fabric to insulate your conservatory may be an effective method during the summer months, when it will help keep your conservatory cool, but during the winter you risk a build-up of condensation, which could lead to damp and mold. So it's best to use fabric as a temporary insulation method.
The more affordable insulation companies may offer to insulate your conservatory ceiling by adding insulation material between the rafters and then disguising it behind a new ceiling. Once your new ceiling is plastered and painted, it will give you a warmer space and more insulation, but will also reduce the amount of light coming into the room.
Not only that, but unless this task is undertaken properly, by someone with experience in ceiling insulation, damp could potentially build up in the rafters beneath your new ceiling. So you want to ensure that a trained professional, and not just someone advertising the cheapest rates, installs your insulation.
"I once received a last-minute request from the General Manager to prepare a letter to residents of a neighborhood that was undergoing emergency sewer repairs by our agency. My boss was on vacation, but she had asked that I attend an off-site meeting that same afternoon. There was no way I would be able to get the letter done and also attend the meeting. I decided, of course, that the General Manager's request took priority. But the off-site meeting was on a very important topic and I knew my boss was relying on me to attend. So I immediately called the chairperson of that meeting and made arrangements to participate via speakerphone. By eliminating the 45-minute travel time, I was able to complete the GM's letter and still participate in the off-site meeting."
Preparing for these types of questions in advance is very important. It'll get you thinking about your specific accomplishments. Even if these particular questions are not asked, you'll probably be able to use versions of your prepared answers in response to other questions.
For any job interview: anticipate likely questions, prepare answers that are specific (and as relevant to the position as possible), and practice, practice, practice!