Thursday, March 20, 2008

And I'll form...the Head!

Can you explain your role in a previous project that you worked on that required the efforts of a team to complete?

Yes, you can answer this question with a class project but work experience is preferred. This question wants to find out a few things about you:
  • Are you a leader or a follower?
  • Are you a bully or a consensus-builder?
  • Did you complete the project on time and within budget?
I'm not going to kid you: very few librarians get to be leaders right out of the launch bay, but, supposedly, this question is looking for leaders. You should show that you know when to lead (you know what you are doing) and when to follow (you have another role you can do better), a concept I was recently introduced to as kinetic leadership. In a kinetic team you are the leader when you have the skills and you are the follower when the current leader needs a plan executed. Show that you know your role and that you contributed what you knew, not that you were a Schrute constantly undermining your colleagues.

You should also not come across as too bullish when a lighter, china-smoothing touch was needed. It is also important to explain if the project was completed on time and if you spent all of your money without exceeding a limit. If you missed either mark, can you account for it? Explain how, in a future situation, you would not need elasticity in time or money.

This question wants to know about your management skills, both when managing and managed and if you can deliver the desired package.

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