How To Answer Time Management Interview Questions

During your job interview, a common question you might expect is, ‘How do you manage your time?’. Hiring managers ask you this question to get a better insight into your time management skills and how you prioritize your workload. Time management interview questions are used to evaluate your skills and ability to distinguish between urgent and important tasks.

You can use your answers to your advantage by highlighting how you communicate with co-workers about urgent tasks, balancing your work and personal time, and how you deal with changes in the work environment.

Examples of time management interview questions are:

  1. How you manage different deadlines?
  2. Tell me about how you balance work and your personal life.
  3. Describe a situation where you had to complete a challenging task to a tight deadline.
  4. Tell me about a time when you were late to complete a task, or you missed a deadline.

Time management skills are essential for the effective running of the daily activities of an organization. However, there’s more to time management than just how time is spent or how quickly tasks are completed.

In this blog, time management questions are discussed, and you can find out how you should answer them. Also, read more about frequently asked job interview questions here and check our job interview preparation checklist.

Why Employers Are Interested In Your Time Management Skills

Hiring managers want to evaluate your time management and prioritization skills. They do this to assess your ability to distinguish important and urgent tasks. The answers you give need to demonstrate that you’re able to manage and complete work assignments successfully.

Strong answers include you highlighting your time management, prioritization, and organizational skills. You must show that you are capable of taking on the job responsibilities and that you can perform up to standard.

By asking specific examples of time management, the interviewers try to get an insight into your:

Tips To Answer Questions About Time Management

There are several elements that you can use to your advantage when you answer questions to time management. Below we discuss the most important ones.

  1. Discuss how you schedule your day

Interviewers are interested in your ability to manage your daily work assignments. They want to know how you schedule your days if you use to-do lists, and how you rank your tasks in order of their importance and urgency.

Before they hire you, they want to find out if you’re a self-starter, if you show initiative, and if you can effectively prioritize your workload.

An example of describing your approach to mapping out your workday:

‘Every project that I work on, I break down into smaller steps to make sure I work as efficiently as possible and stay on track. Every day I write out the tasks that I need to complete and rank them on priority. This improves my workflow and keeps me focused on the specific tasks that need to get done that day.’

  1. Describe how you shift between priorities

It’s common to encounter changes in the work environment. For example, there might be changes throughout your workday that require your attention. It’s therefore important that you are able to explain how you deal with last-minute changes in your work.

You can use your answer to highlight your adaptability skills. Furthermore, you can give the hiring manager insight into how you reorganize your priorities.

An example of describing how you shift between priorities:

‘My to-do list allows me to manage a steady workflow efficiently. However, priorities can shift in unexpected moments. Taking this into account, I try to limit the number of daily tasks to a level where I can also incorporate time to make any adjustments for changes to my workload.’

Learn more about prioritization interview questions and how to answer them.

  1. Explain how you set and keep your deadlines

Completing your tasks on time is essential in every organization. The interviewer wants to hear you discuss how you establish timelines for yourself. Also, they want to hear how you prioritize your work to keep deadlines. The most effective way to do this is to explain how you set time frames according to the urgency of the task and provide details about how you determine appropriate deadlines.

An example of describing how you set and keep deadlines:

‘Communication and keeping team members up to date about expected due dates for projects is essential in a successful team. Based on the assigned due dates, I create several milestones that all lead up to the final deadline. My own deadline is usually two or three days in advance. This way, I can complete my tasks and still have time left to review everything before turning it in.’

  1. Describe how you maintain a healthy work-life balance

A healthy balance between work and private life is important, and interviewers know this. They want to if you can set realistic expectations for yourself. An ideal candidate demonstrates that he or she understands the importance of working within their daily limits. Furthermore, they show that they value steady productivity and performance and avoid workloads getting unmanageable.

An example of describing how you maintain a healthy work-life balance:

‘Clear and open communication lines between my supervisor and colleagues are essential for me during a project. For example, if I’m working on a project or task and I find out it will take me more time than anticipated and planned for, I will give my team a heads-up as soon as I can.

This way, I can work on finding and coordinating a solution when a workload gets unmanageable. This allows me to re-evaluate targets and reset expectations about current deadlines.’

  1. Match your answers to the requirements for the job

When interviewers ask you time management questions, it’s smart to match the skills you mention in your answer to the job requirements. For example, when the interviewer asks you how you prioritize your day, walk them through an actual workday and your thought process. Demonstrating your skills through clear examples gives your answers more weight.

Learn more about time management questions and how to answer them.

Example Time Management Interview Questions

Job Interview Topics – Common Job Interview Questions & Answers

Below you can find a list of common job interview topics. Each link will direct you to an article regarding the specific topics that discuss commonly asked interview questions. Furthermore, each article discusses why the interviewer asks these questions and how you answer them!

  1. Accomplishments
  2. Adaptability
  3. Admission
  4. Behavioral
  5. Career Change
  6. Career Goals
  7. Communication
  8. Competency
  9. Conflict Resolution
  10. Creative Thinking
  11. Cultural Fit
  12. Customer Service
  13. Direct
  14. Experience
  15. Government
  16. Graduate
  17. Growth Potential
  18. Honesty & Integrity
  19. Illegal
  20. Inappropriate
  21. Job Satisfaction
  22. Leadership
  23. Management
  24. Entry-Level & No experience
  25. Performance-Based
  26. Personal
  27. Prioritization & Time Management
  28. Problem-solving
  29. Salary
  30. Situational & Scenario-based
  31. Stress Management
  32. Teamwork
  33. Telephone Interview
  34. Tough
  35. Uncomfortable
  36. Work Ethic