Walk Me Through a Project You Led and What Made It Successful

When asking this question, interviewers are looking for your knowledge of people and project management as well as communication skills. It should be easy for you to think of the most impactful project you led to answer this question, but a story will truly demonstrate your abilities. Saying something like, “We had a goal to acquire 3,000 new customers by March and we hit it,” reveals a great win, but no leadership skills. Your answer, like the story in the last section, needs to spell out what you specifically did to influence the successful outcome. The more specifics you include, the better able the interviewer will be able to see your talent and impact.

Here’s an example answer:
I was recently in charge of designing a marketing strategy for a premium version of our top-selling hiking shoes for new and existing customers on a short timeline. I led the team through several brainstorming sessions on potential campaigns, and since we were on a tight schedule, I laid out the exact type of ideas we were looking for ahead of the meetings and kept a close eye on the clock to make sure the discussions stayed on topic. We came up with three campaigns we wanted to pursue, then laid out each step of all three to really break them down and see if we could implement the work on time. It became clear that if we wanted high-quality execution, we could either hire temporary people or implement two of our three ideas by the deadline. It was tough, but I chose to only focus on two with the existing team rather than risking not finding the right people to help us on short notice. To me, quality always wins over quantity. I consulted with the project manager and the team to determine who was in charge of and responsible for each part of the campaigns. Together we developed key performance indicators (KPIs), such as how many customers we wanted to reach and how many interactions would lead to direct sales. Additionally, each team member came up with two personal goals, such as: ‘to reach out to colleagues more for input’ and ‘to slow down when I’m rushing so I don’t make a mistake.’
Lastly, we agreed that if someone was falling short of their deadlines, they needed to let the rest of the team know through our project management software and we could discuss the best way to proceed from there. Because we were all so clear on what needed to get done, who was doing what, and where they were in the process, we managed to accomplish our first set of goals ahead of schedule and the campaign ultimately exceeded our original sales goal by over 10%. It really helped me see that being thorough and deliberate about my expectations, making tough but realistic choices about what we could accomplish, and outlining priorities and clear goals were tremendously effective strategies.