No plan survives contact with the enemy. If strategy is about knowing where you want to go and planning how to get there, achieving results is about reaching your destination despite the unexpected kinks in the road.
The second capability in the ILS is Achieves Results. Where the first capability, Strategic Thinking, focuses on why, Achieves Results focusses on how.
All employers want staff who can demonstrate that they get things done. Common interview questions reflect this. Some favourites include:
Tell me about a time when you met a goal
Tell me about a time when you managed change.
Additional common ones include; Give an example of a time when you met a deadline despite competing priorities, Describe a time when you led your team to deliver outcomes, or Tell me about a time when you showed flexibility when requirements changed.
In my article about strategic thinking, I spoke of the importance of each employee understanding how their individual role contributes to the overarching goals of the organisation. Achieving results is about how each individual contributes their own expertise to team goals and continually builds on that expertise. For managers, it’s about how you deliver results by managing the resources of your team, utilising the specialist knowledge and skills of your staff to deliver outcomes.
Crucial to this capability is the ability to manage change. Despite well laid out plans, can you respond positively when requirements are altered? For managers, how do you help your team to adapt when times are uncertain? How do you assure that stakeholders are kept informed?
Behavioural interview questions are considered the most robust model for assessing candidates because they give evidence of actions. One of the biggest mistakes I see in applicants answering questions about achieving results is they cut to the chase and explain that something important got done, but they fail to demonstrate how they got there. The what in achieving results is not being assessed, the behaviour, or the how is.
Strong answers will detail not only the achievement of the deadline, but how resources were utilised, how changes were dealt with, how stakeholders were kept in the loop, how the quality of the outcome was assured.
All behavioural interview questions benefit by explaining the impact of the result. Don’t finish a question by saying “And the executive was delighted that we made the deadline”; explain what meeting the deadline meant to the organisation. “We were able to complete the research and provide the talking points by 5 pm, which meant that the minister was fully briefed before facing the media”. And that brings us full circle right back to strategy!
Tune in for more interview tips to help you understand the Integrated Leadership System. Thanks for reading!