Interview Answer: Tell me about a time when you have challenged the usual way of doing things

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Let's get into how to nail that interview question about when you mixed things up at work, using the B-STAR method. It's pretty straightforward

: Start by stating your core belief or principle that motivated you to challenge the status quo. For instance, you might believe in continuous improvement and innovation as key drivers of success.


Situation: Describe the context or background of the situation where you saw an opportunity or necessity to challenge the usual way of doing things. This could be a specific project, process, or practice within your organization that was outdated or inefficient.


Task: Explain the task or objective you were faced with, emphasizing why it was important to address or change the existing approach.


Action: Detail the steps you took to challenge the conventional method, including how you proposed or implemented a new approach. This should highlight your initiative, creativity, and problem-solving skills.


Result: Conclude by sharing the outcome of your actions, focusing on the positive impact or improvements that resulted from challenging the status quo. Include any quantifiable results if possible, such as increased productivity, cost savings, or enhanced quality.


Example Answer:

"Belief: I've always believed that innovation is not just about creating new things but also about finding better ways to do existing tasks. This belief led me to challenge our traditional processes to seek efficiency and effectiveness.

: In my previous role as a project manager, I noticed that our project reporting process was time-consuming and often resulted in delays in decision-making. The traditional method involved manually compiling data from various departments, which was not only slow but also prone to errors.

: I was tasked with improving the project reporting process to ensure timely and accurate decision-making. It was crucial to streamline this process to enhance our team's responsiveness and project outcomes.

: I proposed the adoption of an automated reporting tool that could integrate data from different departments in real-time. I conducted research to identify the most suitable tool, presented a business case to the management highlighting the potential time and cost savings, and led the implementation of the tool once approved. I also organized training sessions for team members to ensure a smooth transition.

: The new automated reporting system significantly improved our efficiency. We reduced the time spent on compiling reports by 50%, which allowed for quicker decision-making and ultimately led to a 20% increase in project delivery speed. Additionally, the accuracy of our reports improved, enhancing our strategic planning and client satisfaction. This experience reinforced my belief in challenging the status quo to drive continuous improvement and innovation within teams."


Click here to see example answers to all of the MOST popular interview questions

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