Strategy Statement:

Although “shooting from the hip” is rarely advisable, it is necessary part of the daily workplace. The interviewer needs to know that, even in these circumstances, the short- and long-term goals are never too far away from the quick decision process.

Sample Response:

I don’t like being forced into a position when snap-decisions need to be made, but I understand that it is unavoidable. If the decision can be crafted in such a way that assessment regarding that decision is also quick-to-come, then there is a damage-control component that can help diminish the ‘down-side’ of quick decisions (such as short-lived solutions, not addressing the larger issue, having a limited impact/limited audience, and operating from an emotional perspective).

Leading a group of 50 high school students on a weeklong camping trip was a activity that involved a myriad of quick decisions every day. One time we were in a transportation situation where the students were going to have to broken-up into different smaller groups to get from point A to point B. I quickly came up with a solution, and informed those staff who were going to be most immediately impacted... as their responsibilities were going to quickly going to change. I was able to hear (and benefit from) some immediate feedback from those staff, and then announced the decision. The priorities (first: safety of students and staff, second: safety of the program, third: getting from A to B) were all addressed, and everyone involved operated knowing that the opportunity for feedback and debriefing would be timely.

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