Tell Me About A Time When You Had To Make A Decision Without All Information You Needed? (With 10 Sample Interview Answers)

An ideal candidate or employee must be meticulous and detail-oriented. He must have the ability to pay attention to minute details. This looks good in reading, but practically difficult to follow. There have been numerous instances, wherein an employee has to take tough decisions without having complete knowledge about the subject. The answers to this question help an interviewer to assess your approach and strategy formulation skills in difficult times.

Four Best Tips To Answer

1) Make The Understanding Clear

It is advisable that your story must be clearly understood and followed by your interviewer. For this purpose, you must practice, to narrate an event in a brief and nutshell. As no interviewer is interested in listening to long stories, due to time constraints. Your entire response must complete within 5 minutes. After all, there are more questions too and your interview won’t end here.

2) Share Your Solution To The Problem

Making decisions without any substantial information is a tough task and might not generate impeccable business decisions. Interviewers are fully aware of the same but they do expect you to share your methodology in such a situation. Hence, always remember to share the manner in which you handled such a challenging situation.

3) Don’t Pick Failure Stories

There are several instances when we have to take a decision on the basis of limited or no information. Just pick a story in which you were successful and able to generate a solution, that was very close to a perfect solution. Now just prepare a brief narration of this story which must contain your approach or the procedure followed in obtaining a resolution.

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4) Never Answer In Negative

If you give a response like:

  • I am not in a position to answer this as I have never experienced such a situation
  • I am familiar with such an event, but I failed to make a decision, due to a lack of information.
  • Since the information was sub-standard, I passed it on to my assistant.
  • I am a person who loves accuracy. Due to a lack of information, I don’t indulge in decision-making processes.

Such responses, are simply not acceptable and would reduce your selection chances, no matter how valuable your work experience is or how meticulous your academic records are.

Ten Best Sample Answers

Sample Answer One

Information makes a decision easy. But it is not available every time. During my previous stint with ABC Accounting Services. I was instructed to prepare tax computation for a client of ours without actual income figures for the current year. This was really knotty and tough. But, I remained calm and used his previous year’s salary sheet, added a 3% increase in his salary, and assumed every other figure to be constant. This way, I calculated his total income and calculated tax obligation. Till this date, there has been no objection from the revenue department.

Sample Answer Two

I believe if you have relevant information then it helps a lot in taking decisions. Still, we experience odd situations. I remember. when I was employed with ABC sales corporation, I had to forecast the company sales for the next 3 months on the basis of 5-year-old sales data. To obtain a relevant figure was really tough. But still, I used my instincts and added the growth factor, to establish correct correlation and variances. This way I obtained a very close forecast data set.

Sample Answer Three

Pertinent information plays a crucial role in making accurate business decisions. yet there are circumstances in which we have to take decisions without such information. There was an instance when I had to give a resolution to a forwarded customer. The email containing the details of any previous offer to him was not shared with me, and I was in oblivion. Still, I used my listening skills, used my past experience, and made an offer, which he outrightly accepted.

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Sample Answer Four

Yes, sir, I have experienced such a situation. While working with ABC software developers, I was given the task to design software. I was supposed to receive a written letter containing all the guidelines and instructions. The deadline to complete the task was nearing and I became a bit worried. Then I decided to start the project, using guidelines from my previous task and started designing. In the end, it was all nice and I was able to develop a masterpiece.

Sample Answer Five

Such situations are common in professional life. One must be calm and composed, to find a solution. I remember, when I was working as a customer service representative, I encountered a situation in which I had to give area-wise details of the customers of the company with pin-codes. I got correspondence from my senior, having only directions and no pin codes. Then, I decided to find all the pin codes by using directions shared and did fairly nice, in terms of accuracy.

Sample Answer Six

There might be several instances like this, and one must be aware and ready to face similar professional challenges. During my previous stint, I was given a task by my employer to prepare notes of the board meeting in chronological order without sharing with me the major events. This bamboozled me at once, but then I held my nerves and just went to the recording of the meeting. I listened to it carefully, and I was able to prepare next to ideal notes.

Sample Answer Seven

Once, while working with my previous employer, I was supposed to prepare budget allocations for the various projects. My senior had to share with me the escalation factors within the next 2 days. But he got seriously ill and I was not provided with such crucial information. I thought of leaving it out at first, but then I used my past experience and applied standard escalation percentages while completing my task. Though the allocations were not perfect and had variances, still they were very close.

Sample Answer Eight

I was a customer acquisition manager in my previous stint. I remember when once I was made a lucrative offer by our customer in order to close the deal. I was a new recruit then and was not aware of the company policies. I was really confused and my senior was not picking my phone. It was a momentary deal and had to be closed within the next 10 to 15 minutes. I used my natural instincts and accepted his offer. This proved to be really beneficial for our company, and now he is our regular customer.

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Sample Answer Nine

Such instances and events are very common in various professional positions. While working as a senior accountant in my previous stint, I remember how I had to prepare financial statements of the company without vouchers and crucial documentary evidence. It was a scrutiny case, and I was forced to complete it pretty quickly. But I accepted the challenge and used my previous experience to prepare statements. I used his data for the last year and made standard additions and deductions. This way, I made a near-perfect report and avoided detailed scrutiny.

Sample Answer Ten (For Freshers)

Since I am a fresh college graduate, I won’t be in a position to narrate any practical professional experience. Still, I had a similar time during my college days. I had to prepare a speech for the upcoming competition without being aware of the theme of the competition. I panicked at first but held my nerves later and started searching for possible topics using last year’s data. This way, I came up with a nice idea and started writing on it. I narrated the writing in the competition and was able to secure the third rank.

Conclusion

Making decisions post availability of ample relevant information is easy and smooth. But, in absence of such relevant information, we rely on our instincts, intuitions, and past experiences. Usually, a combination of these influences our decisions in such a scenario. An interviewer is interested in knowing your approach for evaluation purposes. If you like our articles then don’t forget to share them with your family and friends. Also, do let us know through the comments section below, how much you like our articles.

References

  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/journals/psp/87/5/586.html?uid=2004-20124-003
  2. https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/jep.22.2.115