This has been worrying me ever since my interview yesterday… To begin with, I am a graduate and so apart from a part time job, I do not have practical experiences to face disgruntled employer or co-worker.
This interviewer’s previous question was “tell me a situation where you encountered sudden change of plans.”- ofcourse, I didnt have straight forward answer to this situation but I used my best answer of doing a project with my team mates. My “sudden change of plans problem” was that I had the whole project in my hands because my one teammate had a major thing to do and because I was not from this background, I had to work twice as hard to understand and complete the project. I was doing the work of 4 other people. so she followed up on the question by asking “thinking back, what do you think you could have done more to improve your work”. I replied that I could have used more resources and possibly take academic advice from similar minded people, but I limited that because of time constraints and decided to tackle it on my own.
Now, she asked me whether I was in a situation where I had been frustrated with my team member, she hinted saying it may be your previous answer or something else related to your study. I said, “Actually, I had a similar situation in the same project where I was bit frustrated with my teammates (I was talking about the same project, now you can see I was trying to avoid a missing link regarding my previous project here and maybe she was trying to bring that out from me! ). Everyone of us already had several projects running parallely and it was difficult to get a gap to meet to update on the project. While one of my teammates had a genuine reason to be absent for most of the work, I had two other teammates who were coming late and not showing equal enthusiasm (you can see here i am trying to cushion the situation as much as I can). Since i am not from finance background and my team mates with CFAs half way, I was expecting to ask them a lot of doubts and understand the process and start work as soon as possible. But, they kept asking me what they should do and how they should proceed. Eventually, I decided to take matter in my own hands to come up with a plan. I started researching online, getting resources from bloomberg, reuters and everything I can get my hands on and started working on my project. I gave my team mates the updates of what we as a group were doing and divided work among us. I was expecting them to do the work more efficiently as they were more experienced than me. But, again they kept doing nothing, expecting me to guide them. Its the lack of enthusiasm that was frustrating me and I tried to push them towards working on the project as much as I can.”
Her follow up question, " How did you confront your teammates about this?Did you react angrily or…?
my Answer: I confronted them, but not angrily *((For your info, I have this really creepy calmness that I inherited from my dad…and any friend would tell you that they have never seen me angry, frustrated yes, but not burst out anger))… I confronted them by making them understand how important it is to do this work and how much credit we have to complete this task on time and what we end up losing. I explained to them about peer assessment where you will be graded by your teammates and that may not look good. I said that it is a big project and needs to be completed by all of us, its a team work. I wanted them to have the satisfaction of doing a part of this project and I didnt want to feel that I did 90% of the group work. Again, I gently pushed them to do their work by giving them work and instructions on how to do it and emailed them to remind them of the deadline and finally it had some impact and we got through"
Guys, this was my answer, around the lines. I am not sure if I “bad-mouthed my co-workers” as it will look bad. I tried to describe it as gently as possible.
THIS IS WHAT I ACTUALLY FELT DURING THE PROJECT:
I cant believe they are ditching me on this whole project!! and why do they always come atleast an hour late? why do i put up with it? they are students who have job experience in this and they think its ok to make me wait!! and on top of all this, they look clueless when I try to explain the basics!! how is that even possible when I have nothing to do with finance, have come up with solution through just online resources and they didnt think of remembering from their past experiences!!! It was the most frustrating project of my life and believe me guys when I say that I had to micro manage them like a child learning maths (I dont want to go further on this) I was angry and frustrated…but i recovered when I was able to finish the project…when everything was over, they express guilt!! what is the effing point!!! I think i am the loser here when I replied,“see its ok, but its very stressful to be in a situation like this and it would have been more helpful if things went on perfectly from the start…” and the “teammate” had the audacity to think that “if all of US could have done the work earlier, WE could have done a better work” this is the time I started thinking maybe shes high on something.
SO tell me guys, was my answer to the border of bad-mouthing colleagues??