In every interview, there are a lot of questions that will be asked, and one of them is about your accountability. The interviewer wants to know if you are accountable for your action. This is because a lack of accountability will lead to a challenging working environment that can directly impact the productivity of others. Here are 25 accountability questions to help you during your interview.
1. How Do You Describe Accountability?
Accountability is an action to take full responsibility for any actions, behaviors, and decisions. I will hold myself accountable for everything I do and decide, especially on the tasks given or relationships with co-workers. Being accountable in a workplace is vital because we do not want to create a toxic environment.
2. How Do You Motivate Yourself To Complete Your Work?
I will go with the Pomodoro style whenever I feel overwhelmed or demotivated to complete my work. This style is a system where we can take a 10-minute break after 20 minutes of total focus on work. By doing this, I know that whenever I give my all for 20 minutes, I will get a 10 minutes reward, and I will use this reward to scroll through social media or grab a snack. I also realized that I work better and more efficiently if I listen to my favorite songs.
3. Can You Share A Time When You Received Negative Feedback And How You Handle It?
I once received feedback from my manager that I did not prepare well for my evening presentation session. I admitted to him that I prepared the slides deck in a short period, and I could not memorize all the data in my head. That was why, instead of memorizing, I wrote it down on a tiny piece of paper so that the information can helped me when the panels questioned me. Although that piece of paper helped me, my manager was unhappy because I did not look professional enough. From that day onwards, I will make sure even though I need to prepare a presentation in a short period, I will make the time to remember all the critical points.
4. Can You Describe A Time When You Have To Work With Others To Solve A Problem?
Three years back, when I was working in a manufacturing company, we had a workforce issue that impacted our production output. Therefore, our management ordered us to group ourselves and helped our production team with the output. I grouped myself with three other co-workers and started to operate production machines. We worked hard for two weeks, and we achieved the production target as a team at the end of the month.
5. If You Make Mistakes, How Do You Correct It?
When I was a junior engineer, I was unfamiliar with the software my colleagues used in the company. At first, I could manage it and learn how to use it alone, but I was wrong. Instead of doing the right thing, I eventually deleted some critical data stored in the software. Luckily there was a backup for all the data. Since that day, whenever I am unfamiliar with anything, I will ask for help and guidance so I will not make the same mistake again.
6. Tell Me About A Time When You Took Responsibility For A Failure.
A few years ago, as a project manager, I failed to come up with a comprehensive risk assessment. As a result, of my carelessness and incompetence, the project was delayed because we could not receive the materials on time, thus making the customer unhappy. I took full responsibility for that, and I apologized to the stakeholders. I learned from that expensive mistake that I must be detailed and avoid mistakes. I also practice having two or more backup plans if something goes wrong.
7. What Is A Weakness That You Are Still Working On?
My number one weakness is that I do not know how to say ‘no,’ and I always feel guilty after saying one. I realized that when I am not saying ‘no,’ I tend to get more tasks on my plate that will affect my mental health because completing overwhelming tasks on time is very stressful. This is a weakness that I am still working on. I am trying to say ‘no’ whenever necessary and will remind myself that it is okay.
8. Tell Me About A Time You Failed To Meet A Deadline?
In my last project, there was a task that I failed to meet due to unforeseen challenges when developing the software. Since I used to develop a similar software, I thought I could complete the task in one week, but I was wrong. Not meeting the deadline jeopardized the whole project and made the entire team anxious. I admitted my mistake, and I will not be overconfident again.
9. Tell Me About A Time When You Held A Colleague Accountably.
At my previous job, I always got feedback from other departments that my co-worker misinterpreted data. I decided to help him. I set a meeting with him and tried to understand why he interpreted the data that way. He plotted the graphs wrongly, and the graphs confused him. I taught him how to make more straightforward to understand graphs so that he could make a correct decision based on them.
10. What Has Your Previous Job Taught You?
In my previous job as an HR Payroll at XYZ company, I learned that I needed to be able to spot any mistakes and be very detailed because I was responsible for the employee’s salary. I always need to double-check my work and always input the correct numbers into the system. Being an HR Payroll also taught me to meet deadlines regardless of whatever happens because it is essential for me to ensure that the employees get their salary on time.
11. How Do You Show Accountability At Work?
There are a few ways to demonstrate accountability at work which are:
- Understanding my role – I know what is expected of me and what I should be accountable for when I understand my role. If anybody is unclear about their role, they can either read their job description or ask the manager.
- To be honest – whenever I am unsure of something, I ask for help and guidance. Whenever I am wrong, I will admit it and improve myself.
- Time management – I need to manage my time correctly because I work with deadlines. I will not procrastinate until it becomes too overwhelming.
- Not overcommit – I am not going to overcommit things I know I could not complete on time.
- Apologize – I will quickly apologize if anything goes wrong and take full responsibility for it.
12. How To Make Accountability A Core Value For Your Team?
As a leader, I want my team to have accountability as their core value. Therefore, what I would do:
- Lead by example – by doing so, I will show that I am accountable for my actions and decisions. If I keep pushing deadlines and not respecting others’ time, my team will follow suit.
- Set goal – I will set the team’s goals. These goals will be made clear to everybody and measurable to create accountability.
- Feedback – it is essential to get feedback, especially two-ways feedback because feedback can help us to improve further.
13. Why Should You Hold People Accountable At Work Place?
We should hold people accountable at work place because;
- We can eliminate any toxic environment caused by unaccountable people
- It can improve employees’ performance and productivity
- It can increase the team’s morale
- It can increase employees’ engagement
- It creates a culture of continuous improvement
14. How Do You Measure Employee Accountability?
There are a few steps that I can take to measure employees’ accountability which are:
- Define accountability – this is where I will define what accountability behavior I want to measure and what to do if it is not achieved. For example, if the sales target needs to be increased to 15% and is not met, the sales team needs to go for special training or no bonuses.
- Create SMART goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound
- Create performance matric and employees review session
- Get feedback from surveys
15. How Do You Think We Can Improve Employees’ Accountability?
To improve employees’ accountability, we can:
- Address the poor performance – by doing so; we can help the employee to do better.
- Show empathy – we can be kind to the employee and explain the consequences of their behavior because employees are not aware of the consequences.
- Updates – after goals are set, it is time for us to check on the progress so that everything will be on track.
- Reward – when an employee achieves his goal, we must reward him accordingly.
16. Can You Describe A Situation When Your Work Did Not Meet Your Manager’s Expectations?
Working in a pet store, I was expected to clean cages and aquariums. I was okay with cleaning those except for cleaning the reptiles’ terrarium because I was scared of reptiles. I have the imagination that the reptiles will bite me. With that image, I could not clean the terrarium thoroughly, and my manager was upset about that. So, what I did to overcome my fear was to try touching the reptiles every day until I was comfortable with them. After doing this for a few weeks, I overcame my fear, and surprisingly I managed to have special bonds with them. They no longer looked at me as a threat, which helped me a lot when cleaning the terrarium.
17. Tell Me A Time When You Had To Deliver A Commitment That Was Difficult For You.
As a junior software engineer, I was given a chance to develop software for the company. But the requirement of the software was very complicated. With little experience, the task given was challenging for me then. After two days of trying to figure out what needed to be done, I went to see my seniors and managers for help. Luckily with their help, I completed the development process successfully.
18. What Will You Do If Your Role And Responsibilities Are Not Clear?
I am very particular with my role and responsibilities because I want to give the best to the team. Therefore, if there is any time that my role and responsibilities are not clear, I will clarify with the project managers, team leaders, or even HR if it is related to my job description. Unclear roles and responsibilities often lead to employees being unmotivated and stressed.
19. How Will You Do If You Disagree With Your Supervisor?
Whenever I disagree with my supervisor, I will meet and let him know that I don’t see it this way. I will also explain in detail why I disagree with him and what I would do if I were in his place. We will have an open discussion. If he thinks my point of view is better, he will take my idea, but if he disagrees with me, he will explain and let me see from his point of view instead. Either way, I will learn to see things differently, which is one way to learn and better myself.
20. Can You Give An Example of When Others Made A Mistake, And You Have To Take The Blame? How Do You Feel About That?
I once worked in a convenience store, and in that store, we had to work in a pair. One day, my partner was assigned to be the cashier, and I needed to fill up the stocks on the rack. Unfortunately, during the closing, the actual amount we had that day was less than what was registered in the system. I didn’t know about it until the next day when my supervisor warned me and made me replace the money. I was so disappointed and felt betrayed. Since that incident, I have let my team and supervisor know what section I would work on that day. I typed it in our group chat so that I would not be accountable for the things that were not in my responsibility area.
21. Tell Me About A Time Your Supervisor Was Absent, And You Had To Make A Decision.
I can still remember that during the first few months of Covid, my supervisor contracted one, who was at the hospital for 14 days. I was next in line and had to make decisions on his behalf. Decision-making was not an easy thing for me. So, what I did was I consulted other managers and got their opinion on my decision. Once I got good feedback from them, I only announced to the team my decision. I did that for four days before I was confident enough to decide.
22. What Did You Do To Become Effective In Your Team?
There are a few ways that I can do to become effective in my team, which are:
- Understand the goal – a team has a big goal, and each individual has a smaller one to complete so that we can achieve the bigger one together. Therefore understanding the goal is crucial for me.
- Define roles – when I know my role, it is easier to work, and I can set my responsibilities accordingly.
- Positive mindset – I will always have a positive attitude so that we only have positive vibes in the team.
- Time management – in a team, we depend on each other. Time management is critical, so we are not delaying anybody.
- Do not fight over credit – we do have to fight over credit. We should give credit where it is due and celebrate all wins together.
23. Tell Us A Time When Despite Careful Planning, Things Got Out Of Hand. What Did You Do?
I was once given a chance to set up an exhibition. I had put into account every possible thing that might go wrong. Unfortunately, it was raining heavily that day, and the roof leaked. The hall floor was flooded with water, and there was nothing I could do to contain that. All of the exhibition materials were soaking wet. What I did was I immediately got the maintenance personnel to fix the roof and scheduled the exhibition for a later date.
24. What Did You Do If You Were Given Short Deadlines?
Whenever I am given short deadlines, I will make sure that I set my priority right. This is important because I want to deliver only good and quality work. I will complete all the tasks with short deadlines first, and if I ever need help from others, I will do it together. By doing the tasks together, we can split what was needed and complete the task two times faster.
25. Tell Us An Occasion When You Choose Not To Finish Your Task.
In my previous job, I proposed a product that could make it big once launched. The stakeholders were interested in the product, and I went on to do a marketing analysis. Unfortunately, once I got all the market research and analysis results, the outcome was not favorable, and we abandoned the project and moved on to the new one.
We hope these 25 accountability interview questions and answers will help you in your interview. Good luck!