One of the numerous technical questions you will be asked during a job interview is – are you detail oriented?, sadly, most job seekers are thrown off balance once this question pops-up.
In this article, we will give the best answers to this question, and also give scenarios where you can prove your answers.
Before we delve into that, let’s find out why employers ask this question during job interviews.
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Why Do Employers Ask “Are You Detail Oriented?”
Knowing why a question is thrown at you is very important as this will guide you towards giving the most suitable answer to the question.
One who is detail oriented will surely perform better in their roles as they do not need constant check-ins, reminders, follow-up, and so on to carry out their task.
Sincerely, no employer would want to employ someone, and still be saddled with the responsibility of ensuring hee/she is up and doing.
Having said that, they want to know if you are such a person, or if you will be able to identify mistakes and pay attention to small details without being reminded.
How To Answer “Are You Detail-Oriented?”
As usual, I will always recommend the STAR method when answering such questions.
STAR is an acronym for:
– Situation: Think beforehand the story you can share that can buttress your answer. Eg: You were working with numerous clients having varied needs.
– Task: What responsibility was given to you probably in your previous place of work that required attention to detail? Eg: You had to do an excellent job irrespective of their differences, which required you to pay close attention to their specifications.
– Action: Think about the steps you took to solve the challenge, and why you chose that. Eg: You developed a spreadsheet to track projects in detail.
– Result: What positive result did you achieve for your employer as a result of the action you took? Eg: You retained 96% of your clients in the year.
Additional Tips To Answer The Question “Are You Detail Oriented”
Aside from using the STAR acronym to answer this question, there are other helpful tips that will guide you in answering this question.
1. Always say “yes” when an employer asks if you’re detail oriented, and do that without hesitation.
2. Let the tone of your voice, and body language exude confidence while at it.
3. Answer with a bit of enthusiasm, like you enjoy paying attention to details in your work, producing exceptional work, and being careful in your tasks, however, you don’t have to be extreme about it or fake.
You can buttress this point by mentioning your past job, and how you were detail oriented in it, and if this is your first job search experience, you can give an academic example of how you were a careful student
Samples To Know If You Are Detail Oriented
We will be discussing scenarios through which you can know if you really do pay attention to details.
Also, if you’ve done any of them in the past, you can adopt them as proof that you are detail oriented.
1. If you don’t submit any work without making sure you are done, and it is without mistakes.
2. If you carry out tasks with a high level of accuracy and few mistakes, especially if you are doing a job that requires a high level of accuracy such as numbers/data
3. If you can work in a high-volume work setting having a great number of customers/clients where you are expected to organize a large amount of information
4. If you can successfully set up and run meetings as well as lead a team where you have people report to you, whether directly or indirectly. If you’re a student with little or no work experience, you can refer to your ability to lead and coordinate academic projects.
5. If you have been assigned to write templates, standard operating procedures, or create/revise documentation and processes by your company in the past.
6. If you have been entrusted to troubleshoot and fix errors, mistakes, and problems at work or if you are responsible for checking the work of others.
7. If you are able to figure out things that may pose potential problems and prevent them from occurring by tackling them before they become a major issue.
8. If you have ever created your personal checklist or notes to keep yourself organized and track details.
9. If you’re proactive and prepare ahead of time even before your manager
requests/needs it. Also, if you prepare ahead of time to be ready for a customer’s request
Sample Answers To “Are You Detail Oriented” Interview Question
Below are some examples you can adopt when answering the question “Are you detail oriented?”
1. Yes, I pay close attention to detail.
Paying close attention to detail was essential to my success in my previous role as a cashier.
For instance, when manning a register, I was in charge of making sure my cash drawer was exact at the end of each shift.
I’m happy to report that it consistently hit the mark.
2. Growing up, I was constantly focused on the details. I think my parents taught it to me.
Over time, being meticulous and doing things properly and accurately became second nature, which was very helpful to me in college.
I was competent at managing team projects and submitting my own work on schedule and without mistakes.
My GPA was 3.8. I believe that attention to detail is a valuable talent to have in the business world, too, therefore I’m anxious to work in a position where I can continue to take advantage of this quality.
3. In my previous role as a supervisor, paying close attention to detail was essential.
I was in charge of supervising the work of seven people, making sure that all deadlines were fulfilled and that all products adhered to business standards.
This required structure and coordination in addition to attentiveness.
Otherwise, minor things might be overlooked.
I was able to prevent that from happening thanks to my attention to detail, producing outcomes that were above and beyond expectations.
4. I do pay attention to details. In both my personal and professional lives, I tend to be cautious and detail-oriented.
I don’t let anything slow me down, but I do make sure that little things don’t get lost or forgotten, and I make sure that my work is completed on time and without mistakes.
For instance, the project manager I worked with frequently trusted me to examine the work of other team members before we submitted anything to the customer because I had the greatest accuracy on the team at my previous employment.
5. “In my previous employment, I was in charge of an enterprise-sized company’s IT division.
I had to coordinate cross-specialty projects, set priorities for a team of 50, and make sure that all operations stayed under the $2 million budget in addition to making sure that everything else did as well.
I was in control of important tasks and maintained proper oversight thanks to my keen attention to detail.
I managed to manage the budget while coordinating deadlines, obtaining updates, and otherwise keeping the work of the entire team on track.”
Just before I conclude, I would like to admonish that the first proof that you are detail oriented is in your Job Search!
Aside from answering the question, pay close attention to how you’re presenting yourself as a job seeker, especially when responding to emails, scheduling interviews back-and-forth, and so on.
This can be done by proofreading and carrying out spelling checks of your resume, cover letter, and emails because committing spelling and grammar errors on any of those will make the hiring manager worry that you’ll make mistakes in this new job, too.
When asked a question, give detailed information to save the recruiter or hiring manager the stress of going back-and-forth. This will show that you communicate effectively.
I have successfully taken you through how to answer the question “Are you detail oriented?”
I hope that the next time this question is thrown at you during an interview, you know exactly what to say, and what not to say.
That being said, if you have further questions, feel free to ask in the comment section.