How do you stay organized? This isn’t an extremely common interview question, but the reason it is asked is similar to many others. The interviewer is directly asking how you keep yourself organized. However the way you answer will give them a better idea of if you are able to prioritize and complete tasks on time. The interviewer doesn’t care for specifics. What they really want to know is if you are taking necessary steps to be productive every day.

The best way to ‘prepare’ is to make sure you yourself actually have some built in organization methods. These methods should keep you on task whether it’s for work, school, or your job search. There are many different ways to structure your own organization. Certain people are also naturally structured, whereas others need a large amount of external assistance to stay focused. No matter which group you are in, there are a few things you should do.

Calendar and Email Apps on a Tablet, Computer, and PhoneGetting on Track for Success

If you already have a plan, there’s still more to do. Take time to think and realize what it is you actually do to keep yourself on task. Now that you have a mental list, you will have a good handle on answering once you’re put on the spot. For anyone who doesn’t have anything in place, the first thing you should do is develop a system. There are a few different avenues you can take to assist yourself with productivity and efficiency.

The first thing I’d recommend for anyone who has trouble keeping track of things is a calendar. Many smartphones have a built in app that allows you to track the date as well as upload events that you have going on to make sure you don’t miss anything. Google Calendar is a resource used by many, and personally I use Sunrise, a calendar application that was recently acquired by Microsoft, which promises continued support. Being able to have all your commitments in one place can keep you from double booking yourself and having to choose between work or friends, which is never a fun decision.

Sticky Notes Completely Covering a Computer Monitor Rendering it Unusable

It’s great to be organized, but make sure you don’t go overboard.

Reminder Tools

This will help you never miss any events or commitments, but to stay on task you might need something else. There are a wide variety of approaches to productivity reminders.

Many people like to have some kind of to do list, or post sticky notes around their work space of things that have yet to be completed. I opt for the digital version called ‘Sticky Notes’ on Windows, which allows you to add them to your desktop background. No matter what method you choose whether it’s an app, a list, or something else, finding a way to keep track of what you still have to do will be incredibly helpful.

Staying Organized

By now you’ve established a way to stay organized. At this point you are ready to answer the question, and likely more organized too! There’s a few more things to keep in mind however. The best way to answer this question will be naturally and honestly. Tell the interviewer what you use to stay efficient, but don’t get too into detail. Also make sure your answer is professional. Writing on your hand may work, but it won’t make someone want to hire you. Once you can make that distinction you are ready. In addition to being able to answer the question, you also have some helpful tools at your disposal. We hope you make use of them and find yourself more organized!