How do you manage a heavy workload? Describe a time when your workload was heavy and how you handled

Behavioral interview questions enable recruiters to gain insight into your future actions by probing past behavioral traits. This is a behavioral question that is asked to both experienced professionals and recent college graduates looking to join a company.
Behavioral interview questions enable recruiters to gain insight into your future actions by probing past behavioral traits. This is a behavioral question that is asked to both experienced professionals and recent college graduates looking to join a company. The interviewer will ask you to describe a previous incident, including what caused the problem, how you handled it, and what happened as a result. The way you respond to the question will determine whether or not you are a good fit for the position for which you are being interviewed.

To answer this question, you must first comprehend the concept of a heavy workload. A high workload occurs when workload exceeds what can be completed in a given amount of time. Because of streamlining, challenging work cultures, aggressive schedules, and the consequences of over commitment, the majority of people will face a significant workload at some point in their careers. While juggling a demanding career is ideal, it can also lead to stress and burnout. Now, Another way of asking you the same question would be: "When you have a heavy workload, it can be stressful. "How do you deal with such situations?"

There are a few things you need to keep in mind which will help you answer this question. Lets us see what they are:

STAR Technique:

You may be familiar with the star technique. It is the most commonly used technique for responding to any behavioral question. In this technique you would have to describe a situation, outline the task involved and the actions taken by you and the positive results you achieved. Make sure you emphasize on the result what you achieved.  

Now, here is an example of a star technique to answer the question:

We received an unexpected order for our new product at ABC Company. I met with the project manager, our supplier, and the operations manager right away. With only slight adjustments, we were able to design a realistic plan that reduced our production costs, ensured material availability, and met the production deadline. Despite the fact that it was a time-consuming and difficult process, the end result was a signed contract with a new customer who became a long-term client.

So, that was an example with Situation, task, action and result.

Bring out your skills

Take advantage of the opportunity to demonstrate your organizational, multitasking, team-building, and problem-solving abilities.

For example

While I was working at ABC Company, one of my book's authors backed out due to personal reasons, and was unable to finish the book. The abrupt withdrawal would cause the book's release to be delayed. I immediately informed the book's editor and sought back-up authors, as well as persuaded the editor to finish the book because he was with the author throughout and knew what topics were covered, what topics were not covered, and so on. The editor agreed, and as a result, he became a co-author, and the publication date of the book was not pushed back.

So, that was an example, I hope it will help you frame your own.

Maintain a positive attitude

The employer is looking for someone who can handle a heavy workload effectively while not allowing the quality of work to suffer. He'd ask you questions to see how you'd respond. Please, do not react in a disruptive manner.

Highlight your contribution

When answering this question, the employer is more interested in learning about your plan of action or contribution. Explain how you came up with the strategy or how you worked with your teammates to respond to this question. This will assist you in highlighting your contribution.

Now, there are a few things you need to avoid while answering this question:

Ensure your response in not too dramatic:

In any manner, do not suggest that the challenge of an unexpected workload has fazed you out. Rather than going into detail about how complex the challenge was, just tell how you helped to solve it quickly and effectively. Give the solution more thought than the problem.

Example :

My previous employer informed me that a major client would be arriving in five hours and that I needed to prepare a presentation. I quickly overcame my initial panic, took a deep breath, and gathered my thoughts, trying to figure out how to work on such short notice. I quickly took notes, obtained the necessary information from my teammates, and quickly set up the presentation.

Do not blame or criticize others:

When dealing with a heavy workload, you may have a tendency to speak negatively and to bad-mouth others. For example, your workload could be the result of a lazy colleague who did not take his work seriously. Now blaming him won’t help you, So, avoid the temptation to blame others and instead focus on your own abilities.

Don’t deny stress

Don't act as if a heavy workload doesn't bother you. Because that's not true. Instead, explain how stress challenges and teaches you many lessons. You can also describe how effectively you manage your time, prioritize your tasks, and remain focused on the task at hand.  

Never show up for an interview unprepared:

Research about the company. Investigate the company's culture and working environment. This will give you an idea of how work is done in this company, such as whether it is traditional or fast-paced. This will enable you to determine whether or not you are a good fit for the company.

Let us see a few examples:

Example for an experienced professional:

During my career, I had to deal with a heavy workload. I would investigate the situation and get more information and details to get a clear idea. I would not dive in and try to do everything. And I've discovered that prioritizing the tasks at hand is the best way to proceed. While it may appear that everything is urgent, this is not always the case. So I would prioritize the projects that require immediate attention and communicate with my team and boss to ensure that we are all on the same page. Following that, you can discuss the situation you faced, the task you completed, the actions you took, and the outcome you achieved.

Alright, so that was an example for Experienced Candidates

Now, let's have an Example for a fresher:

As a project coordinator, I would prioritize my work based on what is expected of me. I would organize my work in such a way that it reflects my top priorities, such as keeping the project manager and my team members informed about the project. Following my urgent tasks, I move on to important organizational tasks, such as creating topic outlines for our monthly team meetings. When I prioritize my work in this way, I leave room for changes in priorities while maintaining a healthy work balance.


When responding to the question about a heavy workload, keep the STAR method in mind. Use your response to this question to highlight desirable job skills that have helped you deal with difficult workloads in the past. Make an effort to exhibit a strong work ethic and a positive attitude. Avoid playing the blame game Instead show your enthusiasm, willingness, and ability to deal with critical workplace problems as they arise.