Answers to “How Do You Stay Organized?” (4 Examples)

If you are looking Interview Responses: “How do you stay organized at work?” So this article is for you.

This is one of the most common interview questions, and recruiting managers ask about your organizational skills and how you stay organized at work for several reasons.

As a former recruit, I’m going to share with you:

  • Why do employers ask “How do you stay organized?”
  • How to respond to satisfy them
  • Word-by-word sample answers that you can use
  • 3 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Describing Your Organization Skills

lets start…

Why do employers ask “How do you stay organized?”

Most jobs include quite a few tasks nowadays, so employers want to test your organization’s skills and see if you can prioritize and stay in business.

If you can not stay organized, they will make sure you:

  • Pressed / flooded
  • Stay behind in your work and struggle to keep yourself productive
  • Delayed in performing an urgent task

A recruiting manager may not feel comfortable offering you the job if he or she is not sure you will be able to organize your work and your time.

So your goal whenever you hear this question in your job search is to demonstrate a past track record of strong organizational skills.

Also, try to sound like you have a positive attitude to the subject and do not have difficulty organizing in general.

In the next section, I will share more about how to create the perfect answer …

Steps to Answer “How do you stay organized at work?”

When answering questions about an organization, you need to show the interviewer that you have a defined and proven system, and then follow specific examples if appropriate.

You want to answer with confidence and make it sound like time management, task management and the ability to stay organized are easy For you.

Self-confidence is one of the key areas that employers look for in a job interview.

When you describe how you keep yourself organized, you can specify specific tools and technologies, general strategies, task management software, teamwork / communication and more.

If you have previous work experience, describe the tactics, tools, and methods you used to stay consistent and organized in those previous jobs. Consider sharing an example from the past of how you used one of your methods / tactics to stay organized successfully in a difficult or chaotic time.

If you are a recent graduate, you can discuss the organization and time management strategies used during your education. When you have no work experience, your academic experience he Your work experience. So look back to your education to find past examples of staying organized.

Answer structure: Start with the “how” and then share an example if possible

I encourage you to start your answer by describing the “how”. How did you use your organizational skills, tools and habits to keep yourself on task?

For example, you could answer by saying:

In my current role, I use our company’s internal project management software to keep track of priorities and weekly dates. I also create a to-do list every morning to organize my personal day …

Next, consider sharing a specific example if possible. Sharing an example at the end of your answer is a good way to impress the recruiting manager and stand out.

For example, you could end your interview by saying:

… for example, last month I had three urgent projects that week. By breaking down the week into smaller chunks and prioritizing each day, I was able to stay organized and deliver all the projects on time.

Next, let’s look at sample answers of a verbatim interview to “How do you stay organized at work?” Or “How do you organize yourself?”

How to stay tidy? Sample interview answers

Sample answer for experienced job seekers:

When I was hired for my last job, I saw very quickly that I was about to tackle a large number of tasks, and that I would have to use my resources efficiently if I wanted to succeed. I used an online diary and to-do list to keep track of priorities and plan my day and week. I disassembled each large project into smaller pieces, which I found helpful for time management and deciding which tasks are most critical each day.

Example Answer No. 2 for experienced job seekers:

I use an online diary and to-do list to keep order. I also like to complete my most critical task right away every morning. Thus, if I face unexpected challenges later in the day, I still have fulfilled my main task. I have also discovered that communication skills go hand in hand with organizational skills, at least in my recent roles. So I learned to communicate clearly and quickly with my team and project manager about progress, failures, deadlines, any unexpected tasks I need to handle and more. I was able to stay organized and handle a heavy workload including some crowded deadlines by following this approach.

Example Answer No. 3 for experienced job seekers:

My managers in my previous two roles had a very hands-free approach and I was left to develop my organizational skills and systems. I enjoyed the challenge and created some great systems to save time, prioritize my most critical tasks, and also make sure the other non-top priority tasks do not fall between the cracks and be forgotten. In terms of specific tools, I used a combination of email and Google Calendar, plus automated reminders, email tags and email folders to organize all my projects. I can share some past examples of what it looks like for specific projects if you like.

Note that in answer to sample # 3 above, instead of ending with an example, you end by asking the interviewer if he or she wants you to share more detailed examples of how you used these organizational skills and time management skills. But you leave it to the interviewer to decide.

This is a good route to take if you feel your answer is already lengthening a bit and you have not yet shared specific examples.

Next, I will share exactly how long your answer should be.

First, let’s look at one sample answer for entry level job applicants …

Sample Answer for Beginner Candidates:

In my senior year of college, I had a number of difficult projects that were all assigned within a few weeks of each other, and all were due to arrive that week. I broke down each project into weekly sections to identify what I needed to accomplish each week to finish on time. I also used an online log to coordinate tasks with team members for all of my team projects. I ended up finishing the semester with a 4.0 GPA, and my time management and organization were big reasons for that. I would like to try to use the same approach when I get hired for my first full-time job, because it worked well for me in college. I am open to learning new methods and using additional tools.

Save your answer for a minute or less

When answering simple interview questions like “How do you stay organized?” You should avoid being too long in your response.

I recommend taking about 30 seconds to describe your approach to your work organization, and then another 20-30 seconds to give a brief example.

If you do not share an example, just take 30-45 seconds to describe your general approach and the tools you use to stay organized at work.

If the interviewer or hiring manager wants more details at this point, they can ask for more. But do not talk for two to three minutes in response to a simple question like this. Less is more sometimes, and you will frustrate an interviewer if you give long answers to every question.

Answer “What tools and techniques do you use to stay organized?”

Your interviewer may also ask, “What tools and techniques do you use to keep yourself organized?”

This is similar to the question “How do you stay organized?” But your answer should first mention one specific detail.

Although similar to the question above, you must be careful to indicate at least one tool or technology when answering this question, before any general strategies.

Since the interviewer leads his question with the word “tools”, this is probably what they are most interested in.

The interviewer will still appreciate if you follow up by sharing some general organizational skills, time management strategies, etc., but start with the tools and technology you use.

For example, you could say:

I use Google Calendar and Asana to coordinate and track projects with my team. This is what we use in the department. I also use Asana to keep track of my personal tasks and to-do lists. When it comes to general techniques I use to stay organized, I am great at communicating to ensure I am on the same page with other team members. I also like to plan a lot ahead and divide large projects into smaller parts, to help me prioritize tasks each week.

You do not have to share a million tiny details about the tools (unless the recruiting manager asks additional questions) but show that you are proficient in the tools you use for specific purposes.

Mistakes to avoid when answering

If you read the tips and comments for the example above, you have a good idea of ​​how to describe your organizational system and understand this interview question.

Then, here are some mistakes you should make Always avoid.

First, never sound like you’re hesitant to discuss the issue, or that you’re struggling when it comes to staying organized.

If a recruiting manager asks about your organizational abilities, he or she probably cares a lot and / or thinks it’s critical to the job.

So they want to see enthusiasm from the subject, not hesitation or fear.

Second, do not enter the interview without practicing your answer and refreshing the memory of the processes, tools, and software you have recently used, and your general approach to maintaining order.

Sometimes, you follow a routine at work every day and do it well, but you have not described it for a long time, so you have a hard time finding the right words.

It can make you sound insecure about yourself in an interview if you have not practiced.

Fortunately, you can solve this by practicing your answer and promising that you have a general idea of ​​what to say.

Job seekers who may sound confident and confident in their response are more likely to impress a hiring manager, so get used to answering such questions before your interview.

Third, do not give an unrelated answer to the job you are currently interviewing for.

Employers think about their specific work duties when they ask you questions in an interview. When your employer asks questions related to your past work, try to “tailor” your answer to address that employer’s needs.

Here are some examples to match your answer:

If work makes you think about your feet and stand on an unexpected task from time to time, show flexibility and the ability to stay calm and organized under pressure.

If you expect to work under a short deadline or two, talk about how you have tracked deadlines in the past. Describe a fast system, all habits, or of course tools and technology.

If you’re going to be in a job where you lower your head and often perform one task for hours on end, show how you use your organization’s methods to get less distractions and stay focused for longer periods.


Managers and job interviewers often ask “How do you stay organized?” To make sure you do not struggle with their work, miss deadlines, or you will need a high amount of “grip” with each project.

Your goal is to sound confident and “battle tested” when describing your organizational skills.

Be prepared to talk about the tools and systems you use.

And share examples whenever possible, detailing how you stay organized throughout past challenges and tasks.

This is fine if you do not use any high-tech resources in your organization process. Google Calendar and handwritten notes are correct in some works.

Just describe the skills and methods you used.

Show a level of comfort and confidence in your organization’s skills in general, and you will succeed with this interview question.

By preparing to speak confidently and clearly about your experience in organizing your work and managing tasks successfully, you will show the recruitment manager that you will also succeed in his company.

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