How to answer the interview question: "How do you drive results"

By Robert Half on 23 April 2024

How to answer the interview question: "How do you drive results"

  1. Achievements
  2. Adaptability
  3. Teamwork and collaboration
  4. Initiative
  5. Lessoned learned
Estimated Read Time: 5 minutes

It may come as little surprise to Hong Kong job seekers that the job market is tight, to say the least. While the demand for certain skill sets remains high, the national labour force is getting seemingly smaller. The unemployment rate remains firm at 2.9%, still unchanged from November 2023.

With employers maintaining a cautious approach to hiring, it’s more important than ever to make a solid impact during the recruitment process. There’s no better place than the interview to replace caution with confidence!

We know, it’s not always an easy feat. We’ve all faced at least one interview question that has left us stumped. A question like, “how do you drive results?”.

It’s a question that probes beyond qualifications, delving into your ability to deliver successful outcomes. If you can pre-empt it and prepare for it, it can give you the power to rise to the top of the talent pool.

Join us as we explore how to navigate those intimidating drive-for-results interview questions and craft impactful answers.

Understanding the question

So, you’re ready to draft some answers for drive-for-results interview questions, but do you know what the employer is really asking?

Joyce Fok, Recruiting Associate Director at Robert Half in Hong Kong, says it’s important to grasp the essence of the question as a starting point. She says, “Of course, employers want to hear about your qualifications and credentials. But they also want to get an insight into how you contribute to achieving goals and making a meaningful impact at work. As the interviewee, it’s crucial that you shine a light on your ability to generate positive outcomes through your own actions and strategies.”

With this in mind, it’s important to take the time to pause and ponder the ways that you:

  • Meet personal and business goals
  • Motivate yourself and your team members
  • Support your organisation
  • Deliver consistent results

Joyce says, “Knowing how to prove that you are reliable and action-oriented is critical. In my experience, businesses gravitate towards candidates with a track record of delivering results - they also tend to be passionate, productive, and pragmatic. For employers, these are the kind of candidates you want moving up the ranks of your business.”

Crafting the answer

The thought of answering interview questions about driving results can leave candidates with a sense of uncertainty. While there is no one-size-fits-all all approach, there are certain things you can do before an interview to prepare a unique and meaningful answer.

This question demands a multi-layered response, so be prepared to call upon various situations that demonstrate your strengths as a results-oriented team member. The STAR interview method is a constructive technique for identifying suitable situations and outlining them clearly and concisely:

Situation - Briefly outline the situation you were in.

Task – Discuss the task at hand and your responsibilities.

Actions – Explain the actions you took and why.

Results – Outline the results that occurred as a result of your actions.

If you’re finding it hard to pinpoint employment situations, consider using examples that have occurred during school, university, or charity work.

Related: How to answer the “What are your hobbies?” interview question

Let’s explore the top elements to incorporate into your response to drive for results interview questions:

1. Achievements

Often, the magnitude of our accomplishments can be highlighted through tangible facts and figures. The intent in highlighting these achievements is to emphasise the value you have brought to your organisation. Be prepared with specific, quantifiable evidence in the form of personal accomplishments that directly align with successful business outcomes.

While this can be powerful, it’s important to go beyond the numbers. Results aren’t strictly limited to profits or sales figures – especially in positions where numbers aren’t central to the role.

Where possible, aim to quantify results beyond sales figures. This could include factors such as customer satisfaction, process improvements, or workplace initiatives. Be sure to compliment any facts or figures with the key attributes that you drew upon to achieve them.

2. Adaptability

In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, organisations need employees who can work in light of changing conditions. From new technologies to new market conditions, employers are looking for talent who can help them stay ahead of the curve, leverage opportunities, and navigate challenges.

Joyce believes that adaptability is a valuable trait to have in 2024. She says, “When answering drive for results interview questions, don’t overlook adaptability. While numbers are important, employers also want to know that you can pivot, innovate, and succeed amidst change.”

Touch on ways that you have leveraged your adaptability to navigate complex situations, minimising disruptions and maximising productivity. By doing so, you can also shine a light on your resilience, creativity, and problem-solving abilities – all of which are highly desirable to an employer.

Related: The best way to answer: “How is your new job?”

3. Teamwork and collaboration

With the rise of remote and hybrid work models, adaptability has been crucial for collaboration and teamwork. As a result, effective collaborators and strong team players, have become indispensable to modern businesses.

The power of teamwork is certainly something to leverage when crafting a response to drive for results interview questions. Referencing situations where teamwork has led to success, will underscore your willingness to collaborate to achieve positive results.

Draw upon any examples of where you have worked constructively within a team or, where you might have motivated others to work harder.

A collaborative spirit is a compelling factor for prospective employers. Not only does it offer the opportunity for stronger workplace partnerships, it also paves the way for greater business outcomes. From business innovation to employee morale, every business function has something to gain from collaborative, team players.

4. Initiative

While it’s important to reference collaborative efforts when responding to drive for results interview questions, it’s also important to highlight your ability to work autonomously.

Joyce believes that referencing your initiative is key to proving your potential to employers. She says, “Employees with great initiative are like gold to employers. Typically, they demonstrate a proactive attitude and a willingness to take ownership of their projects. Having self-motivated employees is a huge asset – they don’t wait to be told what to do, they are accountable, and ultimately, they relieve the managerial burden.”

Be sure to layer your answer with examples of where you have demonstrated initiative. From identifying opportunities to thinking outside the box, show your prospective employer that they can rely on you to consistently drive projects forward without constant supervision.

5. Lessons learned

Honesty is fundamental when answering drive for results interview questions.

While the interviewer will expect a level of self-endorsement, they also want to see an element of self-critique. Joyce says, “Be ready to demonstrate areas where you have learned from failure. Outline how you have taken these failures and used them as a learning opportunity to improve your future approach.”

As the old adage goes, ‘mistakes are the portals of discovery’. Don’t be afraid to show your prospective employer where you may have stumbled in the past. They are sure to value the self-awareness and introspection that have led to your drive for continuous improvement. It’s this drive that promotes accountability, responsibility, and trust within the organisation.

Related: How to answer: “What are your weaknesses?” in a job interview

Adopt a winning format

Unsure about how to respond to drive-for-results interview questions? Our tried and tested response templates can help to get you started.

Response 1

I have a multifaceted approach when it comes to driving results. For me, adaptability, teamwork, initiative, and continuous learning yield the most impactful outcomes.

One of my greatest achievements has been delivering a 20% increase in sales despite challenging market conditions. Instead of being deterred by these roadblocks, I made a conscious effort to adapt and adjust the strategy to capitalise on emerging opportunities.

Initiative was crucial here, as I was able to identify some major inefficiencies in our processes. From here, I proposed some innovative solutions that management approved for implementation. This helped to streamline the processes while enhancing productivity.

I knew this target would be a collective effort that required input from multiple business functions. Through close collaboration with my team, I was able to leverage each individual’s strengths to navigate the complexities we faced. By working cohesively and constructively with the finance, marketing, and product development teams, we not only mitigated risks but also surpassed the initial targets.

Throughout my career, I’ve come to appreciate the importance of agility, open-mindedness, and resilience in driving results. Every new project is a chance to draw from my past achievements and lessons to deliver strong outcomes for my organisation.

Response 2

I strongly believe that my colleagues know me as someone who strives to see what is possible. When it comes to driving results, I have a fierce determination to meet my own goals and the goals of my organisation.

In my previous role, I had to (insert goal i.e., sales increase or increase in customer satisfaction).

This was a complex situation as I faced (insert challenges i.e., tough market conditions or lack of processes).

Despite this, I managed to achieve (insert tangible results i.e., a 20% sales increase or 60% increase in customer satisfaction).

Looking back, I believe this was achieved through (explain the actions behind the achievement i.e., adaptability, teamwork, and initiative).

As someone who is passionate about continuous learning, I made sure to carve out time to review this process. While there were some big wins, I was also able to identify areas for improvement that I’ll be sure to apply in future (insert opportunities for improvement).

Related: How to answer: "What’s your expected salary range?”

Job interviews can be intimidating, especially in a competitive market like Hong Kong. Mastering the art of answering questions like "How do you drive results?", can go a long way in setting you apart from the competition. By understanding the question and integrating references to achievements, adaptability, teamwork and collaboration, initiatives, and lessons learned, you can engineer a response that will captivate prospective employers. The right response will help them to realise your action-oriented abilities and your drive to deliver meaningful impact.


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