Interview Questions

Tell Me About A Time You Improved A Process – Interview Question #Sample Answers

Success is something that comes after days and nights of struggle and staying up working. It is the result of dedication that you give to your work and company. It is the result of something you started small, but it became gigantic over time. It could even be a task at hand which you were expected to be working on, and that task became successful because of you.

However, to become successful, a lot of improvisation needs to be done time and again. And this keeps happening even if you shift companies. As technology and competition are progressing, the scope for improvement keeps rising. You make these improvements by your presence of mind, dedication and, of course, intelligence. So now, when you appear for an interview and you are asked about the time when you improved a process of work that brought outstanding achievements, you might have to sit and think about a convincing answer for the interviewer.

Tell me About a TIme When You Improved a Process

In a situation like this, the interviewer is always testing how you react to the question. Your response reflects your attitude towards success and achievements. The interviewer sees whether you are bragging or boasting yourself or are you just calmly explaining what you did in the previous company that improved the process of working. If you are going for an interview and looking for the perfect answer to such a question, this article is for you as I will tell you why interviewers ask such questions and how to answer these questions wisely.

Why Do Interviewers Ask This Question?

This is the kind of question where the interviewer wants to know more about your experience in the field you have applied for a job. The area demands expertise and dedication to make changes, to see whether you have been contributing enough or just started working for the sake of money. Every job and its targets is a skill, a talent which people start with as a practice and then eventually grow up to be best at it, that talent is everything for an interviewer.

Every company needs an employee who can use their potential to grow its name in whichever department they are employed. This question is a test to see whether your previous activity of success or achievement has raised you above the ground, and you still have the same ambition when it comes to targets related to this company. The interviewer might also want to know if you have made plans according to your previous experience to perform as per the company’s necessities. The former is here to impress; the latter is here to deliver.

The interviewer wants to learn your confidence in working for the company, your motivation behind joining, your reason behind choosing the particular field and many such questions. Wanting to know about the time you improved the work process at your previous company is something more valuable for the interviewer as they will know what this process or method of working is being brought to the company by the interviewee.

How To Respond To This Question?

Usually, when you are asked about your working process, it is just to know how timely or strategically you deliver your work. The other reason behind this is to see whether you brag about what you have done previously or humbly state the facts. Promoting yourself is not the sole reason behind answering this question. This question is clearly about determining your value to the company; in this case, nothing but the truth can be the right answer to give them.

Having a short story behind such a question helps in keeping their attention on you. Talking about your success story should be about work and other successful instances, which allows them to determine your capabilities outside of professional space. Generally, using the STAR method makes your response quite effective. The STAR method is:

  • ST – Situation of Task that you were assigned.
  • A – Action you took to deal with it.
  • R – Result that came after going with your decision.

Before appearing for an interview, you should always remember that questions might get complicated, and your immediate reaction to the question is being observed. This is in a way a behavioural question, and to answer that, your confidence can only be displayed when you know what to speak about. Show enthusiasm for your story but also keep your focus on the facts.

Answers to Avoid for “Tell Me About a Time You Improved a Process”

While you are focused on answering with facts and making sure you have a story convincing enough, there are some things that you need to keep in mind not to let the interviewer doubt your answer.

  • Judging your composure and how you narrate your story represents your confidence and ideals of working in the particular firm. When you show less enthusiasm behind the success, you achieved previously, the same view of you will be set in front of the interviewer.
  • Keeping up with enthusiasm but telling that it wasn’t you who made the suggestion beforehand or expected to be heard represents your lack of interest in the company’s progress. When you have an idea or something that can elevate the work process, then your thoughts will be heard.
  • Speaking of your generous contributions and how they were encouraged by your teammates and your bosses will assure the interviewer that you can be consulted or be involved while significant work is going on in the office.

Why Are Employers Interested In Your Improvements & Contributions?

Well, this is less of rocket science and more of a common understanding. Every employer will test your behavior according to your working experience. Every candidate looks for ambition and skill to solve problems without letting that become their purpose of impressing or taking credit. When you are asked whether “You have suggested something that helped complete a task or improved the process of work?” Your answer that speaks naturally of your experience with confidence can get you hired immediately.

Answering this question should be well thought out. If you go prepared with a background detail about how you had once tackled your previous company’s problem, it will undoubtedly benefit you in narrating the story with intrigue. When that is done, your answer shouldn’t sound boastful of your talent if you get asked why you did the same. It should be more about how your mind reacted to the problem around you and your involvement helped solve it.

Examples of Process Improvements in Various Roles

To be prepared fully is a great idea, and it always works in favour of the candidate. If you want to get a better idea of how this question was answered by the candidates, here are some sample answers:

Logistics Coordinator

Logistics Coordinator

In my last job as a logistics coordinator, I experienced a similar situation. I was hired as a replacement for a woman who left after three months due to struggling too much with the workload. I realized the reason behind this after a few days that the invoicing process was complicated. The invoiced were processed in SAP and Excel sheet, and all the responsibilities were manually taken care of. I raised the issue with my superior because I knew that this work could be automated, and I got permission to proceed. Digging into SAP and consulting multiple colleagues, I managed to automate several processes. It saved me at least an hour a day, and it also saved my colleagues’ time. 

Process Manager

Process Manager

I have had five years of experience as a process manager, and this one time I improved the effectiveness of some processes by 1, 5, 10, or sometimes even 100%, within the production plant. It had always been an equivalent story. I broke down the method into the smallest parts, individual steps. Then I checked out each step, considering the materials, the human factor, and other things, trying to find areas for improvement. Typically I found just something minor because you can’t expect an enormous factory to have poor processes. However, if you improve this detail by one-hundredth, which is two percent, the snowball effect occurs. As a result, the effectiveness of the whole process improves by, let’s say, 5%, which is large once we mention production.

Correctional Officer

Correctional Officer

Working as a correctional officer, I didn’t have many options to enhance processes in work. You have to follow the precise procedures during every shift. in fact it is sensible, because if we tried to improve this or that thing, we’d easily find two or three prisoners missing at the top of the day. which would be a disaster. Having said that, I focused on other sorts of improvement. I simply tried to enhance the way I handle the processes, ensuring that I don’t neglect anything and do what I even have to try to do within the shortest possible time. Perhaps I can enjoy this experience within the job I attempt to get with you now.

Sales Operative

Sales Operative

I recall such a situation from my last job in sales. Big corporation, excellent educational program , processes in place for everything, as you’ll surely imagine. I followed them at the start , saying precisely the same thing on the phone to every customer, having a solution ready for each objection. That time, I noticed that a number of those answers didn’t work, however. A minimum of not also as I hoped they might . Then I came with my very own responses to specific objections, my very own sales talk. Needless to say, my manager didn’t love it . Because it had been an enormous corporation and had processes in situ for everything, and as a replacement employee, I was asked and expected to stick with them invariably. Yet, I got better results and converted more leads, and my sales process was recognized. Yet, they didn’t love it, we had tons of arguments about it, and that I eventually left the corporate. And it’s the rationale why I’m sitting here with you today, applying for employment in your company, a way smaller one. I think I will be able to get more room for my creativity with you.

Market Research Analyst

Market Research Analyst

There is one good example from my last job of a marketing research analyst. I’ve been working with lot of information, doing many manual calculations. That’s how they told me to try to to it. Being an expert user of MS Excel, however, I quickly realized that several tasks might be automated, that the program could do many calculations on behalf of me . And hence I improved the method of knowledge analysis, which allowed me to urge more work done on each shift.

Retail Store Manager

Retail Store Manager

When I started my first job at a clothing store, the company was trying to come up with a way to spice up their declining sales rates. I had the idea to start out a contest among the team where the person with the highest performance rating won a prize at the top of every week. The thought excited and motivated the staff so much that sales went up about 30% within the primary month.



I was a cashier in a supermarket while I focused primarily on my college studies. I wasn’t much satisfied with my speed at work. I didn’t want to let the customers wait longer than needed. Hence I experimented a bit. For example, the way I took the groceries from the belt or scanned the Universal Product Code. Whether it had been simpler to assist the customer in placing the products within the bags or allow them to do this while I focused on other tasks. I managed to enhance the efficiency of every step at the checkout, which helped me prepare their bills faster within the store. I would like to worry that I enjoyed enhancing the processes, and definitely want to undertake something similar in my new job.

Parting Thoughts on Answering on Process Improvements

No matter where you go for an interview, every interviewer wants to be completely aware of who they are hiring. Knowing you is not just about your background and education, but your experience and understanding of the work. If you are into accounting or finance or even a cook, how well can you manage a situation when the company is in trouble proves your dedication towards work.

When an interviewer hires you, they need to know that they can depend on you in a difficult situation. Making them believe this is entirely your responsibility, and if you manage to do that, you are employed. Last but never least, when asked such questions, it is imperative always to remain humble, and never boast, and just state the facts.

All the best ! 🙂

About the author

Atish Ranjan

Hi there, I am Atish Ranjan! I have been into work and business for more than 11 years now; I have given and taken numerous interviews over the years.
Thus, I started to share my knowledge & experience with you! Hope you enjoy reading here.

About the Author

Hi there, I am Atish Ranjan! I have been into work and business for more than 11 years now; I have given and taken numerous interviews over the years. Thus, I started to share my knowledge & experience with you! Hope you enjoy reading here.