Answering the Interview Question “Tell Me About a Time You Had to Sacrifice Quality to Finish a Job”


CCS Construction - Skilled Trade

When asked about finishing your construction work on time, you need to show that quality always comes first. Because you understand that your work needs to be done right, you must show this when you answer interview questions. It is important that you not sacrifice quality just to get the job done faster.


Follow these guidelines to explain to an interviewer how you prioritize quality while finishing your construction work on time.

What the Interviewer Really Wants to Know

Along with insight into your work pace, the interviewer wants to determine your level of self-knowledge and whether your pace will fit the contractor’s needs. Whereas some construction jobs may be paced more quickly than others, any of them could require increasing your pace to meet a deadline. When talking about the pace of your work, demonstrate how you produce tangible results for the contractor.

Emphasize Steadiness and Quality

Whereas steadiness means you work at a consistent pace, quality means your work is free from errors. Be sure you emphasize both qualities when talking about completing your construction work. Point out that you achieve quality results at your pace while typically finishing your work before the deadline.  

Explain Your Work Method

Share the method you use to produce quality work at the pace you choose. This may involve breaking down projects into manageable daily tasks and slowly completing one at a time. Point out that you avoid focusing so much time on one task that you forget your other responsibilities. Share how you juggle the specific task and other parts of your construction work.

Give Examples

Talk about specific times when working at your pace achieved the desired results. Be sure to use the STAR method: describe a relevant situation, the task involved, the action taken, and the result. For instance, “I typically work at a consistent pace. I plan my schedule and finish my work ahead of time. For example, when I was given a large project that had to be completed in a week, I broke it down into large and small goals. I set up a schedule and checked off each goal as I finished my other duties. The project was completed before the deadline.”

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