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Interview Question “What Does Quality Mean to You?” Example Answers

Interview Question “What Does Quality Mean to You?” Example Answers

July 9, 2022

Quality can mean different things to different people. For some, it’s about perfectionism and going above and beyond to get the job done. For others, it’s all about meeting deadlines, even if that means things aren’t completely perfect. And in some cases, it’s about delivering a premium quality product that blows the competition out of the water.

It’s important to ask this question in a job interview to get a sense of what the candidate values. It can also help to ensure that candidates will fit in with the company culture and get on well with the rest of the team. If your whole team values attention to detail and you hire someone who thinks that “done is better than perfect”, you might have some personality clashes.

As a candidate, you should answer this question honestly, but also with the role in mind. You need to have a good understanding of the role on offer. When you understand the job description, you should have an easier time impressing with your answer. In this guide, we’ll explore why interviewers ask this question, what quality really means in the workplace, and how you should formulate your answer. 

Why do employers ask this question?

Employers ask “what does quality mean to you” to get an idea of what you value. Quality implies a degree of excellence, and it can be applied to the work we do every day. Employers want to know that their workers are going to strive for excellence in their work.

If the company is going to let you near their customers or clients, they need to know that you’re on the same page. As you’ll be representing the company, they need to know that you have the same high standards and expectations.

What does quality look like in the workplace?

Quality will mean different things in different workplace settings. For example, quality will be a very different meaning for a customer service role than it would be for an engineering role. Here are a few examples of what quality could look like in the workplace:

  • Delivering excellent customer service and ensuring that every customer feels like the number one priority.
  • Responding to clients quickly and making them feel like their account is your biggest priority.
  • Performing rigorous testing on new products before they are delivered to customers.
  • Picking and packing products carefully so that they arrive with customers without any damage.
  • Delivering projects on time and under budget to help secure savings for the business.
  • Investing in better materials to produce a superior product.

How should you answer this question?

While it might sound like a straightforward question, you should still break it down into a few parts. You can also provide further detail by giving an example of a time when you demonstrated your commitment to quality. Your answer could be structured in the following way:

  • A brief overview of your understanding of quality
  • How you apply this to your work
  • An example of how you have demonstrated your commitment to quality

Example answers to “what does quality mean to you?”

Now that you have an understanding of what employers are looking for with this answer, we can look at some example answers.

Example #1

“For me, quality is all about meeting and exceeding customer expectations. It’s making sure that every detail is perfect, and that the product is delivered on time and up to standard. 

In my recent role, I implemented new testing protocols at every stage in the design process so that we could deliver new products on time and on budget. After six months, we noticed a significant improvement in our average customer rating on the Apple app store.”

This is a great answer as it not only shows what you do to achieve quality but also gives the employer an idea of the results. Employers want to know that your actions will have tangible results for their company. If you can get specific and provide data, even better.

Example #2

“To me, quality is about doing things right the first time. It’s attention to detail and taking pride in your work. It’s making sure that everything meets the highest standards before it goes out the door. 

While I was a student, I worked as a warehouse operative responsible for picking and packing customers’ orders and making sure their products arrived safely. I created my own system to double-check orders before they were sealed to ensure nothing was missing from the order. This resulted in a 25% reduction in returns as more customers received exactly what they order.”

Your answer doesn’t have to be about your most recent role. In this example, the candidate recalls a situation from when they were working a part-time job as a student. It might not be completely relevant to your most recent job, but it shows that you take quality seriously, no matter how senior your role is.

Example #3

“Quality is important to me because it reflects on the company as a whole. I am very conscious of how my behaviour will reflect on my employer and will always go above and beyond to help clients. As a key account manager, I was responsible for updating 8 of the top billing clients on the progress of their marketing campaigns. 

At the start of each project, I asked each client how I could meet their expectations for checking in and updating them. I then created a weekly schedule to ensure every client got the attention they needed to feel like a priority. This resulted in a 75% increase in repeat business from my accounts and a 50% increase in referrals.”

This answer gets very specific about what they did and why they did it. It also shows initiative, as the candidate implemented a new process that resulted in more business. If you can offer real-world examples of how your commitment to quality has improved a business, this will certainly work in your favour.

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