In this video tutorial, Valerie Sutton, helps you to address the common interview question when have you gone above and beyond at work? She explains how to use the SAR approach to focus on your motivations. With this information you will also be able to address the questions: Give me an example of where you were proactive in your last position? Or tell me about a time you exceeded your team’s expectations.
- When an employer is asking when you have gone above and beyond at work, they most likely are confirming your work ethic and motivation to get the job done. There are a variety of ways they can ask this question, but will most likely always be a behavioral question. For instance, they could ask "give me an example "of where you were proactive in your last position" or "tell me about a time "you exceeded your team's expectations". You should always have a few examples of exceeding expectations that focus on your work ethic and what motivates you.
To highlight your work ethic, you want to show this as just not a one time thing. You might start out by saying I have several examples, but I think the most relevant is the time I helped my team exceed sales expectations by 10%. Once you choose which example you'll use, support it using the SAR approach, or with situation, actions, and results that you took to go above and beyond. It is important not to be vague, but to show real evidence that you try to exceed expectations.
Finally, show how you were motivated by making it relevant to the potential employer. Make sure your answer is authentic, so your enthusiasm shows. This not only helps support your answer, but it shows you how you would fit in the work environment. This will be what sets you apart from other candidates. It may be helpful to understand the three motivational types: achievement, authority, or affiliation, to help you with your answer. If you are motivated by achievement, you may tend to seek positions that allow you to advance, have a sense of accomplishment, and receive feedback.
If you seek authority, your goal may be to lead others or be heard by others. If you are motivated by affiliation, you are driven by social interactions and helping others. All of these reasons are excellent, so you'll want to focus on what is most relevant to you. It may be a mix of them. Here's what an example might look like. What motivated me in this particular example is that my teammates were having trouble coming up with a solution and it is important to me to consistently deliver results and maintain a healthy working environment.
You can see, in this example, achievement is emphasized through the individual results and affiliation with her team members. Remember, it is important to be authentic in your motivations, as this will help determine your fit with the organization. So, what if you are having a hard time coming up with examples? We've all had jobs in our lives that we can't seem to muster the motivation to go above and beyond in the work, but I guarantee there have been times that you have exceeded expectations. It doesn't have to be a grand example, just one that shows you can motivate yourself.
In this circumstance, you may want to use examples from volunteer work, learning something new, or one of your hobbies. Your willingness to put in the effort and getting the job done are important to all employers, so be prepared to have examples of exceeding expectations and your motivation behind doing so. This not only shows your willingness to do the job, but how you would fit within the organization's culture.
- Tell me about your strengths
- Tell me about your weaknesses
- Why are you interested in our company?
- Why did you leave your previous company?
- Tell me how you handled a difficult situation
- What questions do you have?