Job Interview Question

Give me an example of a time that you felt you went above and beyond the call of duty at work.

How To Answer Interview Questions Series

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If you get asked to describe a time you went above and beyond the call of duty on the job, be thrilled because this is a great behavioral interview question that has the potential to make you look like an amazing candidate.

You should ALWAYS have one of these stories. It’s always a great thing to talk about how you not only met, but exceeded the expectations of your employer. That’s value.

Before you go into the interview, as part of your job interview prep, think about what story you’d tell in this situation. You should always try to choose one that not only describes a past success but also speaks to your potential success on this job.

Good choices would be ones that highlight skills you need on this job or tasks you’ll need to accomplish, although stories that highlight good character traits are also helpful. Relate your story to the job you’re trying to get in some way.

Your answer or your story should talk about a difficult situation that you overcame in some way. Conflict and resolution always makes for a good story. And you should always tell it along the lines of “Here was the situation….we needed X done, these were the tasks that needed to be done, these were the actions I took, and these were the results.”

That’s the STAR method. STAR stands for the Situation or Task you faced, the Action you took, and the Results you received. It’s just a process to follow to make sure you get all the necessary elements in your answer. I’ve also seen it called CAR: Circumstance, Action, Result. Same thing.

Do not be afraid to brag. This is your shot. In fact, this is also an excellent time to pop open your brag book and do a little show and tell. Show them the note you got from a customer or your supervisor that congratulated you on a job well done. Show them the graph of the stats that improved dramatically after you took action.

Brag books are excellent communication aids for job interviews. They’re visual, which gives you another interesting element in the interview. Not everyone takes the time to put them together and bring them, so they’ll help you stand out. And they provide powerful evidence that backs up your story: I can do what I say I can do, and here’s proof.”

Combine a great story with the brag book, and you’ve got a solid point in your favor in the interview.


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