During the interview process, a common question that may come up is, “Give a time when you went above and beyond the requirements for a project.” Like many interview questions, this one may have some hidden meaning behind it. Understanding what is really being asked is important for giving a strong answer.
When asking for an example of something, interviewers generally are trying to confirm that you have that quality. They may be less interested in your actual example, but they are interested in how confidently you are able to demonstrate this ability in yourself. They should be certain that you are an employee that goes above and beyond by the end of your example.
Points to Emphasize
When answering this question, you are just trying to establish that you are hardworking. Just ensure that you properly communicate that one point.
- Confidence is everything. No matter what your example is, you should be confident that it proves that you go above and beyond.
- Focus on the quality they ask about. Do not get sidetracked explaining other implications of your example.
- Put more effort into the take-away of your story than in the presentation.
- It will be especially effective if your example is from a working experience in a related field.
You should highlight the positive aspects of your example. You might also emphasize the impact it had on your character.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Just remember what the interviewer is trying to take away from your example. If you focus on that, and cut out all other aspects, your answer will be strong.
- Do not worry about coming up with a profound example. Anything, even simple examples, will be adequate as long as they are relevant.
- Do not forget which quality they are asking about. Tangents may include other good qualities, but they diminish the strength of your example.
- Never exaggerate. The whole point is believability. It is pointless if they do not buy your story.
- Avoid rushing an answer to prompt a more comfortable question.
When giving an example of a time you went above and beyond, your answer should probably be similar to this:
When I was still working with my previous employers, I was given a project and the requirements for it. Immediately, I recognized that the requirements were not enough to get the job done properly. I knew that those were the minimum expectations, and that they would be acceptable, but the project would fail even if my managers were satisfied. I decided I needed to do the project justice, even though I had to work on it at home on the weekends.