When going into an interview, you should be prepared to talk about all that you have accomplished in the past, so you should be ready for an interviewer to ask, "What have you accomplished that shows your initiative and willingness to work"
Hiring managers asking this question are mainly just looking to see if you have an example at the ready that displays your passion for your work. The worst thing you can do is fail to state a time where you truly showed initiative. By not having an answer ready, the interviewer will assume that you are not a self-starter and that this position is probably not right for you.
Points to Emphasize
Anyone can say that they are driven or have what it takes to succeed, but it is another thing entirely to have a tangible example to back that claim up.
- Have an answer ready so you do not have to pause before responding
- Go into plenty of details
- Talk about a time where you benefitted the business
- Discuss a project that was challenging yet fun
If you have been in the work force for a while and do not have any accomplishments to show for it, then that is going to be an immediate red flag to your prospective employer.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
This is a question that a lot of interviewees have difficulty answering or misinterpret entirely. Prepare beforehand and avoid these common errors.
- Avoid any unnecessary pauses
- Don't say that you cannot think of an example
- Don't give a broad, general statement about how you love the industry
- Avoid giving an example that is from a long time ago
It is not enough to simply say that you have initiative. You need to provide an example that clearly demonstrates your willingness to give 100% for everything you do.
In order to show your willingness to work, frame your answer like this:
At my previous job, my boss asked me to develop a plan to increase revenue within the first 30 days. I had to quickly become acclimated to the work I was doing in order to find areas of improvement. At the 20-day mark, I provided him with a detailed analysis of our current business practices along with my recommendations on improvements. After my suggestions were implemented, revenue increased by 10%.
Details are your friends when it comes to answering this question. Be as specific as you can so that the interviewer gets the clearest picture possible of how you work and what you have to offer.