By asking this question, your interviewer wants to know that you are proactive and have ideas that are well received by your supervisors. They also want to know that you take the initiative when you see something that might not be working so well and come up with a viable solution.
Not everyone is going to have experiences like this and that is okay. Answering this question involves demonstrating that you are comfortable with implementing new procedures and have ideas for how things should be done.
Points to Emphasize
You can answer this question without a lot of experience and without having implemented any earth-shattering policies or procedures. Here are things to highlight in your response.
- Remember that even small experiences can be significant. Many people think they haven't made a difference because they didn't do anything huge.
- Admit mistakes or regrets if you have them. Everyone makes mistakes so it is important that you demonstrate that you learned from them.
- Even if the experience did not pan out as you had hoped, you should emphasize what you learned or what you would do differently.
- Make your successes relevant. If you implemented a new customer service procedure at another company, link that experience as much as possible to the new position.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
This question can seem difficult if you don't know anything right off the bat. Here are some things to avoid to help you project confidence.
- Although it seems as if it would go without saying, avoid lying on this or any other question during your interview.
- Don't make something up. If you did not implement a new procedure, be candid about it while defining characteristics that you do bring to the table.
- Don't stammer through the answer. Be prepared in advance to answer this difficult question. Don't downplay your experience. Even if you only had a little example to share, such as a new way to answer the phone, mention it.
Answering this question can be difficult especially if you cannot think of a clear policy or procedure that you singlehandedly implemented. Here is an example of a small change that can make a huge difference.
Although it might not seem like a particularly significant change, in one position as a receptionist, I noticed that customers were not being warm and friendly over the phone. I felt this was contributing to decreased customer satisfaction so I talked to the other assistants helping with the phones and implemented a new way to answer the phone. We began starting every phone call with "Hope you're having a great day!" and employee morale and customer satisfaction both improved.