Being proactive or action oriented at work is one of the most appreciated skills by HR interviewers. Along with talent, they always seek candidates who do more than speak. Some of the key traits of being action oriented are working hard and enjoying the same.
An individual who is being proactive or action oriented and full of energy for the things he/she sees as challenging is a positive influence on the entire team. These are employees who are not fearful of acting with minimum planning.
Such employees also like to seize more opportunities than others. It is true that they are taking some potential risks, but it also means that they are willing to go that extra mile. They are the type of people who get things done. This could be done on their own or through other people. They are people who are not afraid of commitments and try to make sure that other people do the same. They like to be proactive — be it helping others, or following up on the tasks accomplished in ongoing projects.
Think back to a period of time in which your positive work ethic even inspired others. Share with me the details.
The HR interviewer would like to know if you have been able to create a positive impression at work with your ethics. It could be that people look up to you and take inspiration from your working style. Answer this question with modesty. Say that making good business decisions is important. You can say that you are highly action-oriented, you’re the type of person who gets thing done — and sometimes this also requires help from others.
To ensure commitments are fulfilled, you believe in working as a team — so being action-oriented is something that you also push your team for. You can cite an instance where, may be you were leading a project at work. This required you to coordinate with numerous people and handle multiple tasks to ensure that the work is completed on time.
Talk about how you were proactive or action-oriented at work, you could have taken measures like holding meetings for the project team or trying to address problems that have cropped up. You can also describe the strategies or procedures you implemented or even team changes. It could be hiring a different vendor for some parts of the project and opting for a completely new process for carrying out another aspect of the project.
Share some instances that demonstrate your capability to regularly develop and implement plans for new projects and to redirect activity on plans that aren’t working.
The HR interviewer often asks the candidate about sharing instances where they have demonstrated their capability to regularly develop and implement plans for new projects and to redirect activity on plans that aren’t working. They want to know how proactive you are at work when it comes to making changes, or do you always make do with existing plans. Tell the interviewer that you try to regularly review the existing plans and procedures, and make changes in the same to enhance productivity.
You can say that being action-oriented in simple things can help you to make major changes. It could be documenting your major duties and operations, check for potential absences of employees, being familiar with company’s policies and procedures etc. You can say that you also like to keep a tab of what other units are working on so that duplication and waste of time and resources are avoided.
Alongside while answering this HR interview question, mention that sometimes you collaborate activities with other teams or redirect plans based on impromptu suggestions — which may seem taxing immediately but would provide long-term gains for the company and the team. Also, add that you like to prioritize by writing a list of all the tasks which you need to do, then ranking them according to importance. Say that you also try to estimate how much time it would take to complete tasks. This helps you to get an idea of how your day/ project would look like and stay focused on what is important.
Think back to a recent period of time that reveals your skill to view challenges, and even mistakes, as an opportunity to grow.
During the course of the HR interview, the interviewer would like to know what skills you have to analyze and foresee challenges. They believe that a candidate who can overcome challenges, and rather consider it as an opportunity to grow would be ideal for them. Tell them that you like to optimize your skills and manage your actions in accordance with the situation.
For example, if there are new members on the team, you always remember that you are checking to see what progress people on their teams are making. Often, “micromanaging” helps you to overcome hurdles, and this is the essence of your job to see to it that things are accomplished — and that too in a timely fashion. The skill or art of micromanaging means you are trying to make everyone do things exactly the way you would.
Other skills like foresightedness are also relevant here. You can cite examples of how at the end of a project meeting, you make certain that each person is clear on exactly what action steps he or she is responsible for. Eliminating ambiguity is one of the first steps to grow.
If there is a scope or chance of a mistake that you foresee, you try to fix things or make amendments. If a wrong shipment has arrived, instead of fretting, you continue with your actionable and redirect the task of managing the wrong shipment to another team.
Describe the most complex, challenging situation in which you needed to be the one who set the pace for productivity by example, in a firm but unthreatening way.
There are instances when everyone is stuck in a challenging situation at work. Often, this implies that the team members are disheartened and someone needs to put the right foot forward and set the pace. You can talk about or describe a situation where you had to deal with something like this. Mention that having a friendly attitude goes a long way in strengthening relationships. If you have a good rapport with them, people respond to you. During a challenging time, it is important that you support others in their projects, especially when they ask for your help and you are in a position to assist.
To demonstrate that you are proactive at work, along with this, you can also add that you like to involve the entire team to participate in the brainstorming sessions. Not only does it help them to feel more involved, it also makes them come up with ideas to improve the company and support customers better.
So, while you are only being proactive and action oriented in pushing them a little, it is actually the team effort that helps to overcome challenges. When you share issues or some challenges that you are facing, you are laying the stepping stones for the team to get active too. It helps them to develop the capacity to work efficiently under pressure. Mention that you like being consistent and think on your feet so that you can set a good example for your colleagues.