Some good/relevant initiative quotes:
“Initiative is doing the right thing without being told.”
“Organization can never be a substitute for initiative and for judgment.”
Louis D. Brandeis
These days, employers look for skills that are beyond the ‘academic qualifications’ of interviewees.
Many of them believe that academic qualifications and experience are something that can easily be sought after but good communication skills (i.e. interpersonal relationship skills) and most importantly initiative skills are quite rare to find.
If an interviewee has even one of these skills and succeeds in proving them to the employer, he is sure to back the job as these are skills of talent employees and potential leaders.
Further, the job can transform into a rewarding career from thereon. Though, the rest of the skills can more or less be developed but initiative skills mark the psyche of an individual.
Thus, communication/initiative skills are ones of the most important.
Do you take the initiative? Interview Question on Initiative Management
Let’s understand the relevance of initiative skills in case of an interview.
Demonstrating self-Initiative in the Workplace
Initiative meaning and definition is – The power to suggest and take a course of actions:
- Are you the one who takes the first step/move?
- Do you take the responsibility for beginning/originating new action in your job?
If you do, you must describe your initiative behavior to the new employer.
The interviewer may ask: “Do you take initiative in the workplace?”
The interviewee should not only reply “yes I do” but, must support his answer and add some good examples from his work history.
Something he initiated that made the difference in the job.
- Organizational activities
- Effective prioritization
- Strong Problem solving abilities
- Succession planning operations – for project managers
- Short term and long term goal plans
- Performance management – monitoring performances
- Policy addresses – Clear policies and practices
- Network – Building relationships
- Change management
The Best Example: Successful change management in the workplace is considered as the top initiative of a manager. If you were a key part of a change in your previous jobs do not forget to mention this important information about yourself.
Interviewer: “Do you have initiative skills? Can you demonstrate any?”
“Yes, I do possess sound initiative skills. As a matter of fact, due to this skill, I contacted the HR department beforehand and inquired about the prerequisites for the interview.
Though, most of it was mentioned in the interview schedule; I inquired about it still. Due to taking such an initiative, I learnt the need of bringing references and certificates and I have brought it with me.”
What does the interviewer make out of a good answer about initiative?
Clearly, the interviewee has demonstrated his ‘initiative’ taking behavior and has further validated the same by presenting the reference certificates.
Thus, the interviewer has learnt the following of him:
1. The interviewee does take initiatives. He does it not when he is told so but on his own. This is a rare trait and a hugely sought after one.
2. The interviewee anticipates future requirements and plans in advance. Further, he is proactive in taking an initiative to confirm and act on the same.
All in all, the interviewer is sure to get impressed by the interviewee and in turn, he is sure to have more chance to qualify for the next job interview round!
*Though, the above mentioned question seems to be a direct one but many a times, interviewers tend to ask indirect questions to gauge your initiative skills. Such indirect questions are difficult to prepare for as most of the times, the innate nature of an interviewee gets showcased. Perhaps, the best possible way to cross such a hurdle is to imbibe the habit of taking initiatives. Once you begin taking initiatives each day; it shall become a habit.
Thus, you would not have to ‘bluff’ and prepare hard enough to counter such a question.