In the past, many employers valued obedience and a docile attitude in their workers. This was because, during the mechanical revolution, as machines were just coming into widespread use in industries worldwide, machines were seen as the most productive and efficient workers that a company could have. As a result, many employers tried to hire workers that would function as much like machines as possible, nothing more; nothing less.
In this enlightened age, however, the exact opposite is true. Employers now value workers who are independent and are not afraid to challenge existing practices and habits if they have constructive and useful suggestions to give. In fact, many employers encourage this as much as they can, because they realize just how much a company can benefit from one good suggestion provided by a single worker.
When you go for your job interview, you can cater to this desire by employers by demonstrating to your interviewers just how you went above and beyond in your previous job. If you are able to think of any situation in your previous employment in which your creativity or initiative allowed you to save the company money or time or perhaps make the existing system more efficient, then you should definitely work that into at least one of your answers to the questions asked during your interview.
Even if you lack work experience or you are unable to think of any particular situation in which you were able to go above and beyond the call of duty, you should not feel limited to giving examples only from your previous employment. You could even talk about your experiences as far back as college. Perhaps you were the leader of a student organization and you did much more than what was expected from you in that capacity.
Characteristic And Not Lifeless Examples
While you may be tempted to simply drop as many examples of going above and beyond as possible if you have had such experiences, this is not at all the right way to go about impressing your interviewers. Your interviewers, who are likely to include the chairman of the company and perhaps even some of the directors, will be on the lookout for someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty as part of their personal character and not just as something to gain mileage from. Your true intent will come through in the way you state your examples of going above and beyond.
Instead of rambling on and on about the examples of going above and beyond, it is far more effective to pick a few specific examples where you made the most different to your company and focus on those. Pick apart the thinking and rationale that went into your decisions and how you conceived of the process. Show your interviewers exactly how you went above and beyond and why you did so. This will give them a much better impression of how you go beyond the call of duty based on a personal character trait and not just so that you would have something to talk about in an interview.