Careers

What to say when an interviewer says, 'Describe a time you went above and beyond'

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Demonstrating the full value you can bring to a company can be key to setting you apart from your competition.

That's why job search platform Glassdoor says one of the most popular questions employers like to ask in an interview is "Give a time when you went above and beyond the requirements for a project."

"Every company wants to know that, on occasion, you will go above the norm to get your job done," Roy Cohen, career coach and author of The Wall Street Professional's Survival Guide tells Glassdoor as part of the site's 50 Most Common Interview Questions series.

When answering this question, Mary Grace Gardner of The Young Professionista says you should be as specific as possible explaining a situation where you took the initiative to do more than what was asked of you.

"Choose an example where you went beyond the scope of your job description to accomplish a goal," Gardner tells Glassdoor. "Transforming a process, executing a new idea or taking on something your boss would do are all excellent examples."

Be sure that the examples you give highlight efforts you made that go beyond the tasks listed in your job description. According to bestselling management author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch, going above and beyond your job is also a sure way to advance once you're within a company.

"Getting promoted is not just about doing your job," she says. "It's about over-delivering, which involves re-thinking the way you do your job."

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