Do you have an upcoming job interview? Make sure you know how to answer the “Tell me about a time you went above and beyond what was expected” or “Can you tell me about a time you went above and beyond?” interview question!
Hiring managers may ask you this open-ended behavioural interview question to obtain information on your work ethic, personality and commitment levels. If you leave the impression of a candidate that typically meets or exceeds expectations, then your chances of getting hired certainly increases. On this page, you’ll find an answer example using the CARL-method & do’s and don’ts to help you out.
#1 Example Answer
Context: “When I was a [Job title] at [Company XYZ], I collaborated with a 5-person marketing team to complete and present a report focussed on a few competitors in the [Industry]. I was in charge of analyzing the competitors’ social media presence, strategies and go-to platforms.”
Action: Once I completed my part, I noticed that my colleague was trying to catch up but was struggling due to personal reasons. That’s when I requested a short meeting so we could discuss the progress so far and find solutions to the problem. During that meeting, I offered him help so we could complete the report on time.
Results: The result was, even though I worked overtime hours for a couple of days, that the presentation was well received and my colleague was extremely thankful for my help. Our team lead gave me a shoutout at our next meeting and going forward.
Learning: What I have learned from this experience, is that unforeseen situations happen when working on team projects. Therefore, it’s key to making a habit of checking in with one another to reduce stress, improve efficiency and more importantly, finish the project.”
#2 Example Answer
“When I was an account manager at [Company XYZ], I had a meeting with one of our most important clients who wasn’t convinced they wanted to extend our contract. It was my job to foster good relationships, and in this case, act as a liaison between the client and marketing department manager. After all, we weren’t in a position to risk losing any existing clients due to the financial situation the company was in.
I thought about the things I knew about the client to see if there was any way to positively influence the final decision. I remembered that he was a Bayern Munich fan and his favorite snack at the games was pretzels. I asked my wife to make some homemade pretzels and placed them in a gift bag with the colors of his favorite soccer team and our company logo to give to him in our next meeting. We were able to extend the contract, and my manager praised me for going above and beyond for that client.”
Interview Question Tips
- Don’t blame or talk negatively about a colleague, employer or customer (e.g. “I was dealing with an annoying customer” or “My ex-colleague never finishes his tasks”)
- Do elaborate on how and why you went above and beyond what’s required
- Do tell the interviewer about the results and learnings
- Do provide an authentic answer to make a lasting impression