How To Answer "Tell Me About A Time You Went Above & Beyond"

Job candidate shakes hands with the hiring manager before a job interview

One of the hardest and most important job interview questions is, "Tell me about a time you went above and beyond." Here's the perfect technique to ace the answer every time.

Step 1: Think About A Time You Exceeded Expectations

The first step is for you to sit down and think about a time when you exceeded expectations on the job.

Imagine the times when you were given a lot of praise or maybe you got a promotion or even a raise. Think about what made you earn these things and ask yourself how exactly did you go above and beyond in order to get that appreciation and that recognition.

This is going to help you flesh out the stories that you're going to want to tell in order to validate your experience and your ability to go above and beyond.

Step 2: Break The Story Down

Job candidate tells the hiring manager about a time he went above and beyond at work during an interview


Now, step two is for you to break that story down into what we call the "Experience + Learn = Grow" model for answering behavioral interview questions like, "Tell me about a time you went above and beyond."

You want to think about the experience objectively and factually. Explain to the hiring manager everything that happened leading up to you earning that praise or that promotion or that raise.

Then, you want to talk about what you learned. As a good employee, you always want to be thinking about those experiences and what they taught you.

Lastly and most importantly, you're going to talk about how you grew as a professional—how you're going to take what you've learned and apply it going forward. This is going to demonstrate how employers like them could benefit from this added expertise that you've developed.

Step 3: Practice Your Delivery

Professional woman practices her answer to the interview question, "Tell me about a time you went above and beyond?" during a job interview


The third and final step is for you to practice your delivery. You do not want to walk in and wing it. It's super important that, in addition to writing out your answers, you play them back to yourself.

What do I mean by that? Well, I suggest grabbing a mirror and talking out the answers, looking at yourself straight in the eye with a smile, or asking friends or family members to do a mock interview with you. Even recording yourself and playing it back on a video will do the trick.

Doing these things repeatedly is vitally important in job interview preparation, especially when it comes to answering a question like this. "Tell me about a time you went above and beyond," can seem like a daunting interview question, but all you have to do is follow the three steps above to answer it effectively.

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This article was originally published at an earlier date.

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