What is initiative?
The ability to see opportunities and to set and achieve goals. Use your initiative and contact firms directly if you are interested in working for them or want to get work experience.
When answering a question such as 'How did you monitor progress?' or 'How did you set milestones?' include: A concise description of the process you developed, your highest achievement, an example of initiative and what you learnt/would do differently.
Application form and interview questions
Some examples of application form and interview questions which are designed to test your initiative:
- Tell me about a time when you spotted an opportunity to suggest a change. How did you put this forward and what was the outcome?
- Give me an example of when your initiative and quick thinking stopped a problem escalating.
- When have you had to use your initiative to cope with a change in circumstances?
If you are unsure how to structure an answer for either application or interview questions, visit the application and interviews section of our website and find out about the CAR (context, action, result) and STAR (situation, task, action, result) models. Our recommendations are based on feedback from employers.
Your initiative may be tested at assessment centre through role play and group activities. Assessors will examine your ability to come up with ideas and recommendations within a strict time frame.
Additionally as part of a presentation exercise, being able to answer questions imaginatively at the end of the presentation, would demonstrate that you can think of your feet and use your initiative.