Are you self-motivated?

Question: Are you self-motivated? If so, when did you demonstrate this quality most recently?

Response: Yes, I take every appropriate opportunity to take on new challenges and learn on my own. This past summer, we received an urgent service request from the client, at the same time, our Project Manager was out on vacation and we were not able to trace him on time. This service request entailed the technology that I had only learned in college but never applied on the job. I took this challenge as an opportunity to revisit and refresh the skills I had learned long back and completed the project for my Manager’s review. By the time we were able to get hold of the Manager the project was ready for his review. To everyone’s surprise, the project had minimal changes and we delivered to the client well before the deadline. My Manager was really happy since he did not have to cancel his vacation and client was happy for the turn around. It gave me immense satisfaction for completing the project on time and learning a new skill in the process.

For Freshers: Yes, I take every opportunity to take on new challenges and learn on my own. This past summer, we had an inter-college chess championship organized by our Math Professor. One week before the contest, our Professor got flu and could not come to the college. Everyone thought the contest is going to be called off. I saw this as an opportunity to apply the management skills we learned in the class room. I organized a small team of 4 students, worked with the Principals of local colleges, conveyed the situation and successfully organized the event. It was great to learn firsthand as to how much organization skills it takes to organize such an event. I learned a great deal about team skills, organizing, managing the schedules and importance of timely communication. Event’s success earned a great name to our college and personal accolades to me. It feels good to save the day.

Notes: If you do not have experience, just think about a time where you had to do something on your own. It doesn’t matter if you feel it was trivial or unrelated to your job. For example, in above case, organizing the Chess Competition may not have anything to do with the Programmer role he/she may have applied for. However, the emphasis on taking initiative, managing team, organizing the event and mentioning of communication skills all indicate great motivation, management, organization and communications skills.

It is not what you have done that matters; it is how you present your case that counts.

Variations of this question:

  • Do you wait for instructions?
  • Do you wait for someone to handover a game plan? Or do you make one? Can you give examples?