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15 Self-starter Interview Questions [real examples]

by | reviewed 16/07/2020
A self-starter is someone who is ambitious and motivated enough that they can work on their own initiative without any guidance or supervision. stakeholdermap.com
15 Self-starter Job Interview Questions. These are real questions often asked by employers. Use these questions to prepare for your next job interview!

Employers our increasingly looking for staff who can work independently, with little direction.
As technology improves jobs that require repetitive, routine tasks, are becoming rare. This trend is going to continue and speed up with the use of AI technology. This means that being able to work on your own, to think through problems, and to manage your own time, is an essential skill in the job market today and in the future.
These questions are real examples and are a good way to prepare for interviews because they use a very common model of interview questioning called the competency model.

a point of view photo of a person looking down at a smart phone that they are holding. On the phone screen is the heading, Job Vacancy. The advert text reads: Exciting start-up is looking for a self-starter to join our friendly office

Self-starter interview questions

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  1. Describe a time when the cards were stacked against you or your group completing a project on time, and you still met the deadline. What happened?
  2. Describe when you didn't meet a deadline? What happened?
  3. Tell me about some goals that you have set yourself and how you went about meeting them.
  4. How have you found ways to make your job easier or more rewarding?
  5. Can you think of some projects or ideas that were sold, implemented or carried out successfully because of your efforts?
  6. What changes have you tried to implement in your area of responsibility? What have you done to get them underway?
  7. Tell me about some projects you generated on your own. What prompted you to begin them? How did you sell them to your manager or peers?
  8. Tell me about what you would consider to be your greatest failure. What did you learn from it? What would you do differently now?
  9. What do you consider to be your greatest success and why?
  10. Tell me about a work situation where it was not clear how a project was to be addressed, and you had to figure it out on your own?
  11. Tell me about a time when an unreasonable deadline was imposed on you. What did you do?
  12. Describe a situation where you had to make a last-minute revision to a product based on company changes made at a higher level. How successful were you? How did you communicate changes to the people on the team?
  13. What has been the period of greatest change in your career? What did you learn about yourself and your skills in managing the change?
  14. Tell me about a time when your manager handed you a task and gave you little or no direction. What was that like for you?
  15. Describe an experience you had where you were not tenacious enough. What happened? How could you have improved the outcome?
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Competency based interview questions

Competency focused questions are designed to help draw out a person's experience by asking for examples of when they have performed a function or have shown that they have a skill/competency. This style of questioning is popular because it is more likely to draw out whether a person has the competencies to perform a role.

Models that used closed questions like 'tell me what x means' tend to exclude younger or less experienced candidates and won't necessarily identify a person who has the right competence - experience of Customer Service doesn't mean you were good at Customer Service.

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