When approaching to the job market there is little we know about: from the mechanisms of the screening process to the expectation recruiters have. Actually, it all depends on your education background, the features and priorities the company you are applying for has. All in all, though, one can say that there are some common expectations and traits recruiters look when interviewing a candidate. One of them is PROACTIVITY.
We here thousands of times this word, but do we know exactly what does it mean? Proactivity is the ability to foresee needs and changes and act accordingly, in order to prevent, cope or anticipate those events. It seems straightforward, right? Well, when it comes to take an action, especially when you are applying for junior position, people tend to doubt and to procrastinate or to leave the decision to someone else. Proactivity then is all about knowing the surrounding, knowing the firm’s priorities and knowing yourself and your way of being.
Knowing the surrounding allow you to have a global view on what is going on around your company, how the competitors usually react to changes and which changes are more likely to occur. Knowing the firm’s priority put the knowledge about the environment into perspective. In this way you know what is important to the company goals, what can be put in second place in terms of importance and which aspects of changes do not affect the firm’s priority. Finally, knowing yourself and how you react to changes, helps you decide what to do, whether to act promptly and how. All in all, proactivity comprises all of these.
Therefore, how can you practically show your way to be proactive during an interview? A perfect chance is when (and if) the recruiter asks you about the way you organize your work. In this scenario you can mention how you try to foresee the tasks you will have to take care of and start planning, in order to avoid more work down the road and be prepared for unexpected changes. Mentioning also that planning well for the future allows you to balance your priorities at work and home, make the recruiter perceive you as an organized person who is able to cope with unexpected changes or deadlines.
Proactivity goes also hand in hand with efficiency. This means that you are able to accomplish a task, saving unnecessary time wastes, going to the point of the problem and being focused on the goal.
In the case you do not have the chance to show your proactivity skills, be ready to ask related questions. How is the workday like and what will be my tasks and responsibilities? What are the firm’s priorities in the next three to five months?
In the end, in order to show your proactivity at best, you can start by arriving prepared to the interview!