Describe a situation where you used your own initiative to solve a problem

This question is to test your decision-making abilities and your willingness to go extra miles when you face a problem.  You may prepare an example for describing how you solve a unexpected problem emphasizing initiative.

Sample Answer:

“I once received a last-minute request from the executive director to prepare a Crystal Report with the latest sales data that he needed to present on the committee meeting on that night.  I was facing two problems, one, the report was designed to extract data from the data mart but the data replication was done only every other night, thus we didn’t have the latest data in the data mart; second, my boss was on vacation, but she had asked that I run full offline backup that same afternoon. I have to make my own decisions to solve the conflict. I decided, of course, that the executive director’s request took priority.  In order to run the report with the latest data, I had to modify the report design a little bit to retrieve data from our production database.  At the some time I wouldn’t be able to take the database offline for full backup.  It took me 3 and half hours to put the report on the executive director’s hand.  He was very satisfied.  Then I just went out to grab something to eat and came back to the office around 7 pm to do the full backup.  It was a long day for me but I was very happy to get all the problems solved.”

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