Most of us have a story of when we were innovative at work. It allows us to show our employers how innovative we can be, and also allows them to see how much potential we have.
Each situation is different, so I took the time to find 5 real-life examples of the most common situations we might face in an interview.
Again, innovation is a concept that encompasses many important attributes – the confidence to think and act differently, the creativity to find new solutions, and the flexibility to cope as things change.
Think of a time when you spotted a need to be innovative. What did you do? What was the positive impact of your new approach on your team and your organization?
When I took on the responsibility of managing a team that had no formal leader
I've been innovative at work when I took on the responsibility of managing a team that had no formal leader.
We were working on a project that needed to be completed in less than a month, and it was clear that the team didn't have all the necessary skills to complete the task. I decided to take on the role of leader myself and use my background in management to guide them toward success.
We had an open-door policy where anyone could bring up any problem they were having without fear of repercussions. This fostered an environment of trust and transparency, which was essential for our success as a team.
I also encouraged everyone to contribute ideas for new solutions along the way, which helped us avoid dead ends or unnecessary delays.
In the end, we finished our project ahead of schedule and exceeded expectations on quality -- we even got an award from upper management for our work!
When I was able to come up with a solution to a problem that had been plaguing my team for some time
I would say that I've been innovative at work when I was able to come up with a solution to a problem that had been plaguing my team for some time. The problem was that we had a very large project coming up, but our team was already working flat-out on other projects.
I knew that if we didn't figure out how to deal with this new project, it could easily overwhelm us – and possibly result in the loss of some important clients. So, instead of just throwing more bodies at the problem, which is something we'd done before (and which never worked), I decided to try something different: we moved one of our existing projects into an existing client's office space so that they could take over part of the workload.
This freed up our team members for even more work on other projects – and it gave them direct access to their clients' own experts, who could help them complete their tasks faster than ever before.
The result? Our client has been thrilled with the results, and has increased their contract with us three times since then!
When I think outside the box
I've been innovative at work by thinking outside the box.
I was working on a project that required me to create a new program for the company. The company wanted it to be done in 8 weeks, but I knew that would not be possible since it was such a big project.
I decided to take a different approach and broke down the project into smaller pieces, which allowed me to get it done faster than expected. This allowed us to test out some ideas before going live with them, so we could see what worked and what didn't work before rolling out anything publicly.
When I noticed that the codebase was becoming so large and unwieldy
When I was a software engineer at [company name], I noticed that the codebase was becoming so large and unwieldy that it was becoming difficult for new team members to learn our technology stack.
I realized that we needed a way to make our code more easily digestible and accessible, so I created an open-source repository of all of the documentation on how to use our products.
This made it easier for new hires to get up-to-speed with their work, which in turn helped us retain talent by making it easier for them to feel competent and confident in their roles.
When my manager asked me to come up with a new way we could improve customer satisfaction
I was working as a customer service rep for a company that sold office supplies online.
My manager asked me to come up with a new way we could improve customer satisfaction and make the process more efficient. I thought about it and then realized that we could use an innovative approach to reduce the number of repeat customer calls we received.
We were able to do this by informing customers of their options via email instead of phone calls, which saved us time and money on our end and improved customer satisfaction levels on theirs.
This helped us improve our customer retention rate, which is important for any business.
When I suggested that we create a prototype of an entirely new UI
When I was working at [company name], I was working with a team of developers who were building out a new feature for our product. The problem we were trying to solve was that the user experience of our application had become too complicated, and customers were struggling to understand it.
We knew that we needed a solution that would make the product more intuitive for users, but also keep all of the functionality of the existing design.
I suggested that we create a prototype of an entirely new UI, which would show how users could access all of their information in one place instead of having to navigate through different screens. We built it out as an MVP and showed it to customers. They loved it! We then took the feedback from those customers and made some changes based on what they said about their experiences with the new interface.
We eventually rolled out the new design across all platforms, and it resulted in a huge spike in signups and conversions!
When I saw that we were spending a lot of money on advertising and not getting the results we wanted
When I was working in the marketing team at [company name], I saw that we were spending a lot of money on advertising and not getting the results we wanted. So, instead of just throwing more money at a problem, I decided to try something different: We started using influencer marketing.
I found some influencers who had a large following in our target market and gave them free products to try out for review.
They loved them so much that they posted about them on their social media channels, which resulted in thousands more customers buying our product. This was an innovative way to get great results without breaking the bank.