Show off your “intrapreneurial” spirit in the interview

Learn how to display your passion, innovation, resourcefulness and risk-taking traits in an interview.

Employers are always looking to create a competitive edge in the marketplace. Many of them do this by hiring intrapreneurs. What is an “intrapreneur?” Intrapreneurs are employees who demonstrate entrepreneurial characteristics in an existing business.

Entrepreneurial traits such as passion, innovation, creativity, resourcefulness, risk-taking and resiliency are highly desired by prospective employers. So how can young people with little or no work experience, as well as experienced employees, display their intrapreneurial spirit during the interview process? Michigan State University Extension suggests providing examples in the following areas to highlight these features and strengthen your candidacy for that next position.

Employers are looking for people who have a positive attitude, high energy and are enthusiastic. What are you passionate about? When you are in touch with your passions, you have more energy, enthusiasm and creativity. Passion and enthusiasm can also be contagious. As a result, passion and productivity often go hand in hand. Can you describe a time when you exceeded expectations? Do you have a track record of infecting others with your passion and powers of persuasion? Can you describe a time when you were able to bring together a diversified group for a common cause?

Innovation and creativity
Have you started a new project, club or group? Have you tackled a problem and found a better way to do something? Have you created something useful that has value? Have you ever come up with a new idea or adapted something for a new use?

Doing more with less is a common theme in the workplace. Showing your resourcefulness will increase your rating in an interview. Can you describe a time where you found, secured and/or generated resources quickly in order to plan or implement a project? Think of resources in the broadest sense: they could include money, expertise, skills, support and/or time. Did you raise money or receive donations for your club, school, community charity or past employer? Did you arrange for a guest speaker to visit your group or classroom? Did you partner with another individual, group or organization to coordinate a project or event? Did you come up with a more efficient way of doing something so time was saved?

Reasonable risk-taking and resiliency
The world of work is consistently changing. Employers need employees who have the ability to work well under uncertainty, take reasonable risks and can continue after setbacks. Do you have the ability to adapt to change and step out of your comfort zone? Describe something new you have tried recently and what you learned. Can you describe a time you took a risk and it paid off?

Before that next interview, take time to reflect on how you might briefly describe a situation that showcases your intrapreneurial skills. By doing so, a potential employer will see your intrapreneurial spirit in an interview.

For additional trainings, articles, and resources to help people prepare for their next interview, check out the Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H Youth Development websites.

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