A person sitting on the edge of a rooftop while working on a laptop. Photo by Avi Richards on Unsplash

A common question in a job interview is to be asked how you've stepped out of your comfort zone in handling a problem in a prior role.

Perhaps you addressed a challenge with a customer or covered for a team member who was away.

A simple way to help craft your answer is by framing your response using the SOAR model: Situation, Obstacle, Action, and Result.

Define The Situation

The first step is to set the scene: where, when, and what was behind the situation that lead you to take action? A sample situation could be this:

I was on a team that was nearing an important launch date for a product.

Balloons launching Photo by Luca Upper on Unsplash

What Was The Obstacle?

The second step is to define the obstacle. A sample obstacle could be:

A key person on the product launch team suddenly took ill and was not able to complete their tasks.

Empty desk. Photo by Laura Davidson on Unsplash

What Action Did You Take?

The third step is to explain what you did to overcome the obstacle. A sample action could be:

I offered to cover for the sick person, and requested key documents from them in order to get up to speed quickly on what needed to be done.

Working late Photo by Jonas Leupe on Unsplash

What Was The Result?

The fourth step is to explain the outcome. As a result of going above and beyond in handling a challenge in the workplace, what happened? Was the project completed on time? Was a customer satisfied? Did a team become more closely knit?

Happy worker Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash


How would you define this phrase within the SOAR model: "The product launched ahead of schedule."

Take Action

Writing in a notebook Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

To be ready when you're asked in a job interview about how you've gone above and beyond in the workplace:


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