Filling out an online job application for a temp agency, I come across the question
Is there a correct answer here? Or is the best answer going to depend on what kind of worker their looking for?
The truthful answer is yes, I take initiative. But does this translate, for them, into “Doesn’t take orders/is uppity/thinks he knows better than his employers?” Because if so, then I am perfectly willing to pretend to be a non-initiative taker.
I put this in GQ because I’m asking if there is a generally “correct” answer to this question, i.e., one that employers are generally always looking for.
I am a highly motivated self-starter who can prioritize and multi-task based upon instructions given. This answers the question in the affirmative for both. I sometimes think that job applications should be multiple choice sometimes.
With that particular question, you’d want to answer “Yes” as the others have indicated. It’s not getting at whether you are able to follow directions, but whether you’re the type who waits for orders before you’ll do something at all. (I’m sure we’ve all met the type who would watch the office building burn down and say “Well, no one told me I was supposed to report fires to my supervisor.”
The problem is that way too often questions in HR-speak do not mean the same as for everybody else. He’s not asking how should he answer as much as “wtf does this really mean?”
The problem is even worse when you’re dealing with questionnaries that have been translated. An example I’ve mentioned before is that in the US “ambitious” is pretty much taken for granted (and it means “wants to improve his lot in life”) whereas in Spain it’s pretty much an insult (“backstabbing bastard will do whatever it takes to climb up the ladder, then step on the fingers of those below”).