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Skill: Helicopter View

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Helicopter view - also called helicopter view - means that in a work situation you have an overview of the whole and the details of a problem, data or project. You 'hang' as it were above a certain situation and determine the lines or next steps from there.

For example, if a problem occurs in a project, you don't limit yourself to analyzing and solving the problem. You also think about the consequences for project planning or for other people involved in the project. While the problem may be technical in nature, you also look at the financial side of the matter, the risks and the communication.

What does a helicopter view entail?

If you have a helicopter view:

Do you recognize the broad outlines and do you have an eye for the details of an issue, data or project?

- You can take a step back and view things from a distance.
- Keep your overview.
- You can detach yourself from a component to oversee the main lines and the overall process.
- If you recognize developments and trends, both within your own organization and discipline and beyond, you can interpret them and translate them into your own work situation.

Which competencies are involved?

- Analyze
- Conceptual thinking
- Critical thinking
- To advise
- Vision

In which professions do you need this competence?

Consider, for example, professions where you develop policy, advise or lead. Some examples of such professions are:

- Manager
- Project Manager
- Company director
- Policy officer
- Counselor
- AA accountant

How do you show your helicopter view when applying?

Suppose you apply for the position of AA accountant at a large tax and accounting firm. You are asked to have an accountant with a helicopter view: someone who can stand above an assignment and oversees all his client's business processes.

How do you process this in your letter of application ? You could formulate it as follows: 'I can rise above the rules and figures and at all times keep an eye on the interests of the company. You then substantiate this statement with a concrete example. You can use the STAR method for this.

If you are invited for a job interview, it is possible that the selector will ask further questions. Prepare for this. For example, you can practice the question with a friend. You can also work out another example that shows your helicopter view. Keep the STAR method in mind. In this way you ensure that your answer remains specific and that you don't elaborate on irrelevant matters endlessly.

Examples of questions about helicopter view during the job interview

- Do you have a helicopter view and if so, do you have an example of a situation in which that is clearly apparent? How did you deal with that situation?
- Can you give an example of an important trend within your field? What consequences do you think this has?

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