Job Interview Question: What is Your Greatest Accomplishment?

When it comes to interview questions, hiring managers often aren’t all that original.  From the dreaded “tell me about yourself” to the standard quizzing on your professional background and skills, interviews often have a cadence and predictable aspect.  Savvy job seekers recognize this and use the trait to their advantage, studying up on commonly asked questions.

The “what is your greatest accomplishment” job interview question is often geared towards providing insight into how you view your skills and achievements.  Your employer is looking to find out just what you’re capable of, as well as your ability to effectively communicate the why and how’s of the milestone. While you may be a bit hesitant at first, now is certainly not the time for humility.  Here are a few tips for tackling the greatest accomplishment themed question so you can take advantage of your time to shine.

Make it Relevant

If you’ve been in the career force for any period of time you’re likely to have conquered more than a few goals.  Choose a specific moment that is relevant to the job you’re currently applying for. If you’re looking for a management position, talk about the time you lead your team of direct reports into achieving a stellar milestone.  If you’re a recent grad, focus on something from your college days that would demonstrate a trait listed as desired in the job description. Look for the specific requirements of the role and focus on those for the biggest impact.

Focus on Specific Results

When it comes to answering questions regarding your achievements, candidates are often tempted to focus on events or circumstances.  To make a bigger impact, be sure to couch your answers in terms of the specific results achieved. Describe the project or task you were given, but then talk about the final outcome of your accomplishment.  If you increased sales, provide quantifiable numbers and percentages. Finish a project ahead of schedule, set out the number of days and costs savings if any, your excellence yielded. By talking about the end result your potential employer will better be able to see just how you could benefit their company or department.

Multiple Accomplishments

Have a lighter job history or can’t decide which accomplishment to review in the interview room?  Try creating a list ahead of time and rank them in an order you feel is most indicative of their scale or impact.  Choose two or three relevant successes and start out with something along the lines of “I’ve been fortunate to have many accomplishments in my career.”  Remember, it isn’t bragging if you’ve been asked to pitch your strong qualities and relevance for the position.

The major achievement question is common and likely to come up in most modern interview rooms.  Remember to prepare by thinking about your answer ahead of time and specifically crafting your response to the job you’re applying for.  Do this and you’ll be well on your way to selling yourself as a quality candidate and landing that job offer.

Article Updated from the Original on April 20, 2018