Job Interview Question

What do you consider to be your most significant accomplishment?

How To Answer Interview Questions Series

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This is a fantastic job interview question.  It sets you up to shine a giant spotlight on yourself as the ideal candidate for this job.

Never, ever answer this question by talking about something you achieved or accomplished outside of work.  No stories about your kids, or how you climbed Mount Everest.  Always focus your answer on work-related accomplishments.

But don’t just choose a work-related answer.  Choose an answer that is relevant to the specific job you’re applying for.

If you saved the company from bankruptcy in your last job, but you can’t find a way to relate the skills you used to accomplish that to the ones you need for this job, it won’t do you any good.

Go back through your brag book, your performance reviews, everything you’ve got to think about a story that would highlight your fit for this job.

what is your most significant accomplishment job interview questionThis is a classic behavioral interview question that requires you to put your answer in the form of a story.  Don’t just answer it by talking about the end result of your effort, as in “I ranked #1 among sales reps for 5 years in a row” or “I saved my company $5 million dollars last year.” That’s fantastic, but if you limit your answer like that, you’re missing out on some prime selling time here.

Tell the story.  (Use the STAR method—Situation or Task, Action, Result.) Tell how you approached the problem or the goal or whatever it was, how you thought about it, and how you used the resources you had available to start reaching your goal or solving your problem.  You can talk about what obstacles you came up against and how you overcame them.

If possible, use your brag book as supporting evidence.  (If you’re not familiar, brag books are simply a collection of “good job” documents:  award letters, performance reviews, reference letters, complimentary emails, especially good examples of your work, performance stats that don’t fit on your resume, etc.)

If you got some award for that achievement, or even a nice email from your supervisor or a customer, show it to the interviewer when you tell what happened.  It will make a powerful impression.

With a really good story, you can show your critical thinking skills, your creativity, your work ethic, your skill level—all kinds of things that help sell you for the job.


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