What is your greatest accomplishment? This can be a tough interview question to answer. Maybe you are having trouble thinking of a great accomplishment, or maybe you are thinking of so many and having a hard time narrowing it down to just one. Whatever it is, we are going to teach you how to give the very best answer possible.
Narrowing it down
When you are being asked about your greatest accomplishment in an interview, you can assume that the employer is interested in a work-related accomplishment. As great as it is that you have climbed Mount Rushmore or ran a marathon, these typically are not the answers your interviewer is looking for. Don’t get me wrong. These things are amazing! However, given the context of the question, try to focus on a career-related accomplishment.
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If you are a recent grad or someone with very little relevant career experience, then you would be an exception. Try to find a life accomplishment that could emphasize a skill that you need in order to do your job. For example, if your position requires a lot of stamina, and training, the preparation, and running of a marathon could be a great answer. No matter your experience, even if your greatest accomplishment is graduating college, it is important that you pay attention to this next section.
Tell a story
Whatever your answer is, make sure to tell a story. The employer does not just want to know what you did, but who, when, where, and how you did it as well. Here is an example:
“Last December, my company was struggling to meet their end of year revenue. We had about 8 days left till the New Year and we were short just over $1.5 million dollars. As the sales manager, it was my responsibility to get my team pumped up and make sure that we met our goal. Keep in mind; our average monthly revenue was around $1 million dollars so achieving $1.5 million in 8 days was a huge task to take on. For the remaining days, I organized brief team meetings; call blocks and cash prizes for the reps that closed the most deals. The end result was $1.9 million dollars in 8 days. We not only saved the quarter but also greatly exceeded anyone’s expectations.”
This is a great example of someone who told a story to describe his greatest accomplishment. From this example, you can assume he was applying for either a sales or management position. If it was not one of those two positions, it probably was not the best answer. Depending on the position, your answer should vary. Similar to the interview question What Are Your Strengths; this is another great opportunity to brag about yourself.