Top Interview Questions and Answers
What has been your greatest achievement/accomplishment?
Alternative and related questions:
What are your biggest achievements?
What are you most proud of?
What was your biggest achievement in your current/last job?
What has been the high point of your career so far?
The meaning behind the question:
Unless they qualify the question by specifically mentioning, for example, your last job, it is important to remember that the interviewer isn’t necessarily looking for a work-related achievement. They are looking for evidence of achievement full stop. However, a work-related achievement is normally what they’ll be expecting.
You’ll want to make sure you have thought through this question carefully before the interview and have selected both a key professional achievement as well as a key personal achievement; cover both bases.
Try not to go too far back; try to pick a recent achievement. If you’ve included an ‘Achievements’ section in your CV (which I would recommend you do) then this will be a good starting point for you to generate ideas.
Describe clearly to the interviewer:
- What it is that you achieved
- What the background and circumstances were
- What impact it had on your career/life
What was the benefit? Try to phrase this in such a way for it to be self-evident that this would also be a benefit to any prospective employer.
My greatest achievement so far in my career would probably be winning the Manager of the Year award last year. I made numerous operational changes at my branch, including a massive reduction in stock levels - which significantly boosted our working capital. I also drove up sales levels, especially by increasing the uptake of after-sales insurance packages. The net effect was that we smashed the previous branch sales record by an impressive 37% - and profits rose in line with this. This directly resulted in my promotion to the management of the flagship Edinburgh branch.
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Author: James Innes