Does your CV pass the 10-second test?

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.

Your answer:

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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More top interview questions and answers


Can you tell me a bit about yourself?

Why have you applied for this vacancy?

Why do you wish to leave your current position?

Why do you want to work for this organisation?

What are your strengths?

What are your weaknesses?

What has been your greatest achievement/accomplishment?

What can you, above all the other applicants, bring to this job?

Where do you see yourself in five years' time?

You've mentioned x under the Interests & Activities on your CV. Can you tell me a bit more about that?