Interview questions are notorious for putting you on the spot with a strange or surprising question. Just yesterday we discussed a question about using five words to describe yourself. Interviewers don’t care how you describe yourself, nor do they care “what kind of tree you would be.” Those questions are designed to see how you answer them, not what your answers are.
There are other interview questions that have low expectations of honesty. No one answers “What is your biggest weakness” correctly. They make up a weakness that isn’t really a weakness to make them look better, like “My biggest weakness is that I don’t truly recognize how amazing I am.”
Yet sometimes there are questions that are legitimately looking for a real, honest answer. One such question is “What Do You Consider Your Greatest Achievement?”
How to Answer
This is your chance to show how you can be a great employee. Your greatest achievement should be something that benefitted your previous companies. It should be something that shows hard work, dedication, and growth. Examples of great achievements include:
- Winning important clients for your company.
- Achieving or beating sales/marketing/revenue goals.
- Establishing a new process or work method.
- Items you developed.
- Ideas that drastically altered the company.
It doesn’t really matter what your greatest accomplishments are. What matters is that you are proud of them, that they showed hard work and dedication, and that your ideas made your previous company better. Ideally they will have a process you went through that you can explain or numerical effects on the company you can point to.
Don’t Get Cute
Some applicants like to get cute with their answer. They may say “I accomplished a lot with company X, but my greatest accomplishment may have been the smile I put on my coworker’s face one time when they were down” or “I accomplished a lot at company X, but my greatest achievement may have been the birth of my daughter.” The employer doesn’t need to be swayed by something meaningful. They simply want to know what you consider your greatest professional accomplishment, and that is what you should give them.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Tell the employer your greatest professional accomplishment.
- Don’t be cute.