Interview Question of the Week: What has been your greatest success?

3108965331 3c57daa10c Interview Question of the Week: What has been your greatest success?
cc Interview Question of the Week: What has been your greatest success? photo credit: pfala

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Interview Question of the Week. (If you haven’t seen any of the others, find them all here).

Interviewers typically know their definition of success. They have objectives, performance standards, benchmarks and more to evaluate you once you get on the job. But what’s your definition of success?

Here are some things that recruiters can gain from your answer to this question:

  • Ambition. Are your successes tied to goals you’ve set for yourself?
  • Dedication. Did your success require a lot of work over a long time?
  • Focus. What area of your life is most important to you?

I’m an advocate of sharing whatever your greatest success actually is, as long as it’s not morally questionable. But a full answer will also include what skills and lessons you learned in pursuit of that success, and how they apply to the workplace.

Sample answer:

My greatest success thus far has been starting a charitable organization to raise funds for youth programs. Growing up, I participated in many of these programs, and I know they helped shape me into the professional I am today. Many of the programs in my area are underfunded, so I decided to organize a charity barbecue to raise funds. Thanks to solid planning and some great marketing, the event was a huge success, and more opportunities for fund raising became available. Not only has the foundation donated over $375,000 to date, I’ve had a chance to hone my leadership and project management skills in the process.

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