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Interview Question: How to Strike the Perfect Answer To The Interview Question, “What Is Your Greatest Achievement?”

You may have accomplished some great things, but it is easy to get confused while mentioning them in the interview question, “what is your greatest achievement?”

Your answer is enough to tell a lot more than you think!

The world is getting even more competitive, and you will find it hard if you’re an average one.
So, how will you determine your journey from being an “ok” candidate” to the “right” one? The process indeed demands some incredible efforts.

This article will discuss effective yet extraordinary ways to nail the interview process with intelligent strategies.

So, buckle up!

What Do They Want To Know?

Let’s start from the basics. It is an excellent way to crack the interview questions. And what is the first step in those basics? It is to know the meaning of the question.

You must understand why they’re asking this one so you can curate your answer accordingly.
What can be the possible reasons?

  • How do you define your success, or what is your idea of accomplishments? It is paramount. This is what they primarily want to know. For example, if you can fulfill your tasks under the deadlines, this is not defined as an achievement. Know the difference!
  • Are you a career-oriented person? We think nobody wants to hire a candidate who is not dedicated to their profession. I’m sure you agree! They want to know if you have done something meaningful in your journey.
  • How do you deal with your success? Some people become overwhelmed or overproud, which ruins their success graph. This is not welcomed. It is necessary to persevere your success or accomplishments like you must know to deal with your achievements.

How to Ace The Space?

  • Research and prepare! Even if you’re a confident person with loads of achievements to tell, you must come up with the greatest one, which needs to be done accurately. Preparation plays a prominent role here. In addition, you may do a good amount of research. Look through their website and social media pages.
  • Align your answer with their niche, if possible.

For example, if you’ve applied for an advertising agency, you may mention your achievement in the ads or media field instead of your highest marks in high school.

  • Go for the most recent one. I believe this is an excellent strategy, though it will not affect your impression or enhance your quality of answers. It will throw the image you’ve achieved recently and are active in your work. But again, this is not mandatory! If you have a good number of options or are juggling between 2-3 big ones, choosing the most recent one can solve the problem.

For example, if you got the “employee of the year” award and the 2nd rank in the state examination, you can choose to mention the award instead of topping the test. Both are significant achievements, but the recent one should win the race.

  • STAR will shine! Your stars may work for you and bring you good vibes. We are not talking about the stars of the universe but the STAR technique.

S – Situation
T – Task
A – Action
R – Result

“What is your greatest achievement?” is a competency-focused question, and the STAR technique is built explicitly for them. 

  • Personal or professional? We would say professional. This is an interview, and it is all about nailing the situation by mentioning your most significant accomplishment. You must have done a lot, so choose the one that uplifted your career path.

Examples

OK, so we have gone through many pointers to help you with your response. Let’s see a few crucial ways to answer these questions in terms of examples;

1. Upscaling the project’s performance:

As a digital marketer, I believe my most outstanding achievement is upscaling the growth of my previous company’s financial product. I defined my goals and identified multiple channels through which I could reach new leads and customers. Moreover, I used my digital marketing skills and promoted posts and infographics on social media, ran ad campaigns, and gained many organic followers. After all these efforts, we reached around 75% more followers within 4-5 months, and the company awarded me as “The Asset to The Company.”

Why does it work?

It shows your work proof with a lot of enthusiasm for your work. You’re mentioning the before and after conditions of the project, which is a clear comparison that makes it easier for the recruiters to judge you.

2. Beating the monthly sales target:

I consider beating the monthly sales target as one of my greatest achievements during my career in sales and marketing. During a lockdown, the company faced massive issues gaining some real clients and leads. It had become a lot more challenging to retain our present customers. As the sales and marketing manager, I took up this challenge and geared up the seat belts with my mates. I did a lot of research to gain the track, and within 3 months, we got our previous results back. I burnt the midnight oil to regain the sales target, which is why I consider this accomplishment my greatest achievement.

Why does it work?

In most cases, hiring managers want to know your caliber to work in an ordeal situation where you are not served with gold, but you have to put in some genuine efforts and drive results yourself. This example suits that well.

3. Administering the fundraising event:

During my last job as a UI/UX designer, I learned many soft and creative skills, apart from my technical capabilities. Organizing a successful fundraising event was like a dream coming true. I didn’t expect myself to be this disciplined and well-managed for work. Of course, I curated the planning and preparation with my team, and we outlined everything well. From performances to food, each section was appreciated by my colleagues and peers. I consider the event my most significant achievement because it brought out the best in me, which is very different from my everyday work. These skills help me today at work, as now I am more organized and optimistic about my personality.

Why does it work?

Everyone talks about their hard skills and associated achievements. Still, in this answer, the candidate expresses their interest in other activities helping manage tasks at the office. This is something much in demand and will work for you.

4. Mentoring a fellow

Being a positioner of a manager has taught me so many excellent and corporate things, including the skills to handle and mentor juniors. I have had the privilege to do it many times. But, the last opportunity arose as a blessing for me. A fresher came into the office with full capabilities and potential. The only issue he had was low confidence. He used to find it extremely difficult to speak and perform in front of others. I gave half time to him and his personality development. From giving training courses on communication skills to improving his hard skills through different sessions, I worked on him, and then he gave his best performance during a presentation. I felt incredibly and immensely proud of him.

Why does it work?

It works best because of its positive reflections. The candidate deals with the manager position, yet he takes time and dedicatedly helps a junior. This shows a great sense of responsibility and empathy towards another person. Also, this showcases his teamwork, no?

5. Overcoming the fear within self

I have been working as a cloud developer for years. Whether it is cloud infrastructure basis or data visualization, I am proficient. There was one thing I was lacking, and that was my communication skills. All the work associated with cloud development is technical, and I somehow managed without some extraordinary verbal abilities. Then, I realized at a company event that one always needs to have strong communication skills irrespective of their job. So, I worked hard, took an online course, and gave tests and assessments. Finally, here I am, conversing with you with complete confidence.

Why does it work?

It is a live example of having a great sense of self-awareness when someone can work on their weakness after determining it. The candidate is demonstrating a good personality trait, which will definitely work for them.

You can always customize your response with the help of the answers given above. We have tried our best by putting the best-case scenarios in my examples. We hope it helps!

Interview Question – What is Your Greatest Achievement? Quick Tips!

Let’s catch a few tips that will greatly help during the interview. Prepare well!

  • Be honest. Stay simple with your words, and don’t say anything untrue. Say everything is integral and reliable. Honesty always slays! Pressure can be intense, but don’t give up.
  • Communication is crucial, representing your verbal abilities and how well you handle everything. Flaunt your communication skills. Work hard on them and answer your interview questions wisely.
  • Convey passion. Use words smartly and show you’re passionate and dedicated to your work. You will surely get to face obstacles, and passion gives you the energy to overcome them.

Avoid Blunders!

  • Oversmartness is an all-time enemy. Don’t boast about anything, like anything! It will mark you as an overconfident person. Balance is vital in your personality, and somehow hiring managers are thriving for it.
  • Avoid being a garrulous fool. Sometimes, it seems complicated to strike perfect fairness between your words and postures. You can’t do without it. Choose words discreetly.
  • Not your stand-up comedy stage. Your interview is not the situation to be funny. It will make you look non-serious and reduces your chances!
  • Long-winded story? NO! It will be boring and consequential if you choose to talk more. Be precise with your response.

And this leads us to the end!

“What is your greatest achievement?” is one of the most popular interview questions, and you must feel lucky if they ask you the same. You’re getting a fair chance to dazzle them with your attainments.

Just prepare well, be honest, stay true to yourself and your hiring managers, and avoid negativity or confusion in any situation. That’s it. It is no big deal to crack the question. We’ve tried well and hope that you manage to take some competitive knowledge through my write-up.

Lucky strike!