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Answering "What Is Your Greatest Achievement" In A Job Interview

1152 words Read time 05:47

There are numerous aspects to how an interviewer evaluates you for a job. Making you speak about your greatest achievements is one of the ways.

An interviewer could ask you something like,

“What is your greatest professional achievement?” or “Tell me about your greatest achievement.”

Any question that concerns with you expressing about your achievements is a regular part of the interview. It lets the interviewer know about your ambitions and the effort you put into achieving them.

what is your greatest achievement

Hence, having an answer that satisfies the interviewer's curiosity while also justifying your case should be your top priority.

Let’s see how you can do so.

The two aspects of answering this interview question.

There are two aspects to answering your achievements:
• What to answer
• How to answer

What to answer

This aspect talks about the things that should be included to make a useful answer. It covers things like the type of achievement, showing positivity growth and relation with the subject.

How to answer

The ‘how' aspect highlights the approach of the answer concerning your achievements. It includes elements like tone and duration of the response.

You need to understand the ‘what' and ‘how' to respond to questions about achievements effectively.

What to answer

Before you respond to the question “What is your greatest professional achievement?”, You should know the things you need to say. And that concerns the ‘what' aspect of the response.

So, what to answer?

The following attributes should be a part of your answer:
• It should talk about an achievement relevant to the context.
• It should reveal a significant change in your knowledge or character.
• It should be something positive.

Now, you need to understand how these three things help you.

It should talk about an achievement relevant to the context.

When mentioning about accomplishments, make sure they are in contention. Any achievement you speak about should:
• Either show the growth in your personality
• Or show growth in your skills

For example, you could talk about how you successfully lead your project team in the final year project of college (as a fresher). Alternatively, you could speak about how your implemented design change in UI resulted in a 20% increase in capture of leads.

Cite something that proves your advancement concerning specific aspect but is somehow related to the discussion.

It should reveal a significant change in your knowledge or character.

An achievement is something massive. It should show a definite shift in your understanding (reflected in your work) or attitude for the better. Examples could be writing a tech column for the local newspaper in college or creating an android app in high school. Achievements are something out-of-the-ordinary, something that not everyone does with regards to place and time.

It should be something positive.

There should be a positive result in your mentioned achievements. You do not want to boast about being selected as the laziest employee for three successive years. Although that is an achievement, it is not something negative, and the interviewer would not find it interesting. Worse, it could cut down your chances of getting hired. Don't be sarcastic with your achievements.

And that comprises the ‘what' aspect of answering about your greatest achievements.

How to answer

Knowing the things to say and saying it are two things. So, don't think that only being aware of what to say will do you any good when it comes to talking about your greatest achievements. You need to have a proper approach when mentioning your great opportunity and achievements, or else, risk losing your message intent, and in turn, your chances of landing the job.

So, how do you answer this?

When it comes to speaking about achievements, take care that:
• The achievement is as recent as possible.
• The response, if possible, should include numbers, statistics.
• The talk is short and precise.

Incorporating the above three elements, you should have a strong, compelling talk regarding your greatest achievement.

Here are the explanations to each of the points.

The achievement is as recent as possible.

Talk about achievement as recent as possible. Doing this keeps you in the context of the interviewer with regards to your progress. There's no exact time-frame for this aspect. The key is to mention something that's relevant and latest. The response, if possible, should include numbers, statistics.

Numbers and statistics as results strengthen your claims of achievements. Hence, whenever possible, try to incorporate numbers to help the interviewer acknowledge your achievements with certainty and confidence.

The explanation is short and precise.

Keep the description small and to the point. It should not feel like you are reciting a novel. Your talk should not take more than 3 minutes of the interviewer. Also, only stick to the essential bits and mention things that relate to the topic. Do not stray away from the main elements while talking.

That ends the ‘how' aspect of answering about your greatest achievements.

Summary of this all

There are ‘what' and ‘how' aspects of questions about achievements in an interview.

The ‘what’ aspect talks about things that should be comprised in your answer which must have the following:
• It should talk about an achievement relevant to the context.
• It should reveal a significant change in your knowledge or character.
• It should be something positive.

The ‘how' aspect guides with regards to the approach of the answer, and has the following elements:
• The achievement is as recent as possible.
• The response, if possible, should include numbers, statistics.
• The talk is short and precise.

These six pointers should help you prepare an answer that has all the elements of a good response concerning your greatest achievements.

The next thing to do to prepare

Prepare and practice your response. Being prepared makes you feel confident, and practice refines your skills. This article was a short insight on how to deal with interview questions that ask about the greatest achievements.

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