What Are Your Biggest Achievements?
An interviewer may ask for just one achievement or a handful so give this question some thought beforehand. wherever possible, keep most of your achievements work-related and focus on the benefits that you achieved for other people, such as:
- Increased customer or client satisfaction
- Greater revenues or profit
- A bigger slice of market share
- The elimination of inefficiencies or errors Cost reduction
- Improved relationship morale within the team or with other stakeholders
- Enhanced reputation of your employer
For example, an IT manager may say:
We were asked by our head office in the US to upgrade all of our staff’s computers to a new software package. We have over 600 computers across three locations in the UK and it was imperative that we handled the migration within the space of a few days to ensure that there would be no compatibility issues. This was back in March, which is traditionally a really busy time of year for our company. I had to attend a lot of meetings with senior managers to persuade them that it was important. And I had to co-ordinate the efforts of my team to ensure that all of the computers were upgraded within those few days. It took a lot of planning and hard work, but I was really proud of the fact that we managed the migration and had only a few minor problems and no complaints from the staff.
|Don’t just talk about what the achievement was – you also need to say why it was an achievement. Clearly, demonstrate to the interviewer exactly what you did to make your action an achievement.|
If an interviewer asks you specifically to talk about an achievement outside of work, always relate it back to the kinds of skills or characteristics that would make you a good addition to the team. And don’t just assume that the link is obvious – explain the link to the interviewer. For example, passing a piano exam is evidence of your ability to focus on achieving the goals that you set for yourself. Perhaps a sporting triumph is evidence of your commitment and dedication to improving your health. Or raising money for a charity is evidence of your ability to work with a team to a deadline.
What Are You Most Proud Of?
This is simply a variation of the question What are your achievements? The trap here is for unwary candidates who may gush about their family or accomplishments outside of work. While you may be terribly proud of your children or your relationship or having lost weight or given up smoking, try to use a work-related achievement.
|Don’t exaggerate your achievements. If you were involved in only a small way in a much bigger team, then a skilled interviewer may be able to see through you. Rack your brain and always pick examples where you honestly did make a significant contribution.|
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