Interview Question: What Was Your Biggest Accomplishment?

How to Answer Questions About Your Accomplishments and Failures

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What have you accomplished at work? What are you proudest of - and not so proud of? During a job interview, your potential employer will want to know what you accomplished, and what you didn't, in your current or last position.

How to Answer Interview Questions About Your Accomplishments

How should you answer questions about your accomplishments? You don’t want to come across as too arrogant, but you do want to share your successes on the job.

Don’t brag about what you have done. Rather, take the time to explain your most important accomplishments at work.

Make a Connection
The best way to respond is to give an example of something you accomplished that is directly related to the job that you are interviewing for. Review your resume and review the job posting.  Take the job qualifications and your resume and find the best match. Use it to show the hiring manager that what you accomplished will be beneficial to the company you are interviewing with.

Share Examples
When you're asked about your accomplishments, give a specific example of what you did in your last position. That example should correlate closely with the job requirements listed in the posting. That way, the interviewer will see that you have the skills necessary to do the job.

If you wrote a targeted cover letter when applying for the job use the information you included to create your response.

For example, if you are interviewing for a job at a school where you will need to manage student registration, explain to the interviewer how you registered students for courses, designed and managed registration software, and solved customer problems.

How to Answer Questions About Failure

If you didn't fail at anything, say so.

If you can think of an example, be sure that it's a minor one and turn it into a positive. For example, if you were working on a project that was behind deadline, explain to the interviewer how you adjusted the workload and the timeline to get back on track and ahead of schedule.

Explain and Share Your Solution
Explain what caused the failure, and discuss what you did to ensure it wouldn't happen again in the future. If you can share an example that turned out well in the end, despite some glitches along the way, use that. This way you won't leave the interviewer with the impression that you have failed. Rather, you’ll show how you can turn a difficult situation around.

Try to keep it positive, but don't blame others for what went wrong. Deflecting blame on someone else isn't going to make the best impression.  Employers don’t want to hear that someone else was to blame for your problems.

On the same note, don’t make excuses for what went wrong. Instead, share your solutions for preventing a fail next time around. This will show that you’re proactive, flexible and willing to move forward even when things aren’t going as planned.

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