3 achievement-oriented interview questions and how to answer them

Behavioural based questions have become increasingly popular within the recruitment process. Companies find they are a good indicator of how a candidate will perform in a job. The whole premise behind them is that past behaviour predicts future performance.

Because achievements are important in a role and a way to differentiate between the quality of candidates, you should expect there will at least one question about accomplishments.

Three questions that you should prepare an answer for are:

1. What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? How did you achieve this? What was the outcome?

2. What was your most significant accomplishment in your previous role? How did you achieve this? What was the impact?

3. Describe a decision you made that really created a competitive advantage for your business? What action did you take? What were the results?

How to prepare to answer these questions?

  1. Don’t be humble. These questions are a chance for you to showcase yourself and share what you’re truly proud of professionally.

  2. Pick a professional accomplishment. Keep your answers to work related situations even if they don't specifically ask for something professional.

  3. Pick a relevant example. Choose a specific example that is related to the job you are interviewing for. Try also to make it as recent as possible.

  4. Pick a recent example. Choose an example that is as recent as possible. Accessing an example from your past may imply you haven't achieved much in your more recent roles.

  5. Choose something epic. Your answer should be something that has had an important and significant impact on your career. It should be a big-hitter.

  6. Be tangible. This is a chance for you to illustrate the impact you have in your job. Use an example where you can talk about real results, whether % or $ increases/decreases, cost reduction, meeting revenue targets, and so on.

  7. Be specific. Choose a specific example where you can describe the situation in detail.

  8. Practice your answer. Practice makes perfect. Practice your answers out loud. Get familiar hearing how you sound.

Being able to showcase your achievements is a way you can differentiate yourself against other candidates. Being prepared for the question means you are one step ahead.

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