Job Interview Question & Answer: Do You Consider Yourself Successful? How Would You Define Success?

Why Employers Use The Question

Looking for Personality
Success often serves as a synonym for experience in the workforce. However, many employers use interview questions like “Do you consider yourself successful?” and “How would you define success?” to gauge the basic personalities and professional career aspirations of applicants. The questions also regularly offer job seekers verbal platforms to demonstrate personal and professional motivations for finding work. While the definition of success may vary from person to person, employers typically pose both questions to identify candidates with committed attitudes and self-confidence.

Looking for Miscues
Employment professionals roundly agree workers should always respond to questions regarding personal success with positivity and poise. The prompt often exposes self-assurance in applicants through both verbal and non-verbal indicators. Respondents who appear to fidget or stumble through word choice, despite positive affirmations of success, may instill doubt in interviewers. Clear and definitive “Yes” answers work best when asked to describe what success means.

Using The Question For Personal Benefit

Job seekers should also use the interview question, “Do you consider yourself a success?” as an opportunity to pull examples from professional resumes and specific work experiences to show a strong fit for positions desired. Promotions, completion of long-term or challenging assignments, obtaining degrees or specific certifications, and any other forms of forward progress typically represent acceptable examples of success to highlight during the interview process. Talking about promotions not only fits the mold for traditional standards of success but also shows dedication, organization, and drive. Expand answers to show the steps taken to achieve past goals and reflect on the positive impacts meeting and overcoming difficult or challenging situations create.

How To Capitalize
Interview questions regarding what success means to candidates personally allows for more expansive, broad answers. Applicants should tailor initial responses to the workplace. Common responses often involve achievements like accumulating wealth, performing at optimal ability, or satisfying or exceeding expectations. However, applicants may want to shy away from responses concerning money, as employers may take fewer chances on candidates more preoccupied with salary potential rather than gaining satisfaction from work. Many professional recruiters and business moguls cite success as not only a means of personal gain but a means of giving to others. Applicants concerned about personal well-being and the external well-being of others often fit into existing work environments, regardless of profession.

Non-Verbal Cues

In general, hiring managers look for motivated, driven, and enthusiastic individuals with personal, vested interests related to specific and desired lines of work. If asked, “Are you successful?” or “How do you define success?” relate the answer to the intended industry and speak in a clear, direct, and assertive manner. Embody personal ideas of success physically and verbally by sitting up straight, actively engaging interviewers, making eye contact, and maintaining a positive demeanor. Demonstrating a successful attitude while showcasing real-life experiences and examples of success often lead to increased odds of employment.

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