Job Interview Question & Answer: What Are You Most Proud Of?
Why the Question is Important
The hardest part of any job interview is discussing what sets the candidate apart from everyone else who applied. Getting asked “What is your greatest accomplishment?” provides the perfect opportunity to do just that.
In the hiring process, managers want the best person for the job. Those who can speak confidently about how they succeeded in other positions give interviewers a better idea of who’ll be a strong fit.
The key to answering “What are you most proud of?” is to sound self-assured and poised without coming across as cocky. As is usually the case with job interview questions, the best way to achieve this is through preparation.
No matter the achievement applicants choose to highlight, they should focus on relating it back to the good of the company. Select an example that illustrates how the results benefited everyone involved.
The worst answers include too little or too much information. Being too shy to talk about past accomplishments helps no one, while trying to fit three or four previous successes into a response comes off as arrogant.
How to Answer “What is Your Greatest Accomplishment?”
Of course actual replies need to discuss each prospective employee’s real life experiences and the industry to which they’re applying. However, for guidance on how to frame responses, look to the following:
Sample Answer 1 – Customer Service Rep at a Department Store
“At my last customer service job, I had to deal with a product recall. We got many complaints from agitated patrons. In order to make people feel heard, and keep my coworkers from getting overwhelmed, I made a script for handling a complaint. It actually worked pretty well.”
“I even used it to great success with one lady who was ready to blacklist the store. In the end, she got some coupons, and I received an employee of the month award.”
Sample Answer 2 – Cashier Job at a Fast Food Restaurant
“So far, my greatest accomplishment was organizing a food drive at my high school. They needed volunteers, so I took the initiative. I had to pick a charity, find workers to run the donation table, organize shifts, advertise around the area, and coordinate a drop off time with the organization.”
“The drive ended up being the most successful the school had run in ten years. Apparently the posters my friends and I made really caught people’s attention and inspired them to donate. I am very proud of the work we did.”
Points to Remember
A candidate’s reply to “What is your greatest accomplishment?” can make all the difference in the interview process. Demonstrating confidence and abilities that relate to the job at hand makes a manager’s final decision easier.
To avoid freezing when put on the spot or coming off as too boastful, practice beforehand. Finally, clearly lay out why the accomplishment is important for personal reasons, as well as for the benefit of the company. This tells employers about the things job hopefuls value and demonstrates why they’re right for the position.