When an interviewer asks you what your proudest achievement is they’re not wanting to hear about your kids. They’re not asking about your proudest personal achievement. They’re trying to figure out how well you can do the job. That means they want to know if you’ve ever accomplished anything. The way you answer this question will show them what qualities you value. They might be trying to figure out what you see as obstacles in your achievements. They also want to know what motivates you and if you’re a team player.
Points to Emphasize
Planning out points you want to talk about is a good way to make sure that you say what you want to say.
- Talk about skills that are most relevant to the job that you are interviewing for.
- Bring up skills that you had to use to reach that achievement like hard work, persistence, communication skills or networking.
- Mention coworkers that helped you achieve success. This will show the hiring manager that you are a team player.
- Explain what made this moment a proud one for you. Was there an award, promotion or other outcome that screamed achievement to you
Make sure that whatever story you choose to tell highlights skills, experiences and qualifications that make you right for the job.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
While you’re thinking about what you want to say, make sure to also consider what you want to avoid.
- Don’t talk about a personal achievement that has nothing to do with the job you’re interviewing for.
- Do not just tell the interviewer your proudest moment. You have to tell them why too.
- Try not to say things that make it seem like you don’t have any achievements that you’re proud of.
- Beware of coming off as arrogant.
Don’t get too personal, and keep the story centered on skills that help with the job you are looking to get.
Here is an example of an answer for this question:
My proudest accomplishment would have to be when I helped develop a new technique at my last job. We had been working the same way for ten years. One day, I was watching one of my coworkers use the old technique and realized that there was a much more efficient way to get the job done. With the help of my supervisor and a couple other coworkers we came up with a new technique. It was such a rush to come to work and see people getting trained to do something that I helped develop.
Keep your answer positive and centered on applicable skills.