Very few interview questions are as straightforward as they sound. Usually, they will have some hidden meaning or some specific piece of information that the interviewer is trying to uncover. You should familiarize yourself with these intricacies before starting the interview.
For example, the question "How do you define success and how do you measure up to your own definition is not really focused on your definition of success. Instead, they are interested in what your definition says about you. The interviewer may be trying to figure out if you are hardworking, dedicated, or if you are willing to improve over time.
Points to Emphasize
Because they are trying to gauge your personal attributes, you should focus on what makes you an appealing employee. Essentially, you should figure out exactly which skill they are looking for and demonstrate it in yourself.
- You should include continuous improvement in your answer. By measure up to your definition", they likely want to know if you recognize ways to better yourself.
- Likewise, you should mention a willingness to go above and beyond. If your definition of success is more than just meeting the minimum requirements, they will be confident in your ability to get work done properly.
- Be confident, but generous. Do not be prideful.
- Your definition may also speak to your business knowledge. Emphasize this if you are interviewing for a management position.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Just like the points you should be sure to include, there are some points you should make sure you avoid. Stay on topic and stay focused.
- Do not forget to define success. They really want to know about your qualities, but you must open by actually answering the question before moving on.
- On the other hand, do not spend your entire answer defining success. Answer briefly and move on to your appealing qualities.
- It is unwise to say you perfectly measure up to your definition of success. This leaves no room for improvement.
- Be honest. Sincerity and a genuine nature will go a long way.
Remember that this is a multi-part question. Ensure that you answer both parts. Your answer will include specifics to the job you are applying for, but it should probably look similar to this:
My definition of success is independent of the requirements put on me. I know I have succeeded when I have accomplished my goal thoroughly, even if that means doing more than is asked. I always try to implement this philosophy, but I can always improve. I welcome review so I can become better at my job.