When a hiring manager asks you about your past successes, they want to measure your level of confidence. Confidence is of course a good thing, but it's not good to be over-confident. Arrogance is a trait that most interviewers don't want to see, but this question may bring that out in people. When they ask this question they want to know that you have done successful things, but they also want to see if you can talk about it in a positive way.
Points to Emphasize
When you answer this question make sure to talk about traits and experiences that led you to that success.
- Mention how it took years of work and education to get to the success that you had.
- Talk about the people that helped make your work successful. This will show that teamwork is important to you.
- Be candid about what you've done and how it was successful.
- Tell the interviewer about observations that others have made about your work.
Make sure to answer in a positive way that shows that you feel you have more success in your future.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
While there are traits you want to mention, there are also characteristics that you want to avoid.
- Do not oversell your accomplishments.
- Don't forget to mention the people that you worked with to achieve that success. Very few people meet success all on their own.
- Be careful to not come off as arrogant.
- Don't waste this time to talk about your achievements while also talking about what you want to continue to do.
Interviewers are looking for straightforward, honest answers that highlight things you've done well.
Here's a good example of how you might want to answer a question about your successfulness:
I have been most successful in my work with the clients. I was given great customer service training, which I used to make sure to give the best experience to our clients. I took the feedback from clients, coworkers and managers to heart to really make myself a successful customer service provider. Thankfully I had the training and the education to be able to knowledgeably take care of all of my clients needs. Since the client is one of the most important people in an organization, I really feel like my care for them is one of my greatest successes.
Remember, your interviewer is trying to find out as much about you as possible. Hearing about your successes from you will tell them a lot about your personality.