The Perfect Formula for Answering “What Is Your Greatest Accomplishment” in an Interview

Research and preparation are key to nailing your interview. This means you’ll want to review the job description, the company’s website, and its social media presence if you haven’t already. Be sure to check out any recent press or employee reviews, too. If you received notes from a recruiter or have a connection within the company who referred you for the job, these will also help you understand the company better.

All this homework can help you choose an answer targeted to the company and its needs. For example, if you’ve read that one of the company’s core values is about having “a sense of ownership,” you’ll want to choose a time when you took on a project because you saw it needed to be done, for example, or stepped up to fill in the gaps on your team when someone left for another job.

Regardless of which achievement you discuss, your answer should show that your skills are transferable and relevant to the role.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself to identify accomplishments that you might talk about:

  • How did you contribute to company goals in previous roles? Maybe you had a big impact on a key performance indicator like increased revenue.
  • What impact did you have on a team as a mentor, manager, or team player? Perhaps you helped onboard an intern and set them up for success, which benefited the entire organization.
  • How did you help an organization become more efficient? Maybe you led process improvements by enhancing communication channels.
  • What did you do to enhance the customer experience? Maybe you helped innovate towards a new user-centric solution.
  • If you’re new to the workforce: Did you ever take the lead on anything in a student organization or during volunteer work? Maybe you organized an event, won a competition, or raised money for a good cause.
  • If your interviewer asks specifically for a non-work example: Beyond the office, what personal goals have you met? Maybe you ran a marathon or finished a long-distance bike ride, or maybe you overcame a personal challenge of some kind.