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How Do You Determine or Evaluate Success?

Employers want candidates with a track record of success- so it makes sense that “how do you determine or evaluate success?” would be one of the most commonly asked interview questions. The inquiry might alternately be phrased as “what do you consider necessary for success?” or “what standard of success do you hold yourself to?” The root of the question requires you to talk about your standards- how you measure your performance and how you achieve success.

This may seem like a difficult question- but there are a few key concepts you can impart in your answer. To best respond to this or similar interview questions- you should communicate to your interviewer that you align your standard of success with that of your employer- and in fact- aim to surpass it. You can discuss how you value feedback from your supervisors as well as communication with your teammates in determining success. This shows your interviewer that you consider collaboration and growth important to your personal success.

How to Answer the ‘How Do You Determine or Evaluate Success’ Interview Question

Use Examples of Past Successes: Nothing proves that you can succeed like your track record of having done so in the past. Tell your employer about how you have developed a standard for success in the past and how it motivated you in your work. You can detail how your work environment- task at hand and feedback from supervisors all factored into your evaluation of success. This shows your interviewer that your evaluation takes into account more than just your own feelings about your work and has resulted in success for your previous endeavors. Be sure to explain how both you and your prior employer agreed on the achievement of success.

Demonstrate What You Know About the Employer: By studying the job posting- doing research and attending an interview- you probably have a good base of knowledge about the employer you are talking to. Incorporate this knowledge into your answer by referencing specific elements of their structure or business that may be used to answer “how do you determine or evaluate success?” If you work directly with clients in a specialized field- you might detail to your interviewer how integral that is in developing your standard for success. Demonstrating an understanding of company values shows an employer you can be a good fit for the job- and it also shows that you tailor your standard of success to the environment you are in.

Mention Your Skills in Your Answer: Interview questions such as this one focus more on your work ethic and ability than your skills- but you can always incorporate a mention of your skills into your answer. Your interviewer wants to get a sense of how you form your standards- so you can answer by detailing how one might measure the success of your unique skills. If you’re interviewing for an education position- for example- you might tell your interviewer that you determine your success based on how well your students are progressing and how your supervisors evaluate your lesson plans. This tells a recruiter that you have specific standards for the evaluation of your job skills while keeping those skills at the forefront of the conversation.

Sample ‘How Do You Determine or Evaluate Success’ Interview Answers

1. I gleaned from the job posting that you are looking for a candidate with a high drive- excellent sales abilities and a proven track record of success in a corporate environment. I have displayed all of these qualities in my prior experience- and my standard for determining success in those endeavors is twofold. I typically will evaluate my performance and its effectiveness based on my own feelings and based on the feedback I receive from my supervisors. For example- I will evaluate my success in making sales based on whether I am satisfied with my results. More importantly- though- I will consult with my manager to determine whether my performance adheres to the standard of success set forth by the company for my position.

2. I understand from the job posting that you are looking for candidates who work well as part of a group. I have demonstrated this ability is several of my past positions- but I determine my success in doing so by looking to teammates and supervisors for feedback. As part of a group- you must collaborate- and I measure my effectiveness based on the achievements of the team and how substantially I contribute to them. Rather than relying solely on how I feel- though- I try to initiate discussions with coworkers to evaluate how they view my contributions and seek feedback from supervisors to ultimately determine my success. This helps me see beyond my own feelings about my work and get a better picture of how to succeed both individually and collaboratively in the workplace.