Published On : December 06, 2016
There are a lot of different questions that may come up during your first face-to-face meeting with a potential employer. Some queries- such as 'Tell me about how you achieved your greatest professional accomplishment' are behavioral interview questions. Hiring managers typically use this type of inquiry to better understand how you behaved in the past in order to determine what you might do in the future. Traditional inquiries- on the other hand- focus on concrete facts that are easy to share on your resume.
This type of inquiry can seem challenging- but it gives you a great opportunity to highlight the personality traits- experiences and skills you have that make you a great fit for the position. For this particular question- the hiring manager may be looking for a response highlighting your goal-making- time-managing and planning abilities. You need to know what the employer is asking so you can give an on-point answer.
Not all hiring managers are going to ask the same questions in the exact same way. The interviewer may instead ask- 'How did you achieve your most significant accomplishment?' If you want to be ready to respond to this inquiry- you need to know why it is asked and the variations you might hear. It is true behavior-based queries can be challenging- but with the right practice and the STAR method- you may be able to give a memorable response.
How to Answer the 'Tell Me About How You Achieved Your Greatest Professional Accomplishment' Behavioral Interview Question
Pick Something You Are Passionate About. Storytelling is a vital part of answering this type of interview question. If you choose to talk about an impressive accomplishment you are not passionate about- there may be a sense of disengagement. On the other hand- the interviewer will likely be able to sense your pride and passion if you choose to talk about an achievement you are truly delighted to have been a part of completing. Picking a topic you are passionate about will make telling the story much easier and may even make your story more memorable. This might lead to you getting the job offer over someone who was unable to answer the same inquiry well.
Tie the Achievement to the Job. You should be able to tie your answer to the job at hand- which means it should be a professional achievement. Highlight skills- abilities and personality traits that are important for the occupation. You can ensure you are a memorable and clear candidate if you talk about your ability to set goals- determination- self-motivation- problem-solving prowess and communication skills. If you are trying to start a new career- you may not have an achievement clearly tied to the job at hand. However- if you work in important skills and the like you will still be able to impress the hiring manager with something you achieved in a different industry. It does not matter what kind of inquiry you are replying to you should always try to link it back to the position you are pursuing.
Keep Your Answer Organized. You can talk about an achievement you are passionate about all while tying important skills into the story- but if you do not organize the response well it may fall flat. A solid organization method for behavioral interview questions is the STAR method. This approach requires you talk about the:
- Situation or Task background
- Action you took to remedy the situation or complete the task
- Result you were able to achieve
Not only will this approach help ensure you keep your response organized and full of details- but it can help you answer other behavioral inquiries you did not have time to prepare for. Most queries of this nature will be easier to reply to if you practice first- but using the STAR method may help ensure you give a standout reaction with minimal preparation. Organizing your answer well is important if you want to impress the hiring manager with how you would fit in at the company.
Sample 'Tell Me About How You Achieved Your Greatest Professional Accomplishment' STAR Interview Answer
I have had several notable accomplishments throughout my career. The one I would consider my most notable came about in an unexpected way. I started working on a team project in a support role that could have been filled by anyone. We were working on an important project to update the specifications required for a customer database. Early in the project- one of the leads had to step down due to other responsibilities in the company. This gave me the opportunity to take on a more important role in the project. I now had to help make key decisions- dole out responsibilities and set the schedule to ensure we finished the project well and on time. I was able to gain a leadership role because of my expertise on the subject and my ability to lead the others on the team. This was my most notable accomplishment because of how I was able to expand my role while ensuring the project stayed on track.
Taking the time to prepare answers to commonly asked behavioral interview questions may be enough to set you apart from your competition.