What’s Your Proudest Accomplishment?

Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW
By Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: October 26, 2022

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Interviews contain all sorts of questions- and “What’s your proudest accomplishment?” seems to be one of the most commonly interview questions used by employers across the world. As they all do- this seems like a fairly straightforward question with little to hide. However- also like other questions- potential employers can learn a great deal from your reply to this simple inquiry. In fact- the rather vague nature of this question leaves the answer wide open- meaning that employers will be able to learn as much as you’re willing to offer them. This question is designed to do the work of about 10 other interview questions- and can help interviewers to identify your strengths- weaknesses- what you find the most challenging and how you react to challenges and critique- among other important aspects of your professional habits. Yes- knowing that such a simple question can gather so much information about you and your ability to handle the job you’re interviewing for can be intimidating. However- by doing a little research and preparing properly- you can formulate a response that’ll help you stand out from other applicants and better your chances at obtaining the job of your dreams.

How to Answer the What’s Your Proudest Accomplishment Interview Question

Be Selective

Unfortunately- this isn’t an invitation for you to share your entire autobiography with your interviewer- despite how fascinating and fulfilling your life might be. You must choose one accomplishment which stands out above the rest- the one that you are truly the most proud of out of all the others. Thankfully- you can eliminate personal achievements right away. While some of these (such as having children or buying your own home) might be of terrible significance to you- your family and your friends- it has little to do inside the professional sphere- and most employers will not be interested in these details. This narrows your options down considerably.

What could be a personal achievement? Choose an accomplishment which you achieved on the job- and preferably one that is relevant to the industry which you’re interviewing for at the moment.

Underline Your Strengths

You should use every part of the interviewing process to highlight your strengths and identify what you can offer the company you’re applying to if you’re offered the job. It’s the same when you’re asked “What’s your proudest accomplishment?” Not only does your chosen accomplishment need to be directly relevant to the industry in which you’re seeking to work- but it also needs to have a focus on your strengths. Employers will certainly be looking for these characteristics in your replies- and you should be willing- ready and able to supply them when the time comes in order to make an excellent impression and increase your chances of getting hired.

Run the Highlights

As previously stated- this question is not meant to elicit a full-on ramble from the interviewee. Rather than enter into the myriad details of the tale- merely highlight the main points of the accomplishment for the potential employer. Not only will this deal with the question quickly and efficiently- but will also show the interviewer that you have the ability to extrapolate information on the spot and give a complete and accurate summary of the data when it’s required of you. This is a way to emphasize your strengths in a way that’s not entirely explicit- and adds a subtle boost to your overall interviewing skills- which can never hurt. Furthermore- summarizing your situation in this manner means the interviewer is likely to ask you more direct interview questions later on- meaning you’ll know what to expect.

Sample What’s Your Proudest Accomplishment Interview Answers

1. My proudest accomplishment to date is being able to successfully pull off a large fundraiser for our local humane society all on my own. Don’t get me wrong – I had two colleagues to help in the beginning- but they were reassigned to other projects in the middle of the one we’d already begun- leaving me with a handful of fliers and little else. However- I was able to single-handedly launch a successful social media campaign and a crowdfunding plan in order to achieve our donation goal. In the end- I successfully generated over $500 for our local shelter as well as food donations and other help they sorely needed.

2. My proudest accomplishment thus far is the time I set up an office-wide fitness campaign. Physical fitness has always been one of my top priorities- and I know that sometimes when you’re behind a desk all day long- it’s just hard to get motivated. So I created a 30-day workout schedule for everyone in the office and offered incentives for those who made it to certain milestones- such as an entry into a drawing for a gift card for those who made it fifteen days. In the end- about 40 percent of the office finished the full month- which I consider a huge success.

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