One of the most common interview questions asked by managers in all industries is “what has been your most rewarding accomplishment?” Other ways this question may be phrased include- “what strength do you possess that you are most proud of?” and “what feat have you been recognized for that you take pride in?” This can be a difficult question to answer if you’re not prepared. You definitely don’t want to draw a blank or be too general in your response. If you plan ahead- you will be prepared to focus on a specific accomplishment that was especially rewarding and also pertains to the job you are applying for.
When prospective employers ask you these interview questions- they really want to learn more about who you are as a person and what you can contribute to their organization. Make a list of your worthy accomplishments ahead of time- choose one that relates to the job you’re applying for- and draft your narrative. Practice your spiel ahead of time so you’ll feel confident and ready to give solid details about an especially rewarding accomplishment.
How to Answer the ‘What Has Been Your Most Rewarding Accomplishment?’ Interview Question
Align Your Answer With Corporate Culture: Of course it is important to give a vivid description of a past accomplishment that you are especially proud of- but it’s also crucial to keep the values and culture of the company in mind. Before your interview- research the corporate culture of your prospective place of employment to see what it stands for. Does the company value social justice and community involvement? If so- focus your discussion on one of your accomplishments that involve volunteering or donating to worthy causes. Perhaps the company has a history of creativity and innovation- and if so- plan to share details of your artful inventions that have benefited a past employer or won you accolades in school. Mirroring a company’s values with your most impressive accomplishment can make you shine in terms of being a fit for the organization.
Make Sure You Provide a Specific Example: While it may be tempting to give a general overview- such as saying you are proud of your customer service skills- delve a bit deeper to provide a more satisfactory and memorable response. For example- you could say that you have always been compassionate and responsive to customers and clients- so you go the extra mile to make sure customer satisfaction is achieved. Then go on to give an example- such as how you went out of your way to help a stranded passenger when you worked at an airport- which earned you a thank-you letter from the individual- plus kudos from your supervisor and a mention in the airline’s newsletter.
Have Your Response Match the Job Posting: To present yourself as a topnotch candidate for the position you’re interviewing for- match your accomplishment to the skills listed in the job posting. For example- if the posting said the company was looking for someone who is an exceptional team player and reliable- tell your interviewers about your former coworkers voting you the most supportive and dependable teammate two years in a row. To show how reliable you actually are- bring in the award as well as proof of your spotless attendance record. Letting them know you were never late to work- as notated in a past work review- will also show how you are a fit for their job opening. When they ask queries about your most rewarding accomplishments- give them answers that show how your achievements will benefit their organization- too.
Sample ‘What Has Been Your Most Rewarding Accomplishment?’ Interview Answers
1. One of my most recent rewarding accomplishments occurred at my last company when I was transferred to a department known for having internal conflict. This one department had more turnover than the entire company. Having a reputation as a “peacemaker” when it came to interpersonal relationships- I was successful in transforming the environment into a more pleasant place to work. During the year I was there- no one transferred out or resigned. I achieved this by incorporating fun into work- celebrating individual and group successes- and granting teammates time off to participate in worthy projects. We even formed a walking club and got in shape during lunch breaks.
2. As I looked over your job listing- I saw that you were seeking candidates with topnotch managerial skills. To be a proficient manager- one needs to know how to solve problems- understand how to effectively delegate tasks- and encourage growth in team members. During my previous job- I saw that employee morale was down and assignments were becoming backlogged. I effectively reorganized how the assignments were given out- rewarded hard workers- and ended up with the most productive and positive department in the company.
Now that you know how to answer interview questions about your most rewarding accomplishments- you’re ready to show up and make a memorable impression as the best candidate for the job.