Job interview FAQs. What is Your Biggest Achievement?
Tip: answering this question without preparation is challenging. It's a good idea to think it over carefully before going to the job interview or maybe even include a special section “Achievements” into your CV. Anyway, in your answer try to present one or two achievements, which will definitely appeal to the interviewer within the scope of the position you apply for. If you have some prominent accomplishments that you are especially proud of – it's your time to impress the prospective employer and show what value you can add to their company. Don't forget to mention important figures or awards which can emphasize your accomplishments.
Interviewer: What is your biggest achievement?
Tim, 28, is applying for a position of an insurance agent: That's an interesting question. I think my biggest achievement in this field was increasing the total health insurance sales by 40% within a year after joining my previous company. I managed to do that by building good relationships with the existing customers and developing special discount programs for members of their families, which helped us to attract more clients. Actually, the implementation of those programs brought a lot of profit to the company. And I was awarded “Agent of the Year” nomination.
Alex, 38, is applying for a position of a Research and Development Manager: Well, I should say that the greatest thing I managed to achieve at my latest position was the reorganization of work in R&D which led to increased productivity and creation of the award-winning team. When I joined the previous company, the morale in R&D was very low. This was mainly due to high absenteeism among the department staff – they were dissatisfied with the schedules they had. The company was in the video games market. So, many employees from R&D were creative people who needed some sort of inspiration and couldn't work productively during regular working hours. I felt it was my responsibility to arrange the work of the department in the most efficient and suitable way. So, I researched possible options, then held several meetings with the department staff and top management. Finally, we approved the new schedule with flexible hours. We could see some positive effects in one month after this, when 90% of staff started meeting the deadlines for their projects. And in a year our team managed to create some innovative products for the market which won several awards.
Ann, 21, undergraduate, is applying for a position of a call center operator: At the moment my biggest achievement is improving my knowledge of English. At school I used to study German, so it was a real challenge for me to study another foreign language at the university. But I feel that I need English for my studies and career. That's why I started attending special courses and practicing as much as possible. I improved my English significantly within 2 years only and passed Cambridge FCE exam. I think that's one of my biggest accomplishments and investments into my future career.
* Follow the series of podcasts “FAQs about job interviews” at enpodcast.com to find out how to ace your job interview and finally land your dream position!
appeal - to to be interesting, attractive for someone
within the scope of - within a framework
prominent accomplishments - significant achievements
to add value - to make something worth more than before
figures - numbers
awards - something that you win
emphasize - to stress
implementation - a process of incorporation of some ideas or strategies
R&D department - research and development department
productivity - ability to work efficiently and productively
morale - team spirit
due to - because of
absenteeism - nonattendance at work, without valid reasons
inspiration - stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity
to arrange - to organize
to approve - to confirm
to obtain - to get, to receive