How To Answer  ‘What is Your Greatest Accomplishment’ Interview Question (Examples)

What is your greatest accomplishment?

The question is often asked during most of the job interviews and other crucial points in your career as well. Not to mention it is the most common question you are going to get in an interview.

Answering these questions feels like a struggle for a lot of people because they don’t really know what their accomplishments are.

You should answer this question honestly. If you want to get hired, then you need to show off your skills and achievements. This means that you need to come up with all sorts of ideas on how to do so rightfully.

Quick Answers To ‘What Is Your Greatest Accomplishment Interview Questions To Get You Started

Here are 20+ best answers to the above interview question:

  • My biggest accomplishment is being able to graduate from college despite not knowing how to read when I started.
  • My biggest achievement is graduating high school at age 16.
  • My biggest accomplishment is finishing college at age 19.
  • I think my biggest achievement would be to make sure that I never let anyone down. It doesn’t matter what the outcome may come, I will always try my best to do things right.
  • My biggest accomplishment is making it through a rough patch in my marital relationship that further led to divorce.
  • My greatest accomplishment is raising two children alone.
  • My biggest achievement is starting my own venture.
  • My greatest achievement so far is getting back my ability to walk again after having my spinal cord severed.
  • My biggest accomplishment as a teenager was learning how to read and write. I was very shy and hated talking to people, but I learned how to overcome those fears and become more outgoing.
  • My biggest accomplishment is getting out of huge debt and paying off all my bills.

How to Prepare Your Answer For ‘What Is Your Greatest Accomplishment?’ Interview Question?

It’s essential to practice these behavioral interview questions ahead of time.

The STAR technique is the most optimized method to explain your biggest achievement without including irrelevant details. The acronym works as described below:

  • S: Situation – A situation or a task that is relevant to your job description. It could be from an old job, volunteer position, another event, or something else entirely.
  • T: Task – It is about the goat at hand which you set to accomplish, such as boosting sales, reducing manufacturing costs, or others.
  • A: Action – What specific actions, work, or contributions you have done or given to the team to achieve the set objective.
  • R: Result – What is the outcome of your project or objective at hand? Was it a success? What did you learn? What you would have done differently to achieve the desired result the next time?

You should ideally talk about a workplace accomplishment when talking about yourself.

However, you can always give the reference of your high school, participation in contests, volunteering, or some specific achievement in your hobbies to show your relevant skills.

This is all to prove the point that you are the best person for the given job title.

Tips For Answering ‘What Is Your Greatest Accomplishment?’ Interview Question?

How to Answer Whats Your Greatest Accomplishment

Highlight Your Best Values And Top Qualities

What greatest achievements you share tell about what you value in your life. It speaks of great lengths whether you are suitable for the job or not?

For example, if you were named the best salesperson at your company in 2016, then you probably won’t be named the best salesperson again next year.

You think this is your biggest achievement because you focus on hard work and determination. Also, you like to make people happy. It is in your nature.

Everyone always sees you in the office with a big smile. Your goal always is to know your customers. You are always ready to learn and adapt new sales techniques as required and apply them.

This clearly demonstrates to your interviewer that:

  • You are a type of salesperson who is passionate about selling and dedicated to your customer. You try to do even more than your employer and customers expect.
  • You’re a hard worker who’s a positive and adaptable personality, and you have excellent communication skills.
  • You’re ambitious and thrive on quantified goals and measurable results.

You should consider working backward to ensure you highlight your most important qualities.

Research About The Job position and Company

You need to figure out what skills the company values the most for that job position and focus on tailoring your answer accordingly.

The best way to get started is to read through the job description, which lists the skills needed to fulfill the responsibilities of that position.

You can also :

  • Spend some good time on the company‘s website, blog, their social media profiles. pages of all their previous projects.
  • Check out all the testimonials, reviews, and information that people talk about the company and its products.
  • Read all the news, editorials, and articles about the company, its employees, and its founders.


Ensure to Practice Your Answer

You don’t need to be afraid to ask for feedback from friends, colleagues, or family members.

They may not able to help you directly as they might not know what you’re saying, but they still help you with soft skills and give some advice.

Make sure you cover the key points you want people to remember, and transition smoothly from one point to another.

Rather than memorizing word-for-word, it is essential to focus on your understanding of the meaning.

Instead, you can do this – Brainstorm your story in a sequential manner. Focus on the ordered list of key points that you use to talk through.

However, it becomes important that you know how to recall all those points in a sequence and make the transition smooth while switching one point to another.

Make sure you can tell your entire story from start to finish when talking about your greatest achievement to an employer.

Once you will be able to pull it off one time, you practice. And then when it becomes easy to do multiple times, it means that you are all set for the interview.

 Be Honest With Your Answers

You will be certainly tempted to exaggerate the fact or even lie a little, especially when you feel like your greatest achievement isn’t great enough.

Don’t expect your interviewer to be impressed by your ability to eradicate world hunger. It’s totally your decision to figure out what qualifies as the “greatest accomplishment” in your life.

As long as you can demonstrate the skills and qualities that set your candidacy apart from others, the interviewer won’t mind which accomplishment you choose.

Be Specific With Your Answers

Your answer should be concise and precise. Don’t digress from your answer as it shows you are not focused enough or confident enough.

Don’t use vague language like “I oversaw a project.” Explain in great detail about the project and what was your specific role there.

Ensure Your Accomplishment Is Recent and Relevant

Learning to use a computer program to write documents was once impressive, but now that computers are so commonplace, it’s not really worth mentioning anymore.

Almost every job applicant today must be able to type on a computer, even if they don’t use computers for their jobs.

General Sample Answer To “What Is Your Greatest Achievement” Interview Question

Situation 

“I worked as an assistant manager at a restaurant in New York City for several years. During the first four months, the restaurant was completely packed 90% of the time, and we barely had any room to breathe.

Task 

“At work, we had no choice but to be very efficient so we wouldn’t get overwhelmed.”

Action 

“The most important part of this was being proactive.” If we hadn’t been able to roll with the punches and focus on putting out fires, things would’ve gotten really messy really quickly.

At the beginning of summer, I created a really strict shift schedule, which was followed by everyone 100% of the time.

If someone calls in sick, I would give you a reward if you fill in for them. “In case no one was available at the time, I personally filled in.”

Results 

“Overall, this summer was pretty good. We had 99%+ of our customers happy, and we didn’t receive any bad reviews.”

Sample Answer To “What Is Your Greatest Achievement” Interview Question For Professionals 

Situation

“My greatest accomplishment was when I was working at my last job as a Human Resources Administrator.”

“The hiring department was having trouble finding certain files and dealing with documents, especially during busy times, which took up too much time.

Task

“I thought there were some improvements we could make with our employee file management system.” “I intended to boost my productivity and improve efficiency, and in the long run, save the time that consumes searching for documents.”

Action 

“I decided that I would take initiative and implement a system for managing our company’s human resources documents.

You need a tool that helps me centralize files within a specific department, and streamline the whole process of onboarding projects.

Also, it can help me with other small tasks such as bulk document imports, automated backfile conversions, and more.

Results 

“In the final analysis, our timesheets showed that the time spent searching for files and documents was reduced by five to ten hours.

” There was no time delay between sharing documents with the HR team, finance department, and supervisory staff.”

“Each person of the team has instant access to the files they require to a singular sharing HR database. which speeds up things a lot.”

Sample Answer To “What Is Your Greatest Achievement” Interview Question For Recent Graduates

Situation 

“As a recent graduate of XYU, I think my greatest accomplishment was what I accomplished during my time at XYU.”

My scholarship only covered part of the tuition, and I didn’t have enough money to pay for the rest myself.

“I also wanted to gain some experience at the company, so that I could begin working right after graduation.”

Task 

“I learned early on that I needed to manage my time down the hour in order to become efficient and on top of things.”

Action 

“Through hard work and dedication, by balancing studying, working part-time, and volunteering to gain some experience, I was able to balance everything.”

“Scheduling things in my personal calendar was tiring at times but I managed to schedule most of what I had to do.”

“To help me keep track of my tasks, I need to know my list of projects, when each one is due, and how long each project will take. “This way, I never missed deadlines, assignments, or any other responsibilities.”

Results 

“I graduated from college with a GPA of 3 8, almost no student loans, and also worked as the university social media associate during my last two semesters.”

“There, I also learned a ton about marketing, how to interact with our followers, and organized the biggest university event where hundreds of students showed up.’

Sample Answer To “What Is Your Greatest Achievement” Interview Question For Service-Based Industry Professionals 

Situation 

“My biggest achievement was during my time working as a customer service rep for Company X.

“When I started working at the company, I was the first custom software development intern there, so I had to learn everything by myself. It was really too fast at the beginning and it was;t felt like I was doing it properly.”

Task 

“I felt awkward and I had to think quickly if I wanted to move ahead in the company.”

So I tried to improve myself and a lot of the others were often too busy to give me any help. “So, I didn’t really have any instructions…”

Action 

“I decided that I would learn as much as I could by talking with the other people at the company when I could, and by reading up on everything I can get my hands on that’s related to the product.”

As time went by, I began noticing a pattern in the questions I was receiving from our customers. First, I created a document of the frequently asked questions I was getting, for my own personal use.

It saved me a lot of effort, and eventually, the documents were repurposed into their own web pages.

Over the following year, I was promoted to the Customer Support team lead and helped with scaling up customer support efforts by consulting with hiring, training new representatives, communicating issues and questions, and so on.

Results

We were able to decrease the average monthly tickets by around 25%. 

Sample Answer To “What Is Your Greatest Achievement” Interview Question For Service-Based Industry Professionals For Entry-Level Marketing Job 

“To this moment, my greatest achievement is getting my bachelor’s degree in Marketing. And I did that while working part-time at a customer service job improving my communication skills. It went to the point where my work resulted in a significant level of customer satisfaction further substantiating more sales and profitability. “

Situation

To prevent graduating college with too much debt to clear.

Task 

“I worked 20 to 30 hours a week while studying and completing my school-level education full time.

Action

“Along with studying and classes, I was working with [employer name] where my work was to resolve customer problems with the services they got from our company.”

“My responsibilities included helping unsatisfied or troubled customers by phone and email. I was also writing user documentation to assist our customers for better understanding of our services”.

“When I was helping the engineering team, we learned the main causes of customer frustration.”

Result

My GPA was [whatever]. I graduated in four years without having any debt. Setting clear goals and working consistently towards them is important.

Customer documentation is essential for a business. It helps customers understand the services and set them up on their own.

Since the last year, customer satisfaction increased by over 14% and sales had improved by over 9%.

 “What Is Your Greatest Achievement” Interview Question Examples 

Got a Promotion to Floor Manager

Situation

Recently an employee retired and there is a job opening.

Task

“I was interested in that position when I came to know about that employee retirement. Now, I want the company to know that I want to be one of the candidates for that job. “

Action

“Once the job opening is public, I talked to the manager about job responsibilities and I applied for the job after talking to him. “

“During my interview, when I shared these pieces, I let the management team know that, if they want, I’ll continue to do the same high-quality job and take the team even farther for future success.”

Result

“I was up against five other competitors for the senior manager position in the company. They were impressed by my background research on the position.”

Updated Website Content

Situation

“We had no idea why our website wasn’t attracting the traffic we wanted.”

Task

“I increased traffic to our product page by targeting men and women between the ages of 30 and 50.”

Action

Redesigned the look and feel of the site to be more familiar to the target audience

Result

“Within one month, every member of the organization saw an increase of at least 15% more sales. After six months, our sales increased by 25%.”

Experienced professional interviewing for a website management position  

Situation

“It came to our knowledge that our website was not very much visible or highlighting to our potential clients compared to our competitors.”

“It was very discouraging but it did give us some insight into why our sales had been declining.”

Task

“Things that needed to be done to improve the website content quality, focus more on search engine optimization (SEO), social media profiles, and getting online ads. “

Action

“I led the business development project which was focused on increasing online visibility”

We worked with a human resources company and an SEO consulting firm to develop a plan for updating the site design and adding two full-time employees – one focused on writing new content and another focused on building our visibility on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Result 

“We hired an SEO firm and had them improve our site’s Alexa.com ranking from more than 14 million in the world to just under 800,000.”

Saved Previous Employer Thousands of Dollars and Man-Hours

Situation

“My last job was as a project manager at a company where my boss took bids from potential contractors for a new branch office.”

Task

“He asked me to help him categorize bids from the contractors and break down each one into several elements, making the decision process easier.”

Action

“I spent a good amount of time analyzing each contractor’s bids. To ensure that I included all the critical aspects of the documents and some relevant information that could be important for completing the task, I made sure to include everything.”

Result

“Due to my capability to pay attention to the detail and extensive research of each contractor’s bid, I saved thousands of dollars for my company using the most efficient way to do the project. “

Managing an Equipment And System Enhancement Initiative

Situation

Our main office has been using up an old equipment, system, and software, which affected their productivity drastically.

Task

I created and organized a group of employees who demonstrated the advantages and implications of upgrading the equipment to the authority.

Action

After conducting a survey that asked about employees’ needs and wants for an efficient workplace, I developed a plan to improve the office environment.

Once I get all the responses from the survey, I crafted a summary report making my case stronger and backed by data.

Result

The management ends up upgrading our systems software and other equipment. ,

Done My Master’s Degree

Situation

I set myself a personal goal that I will complete my master’s degree with the highest GPA possible.

Task

My goal was to complete my master’s degree with enough good grades along with working part-time.

Action

After working part-time on weekends, I was able to become highly effective at managing my time so that I had enough study time.

To be honest, I got creative by switching shifts with other employees so that I could study and prepare for exams and school projects.

Result

I completed my master’s program last year with a GPA above 4.0, which exceeded my original goal.

Reduced Operating Costs for Manufacturing Unit

Situation

“The manufacturing unit’s operating costs apparently went over the budget in the last fiscal quarter and it needs to be reduced dramatically.”

Task

“My manager assigned me to analyze our current costs and find ways we could reduce them.”

Action

“Once I have gone through all the invoices from our third-party suppliers, I came to the conclusion that our company can save a significant sum of money if we make bulk purchases every six months.”

Result

“I created a detailed report and presented it to my seniors. The presentation backed by data and relevant information showed them how we can reduce product cost and get under the budget.”

 Mastered A New Software Program on My Own

Situation

“The situation at my workplace is the management upgraded the software programs we were using but didn’t provide any training program to learn that”

Task

“Laptops are distributed to all the employees, so they can work in their homes and become more familiar with the software.”

Action

“Only three people out of twenty-five in our branch office volunteered to take home a computer to learn the functions of a new software program on their own.”

I spent a few days watching several multiple YouTube videos and reading the programming white papers to learn everything about the software.

Result

After getting hang of the software and mastering it on my own within just 15 days, my senior requested that I must teach the other employees as well.

 Started My Own Company

Situation

“I have started my own company just after graduating which provides services for window washing.”

Task

After graduating, the job prospects were limited, but I needed the means to earn some money and survive in the workplace, using my hard skills and experience.

Action

After graduating from college, I decided there was a need for a reputable cleaning service in my hometown, so I started canvassing local businesses for clients in hopes that I could start a successful business.

Result

Within two weeks, my business was generating regular income from cleaning services.

After six months, my business had grown so big that I needed to hire two employees to help me keep up with everything.

Opening up a business has taught me so much about what is required to become successful.

Caught Many Accounting Mistakes In Financials

Situation

I was asked to help check the balance of the annual finances for a quite a large company that was concerned about their expenses exceeding earnings.

Task

They required me to examine all the vendor accounts with all the money going out and coming in and whether there are discrepancies. I was able to complete this work before the competition of the fiscal year.

Action

It took me many days and weeks to put in extra hours to ensure this task was completed by the deadline.

It was extremely time-consuming to check past invoices and payroll records for accuracy.

Result

I was able to find a few typos on various entries for vendors and other payable amounts which made the financial books all mismanaged.

This error caused a significant discrepancy between the budget sheets.

But I made sure that all the company books get balanced and well-prepared for the auditors to check by correcting every error and managing the financials.

Found a Crucial Problem To Which Everyone Ignored

Situation

I was working as a mechanic at ABC company where I get regular incoming of vehicles coming for repairs, and sometimes with problems that most of the people ignore or weren’t able to find.

Even there was one particular truck which was kept in for so long time because no other worker there able to find an issue in it.

Task

My boss asked me if I knew why the car was acting up and wanted me to take a look at it.

Action

After looking at the truck and doing extensive online research, I found no electrical issues that could be causing the problem.

Result

After investigating every document I could find about this particular make and model of the truck I discovered the cause of the problem.

After working through the problem with the client, I found a workable solution that would ensure it wouldn’t happen again to the client.

Increasing Efficiency at the Workplace

Situation

Where I worked earlier, I was getting so many duties and various tasks had overlapping duties between work and tasks, creating inefficient workflows.

Task

After examining my duties, I identified where I could save time by delegating tasks to others.

Action

So I figured out several ways to combine different tasks, so I wasn’t doing the same things over and over again during the day.

Result

After implementing the changes I wanted, my job duties became easier to manage, which freed up an additional hour each day. This way, I was able to take more responsiblities and more tasks to help my team.

Achieved My First Sales Goal Way Faster Tha anyone

Situation

I was a new to the this XYZ company I was expected to hit my first sales target just within 2 months and that too against the competitors to get a full-time position in the company.

Task

Before my 90-day employment contract expired, I needed to achieve $10, 000 worth of sales.

Action

During the first 90 days at ABC Company, I was excited and highly motivated to learn more abou the business, and the product and sell as more as I can.

Result

It was a big accomplishment for me to achieve my first sales goal of 10,000 dollars in just 60 days. And they didn’t waste any time to offer me a full-time position for their sales department.

 Re-signed Previous Clients

Situation

After moving offices, my company lost several important clients, which significantly reduced its monthly revenue.

Task

The Sales Manager of the company told my team to re-sign those clients who are not renewed.

Action

Once I figure out why these clients of mine were not renewing their contracts, I came up with strategies and plannings with all promotional stuff, referral discount and offers to retain more of my clients.

Result

My strategies helped me successfully re-sign 50% of our former clients who were lost due to our relocation.

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