8 Answers to "What Is Your Greatest Achievement" in an Interview (2022)

When asked, "What is your greatest achievement?" or "What is your greatest accomplishment?" in an interview, it's not as hard to answer this as you might think. It can be fun to talk about our strengths and achievements.

When it comes to effectively talking about them in a job interview, though, some people struggle to get the words out.

It’s a complicated dance with the hiring manager. You don’t want to be too humble, but on the other hand, you don’t want to seem self-absorbed. You also don’t want to describe a situation that, to your hiring managers, isn’t as much of an achievement as you think.

Don’t worry. We’re going to cover why interviewers and hiring managers ask this question and a handful of industry-specific answers you can use as inspiration for your own.

What Types Of Achievements Are Applicable

People always ask what types of achievements are applicable. Could achievements that were made during your time playing sports be presented to the interviewer? The answer is yes. Achievements that show teamwork or the ability to challenge yourself in difficult situations are absolutely applicable. Here are some areas to recall when considering where you might have made achievements:

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  • During your 4-year university.
  • During your time as playing as an athlete.
  • During your time as an intern.
  • During your time as a volunteer.
  • In your home life, if there's a significant challenge present.

Why Do Interviewers Ask This Question?

Hiring managers want to know what you’ve done in the past to improve a company. They do this, of course, because they want to see what kind of benefits their own company can reap if they hire you.

In addition to this, hiring managers want to see what you’ve done to go above and beyond in your industry in the past. This can help them paint a picture of who you are as a professional. If you come off as someone who actually cares about success, you’re more viable to the company.

How to Answer “What Is Your Greatest Achievement?” With 8 Example Answers

We’ve split some great inspirational sample answers to this question by industry and position: Marketing, sales, leadership, and finance. You can use some of these sample answers as a template for your own answer before going into an initial interview.

2 Answers to "What Is Your Greatest Achievement?" for Marketing Department Positions

“My last employer had a history of missing the mark when it came to preparing promotional activities. It was no fault of their own-- they were a small company, and the budget focused on the product itself, which was smart and understandable. While employed as a marketing supervisor, I took the time to make a very low-cost plan for three different promotional events. We managed to have enough in the budget for all three, and we brought on a ton of new clients through them. I think my ability to brainstorm and budget are important to this position, and that achievement really proved that to me.”

“My greatest achievement professionally was cleaning up my previous employer’s marketing team. When I was taken on, the team was really struggling, and we were failing to hit our quarterly marketing goals. I was hired to create a new marketing plan, which I designed and integrated into the existing plan without mentorship. In only three months, we were achieving 40-50% above our designated goals. My marketing ideas brought in an additional $500,000 in revenue for the company. We went from operating losses to improved revenue. I’m proud of myself and would love to bring that same dedication to your company.”

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2 Answers to "What Is Your Greatest Achievement?" for Sales Department Positions

“I worked in sales and customer service at the same time. I had a lot on my plate while employed in that position. I went above and beyond to give 110% at what I did, and at some moments, I thought it wouldn’t pay off. Then, at the end of last year, it was revealed that I was #1 in sales goals and positive customer service surveys during a meeting. I received the ‘employee of the month’ award and a bonus. I was elated, and it just proved to me that hard work and dedication to your job is always worth it.”

“At my previous job, each sales representative was assigned a goal for the holiday season. The company was struggling to stay afloat in such an over-saturated market, so there was a lot of pressure to drive sales. I took the time to become an employee influencer outside work. I used social media to promote our main product through humorous sketches. This resulted in me being able to surpass my sales goal and help the company achieve record revenue. I really believe that a sales employee should believe in the product and go above and beyond to help the company succeed.”

2 Answers to "What Is Your Greatest Achievement?" for Leadership Positions

“My greatest professional achievement actually took place before I was an official ‘professional.’ That achievement would have to be completing my Master’s degree in 6 years with a 3.9 GPA. I had absolutely no financial support from my family, as they were struggling during this period. I had to work a full-time job as a waitress while pursuing my engineering degree. This experience showed me that prioritizing my time and staying focused on my goals was the key to success. In a way, the experience made me a better leader, as well. I think struggle and being humble makes it easier for leaders to level with their team, rather than see themselves as a “boss.” I’m invested more in what my team produces because I know how difficult engineering can be. I’m very proud of this, and I feel that it gave me quite an advantage in my career now.”

“I worked as a resident advisor for the local college for several years. One day, one of the sophomore dorm residents came to me with a huge problem. Their parents were no longer able to support them financially, and they still had about $2,000 to pay in tuition. If they didn’t have it, they wouldn’t be able to finish the year. They were very upset. I took this time to talk to them, listen to them, and let them cry it out. Then, we started brainstorming together. We ended up concocting a fundraiser and held a dorm raffle event to raise the money. We made the $2,000, and that student has since graduated. I believe that leadership is about teamwork and caring about the people you work with, and that situation proved what good leadership looks like.”

2 Answers to "What Is Your Greatest Achievement?" for Finance Department Positions

“There was an issue with accounts payable. A lot of money was missing, and none of my supervisors could figure out what happened. Most of the team thought it was stolen. I took the time outside my designated duties to trace the money route for the day and eventually found that the money was in a queue for the wrong vendor. We were able to remedy the issue quickly, and my supervisors were very thankful that I took the time to help out.”

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“I had taken over as bookkeeper for my last employer. Their previous bookkeeper was, unfortunately, not the most modern bookkeeper. I had to spend a lot of time upgrading the bookkeeping plan and implement some new technology to make the process smoother. In the first two months, the number of discrepancies went down 75%. They had been audited every year for three years. In the year I was there, there were no audits. I’m pleased to have helped the company improve its financial practices.”

Job Seeker FAQ

Common questions about your proudest accomplishment.

How can I think of a great accomplishment?

Take a look at your resume. Does it have accomplishment statements for your previous roles? Does it speak to your career trajectory? If so, try mentioning one of those accomplishments.

Should I use a personal accomplishment?

Only if it is assistive to what the job requires. For example, having a lot of motivation, and winning a rowing state championship would find parallels.

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FAQs

What is your greatest achievement interview question answer? ›

Pick an accomplishment that's as recent as possible, and somewhat relevant to this job and career. If at all possible, you should be choosing a greatest accomplishment that happened somewhat recently in your career and demonstrates that you're a great job candidate for this position that you want now.

What is your greatest achievement interview? ›

Your “greatest hits” are your most impressive, interesting, and relevant accomplishments that best represent why you would be a great fit for the position. A good greatest hit story can be used in a variety of different ways and to answer different behavioral questions.

What are personal achievements examples? ›

List of achievements
  • Re-organized something to make it work better.
  • Identified a problem and solved it.
  • Come up with a new idea that improved things.
  • Developed or implemented new procedures or systems.
  • Worked on special projects.
  • Received awards.
  • Been complimented by your supervisor or co-workers.

What are you most proud of example answer? ›

EXAMPLE ANSWER:

“The accomplishment I'm most proud of is completing my degree with a 3.95 GPA. It's a reflection of my hard work and discipline, as well as my ability to work well with others on group projects while also shining on independent work.

What are the key achievements? ›

List of Professional Achievements for Resume
  • Revenue or sales you increased for the company.
  • Money you saved for the company.
  • Time you saved for the company.
  • Problems you identified and solved.
  • Ideas or innovations you introduced.
  • Procedures or systems you developed, implemented, or optimized.
  • Special projects you worked on.
22 Jul 2022

Who has had the greatest impact on you and your career? ›

It starts with our parents–they have the biggest impact, one that is hard to overcome. Teachers at elementary school and our first friends follow, accompanied by heroes from TV and books. As we grow older, our horizons grow wider.

What is your biggest achievement essay? ›

My greatest achievement in life so far is learning how to accept my failures. It is my motivation. It makes me stouter, wiser in choosing actions that I shall take, and strive more to do better in my next steps in life. Growing up unveils me to the reality.

What are your top 3 achievements? ›

'My greatest achievement' examples could include:
  • Giving a great presentation at work.
  • Beating sales targets.
  • Training for and completing a marathon.
  • Organizing a successful charity event.
  • Mentoring a coworker or fellow student.

How do you introduce your achievements in an interview? ›

Be specific. When discussing your personal accomplishments, be specific and give detailed information to help the interviewer visualize the importance of your achievement. You can consider using the STAR interview technique. STAR is an acronym that stands for situation, task, action, and result.

How do you talk about achievements for freshers examples? ›

List of common types of Freshers Achievements
  1. Charity work.
  2. Volunteering work.
  3. Any additional courses or certifications.
  4. Awards or competitions won.
  5. Organizations you have helped.
  6. Talk about scholarships, funding, or grants you have received.
  7. Skills you have mastered over the years.
  8. Mention sports achievements.

How do I describe my achievements? ›

A few tips for describing your achievements

For results achieved through team work, use verbs such as “collaborated,” “cooperated” and “contributed to.” If possible, quantify your achievements with figures, percentages and statistics. If you can't quantify them, describe a qualitative achievement.

What achievement are you most proud of? ›

How to answer "What accomplishment are you most proud of?"
  1. Consider an accomplishment relevant to your field. ...
  2. Think about what achievement excites you. ...
  3. Select a professional achievement rather than a personal one. ...
  4. Highlight your strategies and skills. ...
  5. Practice your response.

What can I say instead of achievement? ›

synonyms for achievement
  • accomplishment.
  • attainment.
  • creation.
  • deed.
  • effort.
  • feat.
  • performance.
  • realization.

Why should we hire you answer best? ›

Show that you have skills and experience to do the job and deliver great results. You never know what other candidates offer to the company. But you know you: emphasize your key skills, strengths, talents, work experience, and professional achievements that are fundamental to getting great things done on this position.

How do you say you are proud of yourself? ›

13“You look so proud of yourself! I am too. Let's celebrate!” It is good to say this in the actual moment of accomplishment/success to help boost your friend up even more.

How can you describe yourself? ›

Example: "I am ambitious and driven. I thrive on challenges and constantly set goals for myself, so I have something to strive toward. I'm not comfortable with settling, and I'm always looking for an opportunity to do better and achieve greatness. I was promoted three times in less than two years in my previous role."

What achievement are you most proud of interview question? ›

How to answer "What accomplishment are you most proud of?"
  1. Consider an accomplishment relevant to your field. ...
  2. Think about what achievement excites you. ...
  3. Select a professional achievement rather than a personal one. ...
  4. Highlight your strategies and skills. ...
  5. Practice your response.

How do I describe my achievements? ›

A few tips for describing your achievements

For results achieved through team work, use verbs such as “collaborated,” “cooperated” and “contributed to.” If possible, quantify your achievements with figures, percentages and statistics. If you can't quantify them, describe a qualitative achievement.

What is your biggest achievement essay? ›

My greatest achievement in life so far is learning how to accept my failures. It is my motivation. It makes me stouter, wiser in choosing actions that I shall take, and strive more to do better in my next steps in life. Growing up unveils me to the reality.

What is your greatest achievement outside of work? ›

Points to Emphasize

Choose something that you've done in the last 5 years. Emphasize how the experience will help you be a good employee. Include your motivation for accomplishing your goal. Highlight qualities such as tenacity, focus and positive attitude.

What's your biggest achievement? ›

'My greatest achievement' examples could include:
  • Giving a great presentation at work.
  • Beating sales targets.
  • Training for and completing a marathon.
  • Organizing a successful charity event.
  • Mentoring a coworker or fellow student.

What are you proud of yourself examples? ›

  • You've survived a lot of things in life. ...
  • You learned a lot and grew from your mistakes. ...
  • You helped others each time you can. ...
  • You made people smile. ...
  • You became the light to others. ...
  • You have unique talents and skills. ...
  • You strive towards your definition of success. ...
  • You have strong friendships and relationships you've built.

What is your latest professional accomplishment that you are most proud of? ›

So far I am most proud of earning my Master's Degree in Business and Management. But, speaking honestly, I consider it just as a start of my journey, not an end. I hope to achieve many other things, both as a manager and as a man, father, son, and in any other roles I may have in my life.

How do you explain achievements in a job interview? ›

How should you answer the question 'What is your most significant achievement? '
  1. Situation: give the interviewer a context – describe the situation and why the achievement was significant. ...
  2. Task: what goal did you aim to achieve?
  3. Action: explain what your specific actions to achieve your goal were.

How do you talk about achievements in an interview? ›

Tips for Answering Questions About Your Achievements
  1. Start off by telling the interviewer a story. ...
  2. Connect the dots. ...
  3. Focus on achievements. ...
  4. Don't attempt to be funny, silly, or cute. ...
  5. Use your answer to display specific skills or qualities that you know the hiring manager is looking for. ...
  6. Convey a recent accomplishment.
26 Apr 2020

What should I write for performance achievements? ›

  • Accomplishments.
  • Letters of thanks.
  • Completed goals.
  • Completed staff development classes.
  • Training (received/given)
  • Written customer-service feedback.
  • Internal/external committee work.
  • Other annual performance highlights.
10 Oct 2019

What does great achievement mean? ›

An achievement is a great accomplishment—something achieved with great effort or skill. Achieve and achievement often imply the completion of something important or difficult—a lofty goal or a great feat. Graduating high school is an achievement. Learning a new language is an achievement.

What are academic achievements examples? ›

Some examples of accomplishments are:
  • Scholarships.
  • Honor Roll inclusion for high grades.
  • Awards won for specific activities or subjects (i.e., Most Valuable Player (MVP), Fine Art Award)
  • Inclusion in student-related achievement publications (i.e., Who's Who in American High Schools)
  • Perfect attendance awards.
29 Jan 2018

Why should we hire you answer best? ›

Show that you have skills and experience to do the job and deliver great results. You never know what other candidates offer to the company. But you know you: emphasize your key skills, strengths, talents, work experience, and professional achievements that are fundamental to getting great things done on this position.

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