From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

November 2021
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Interviewing Question: Greatest accomplishment
Filed under: Interviewing, Mature professionals
Posted by: site admin @ 8:47 pm

Here is something that can help anyone
who takes an interview for a position! 

Develop a response “plan” for the question
What was your most significant accomplishment?

Some seasoned interviewers have said that this
question is so significant that it could be the only
question for which they seek answers.  The reasons
are several.  If this basic question is followed
up it can reveal

- ability to learn,
- adaptability
- applicable experience
- drive and dedication
- initative
- interest and motivation to do what was required
- technical skills

However, this should not mean that an interviewee
simply develops one description and refine it.  Much
more is involved….especially listening to the interviewer
descriptions of the position, the key issues the
company currently faces and their expectations for
the person taking the position…

If the interviewee concentrates solely on her or his personal
goals without learning the cues the intervewer offers, she or
he will miss key chance.

What this leads to is the need to formulate STAR
stories describing your accomplishments.  Keep
in mind the need to construct several that might be
pertinent to different aspects– problem solving,
leadership, working in teams, creativity, customer-
oriented goal accomplishment, and several others.

If one is experienced in business, give specific details
relating to the position where you improved processes,
increased profits, introduced / invented new products,
or influenced business directions or decisions.

This also points to a documenting approach

- actual results achieved:  details, compositions,
- importance of the accomplishment to the company
- when and how long it took
- your specific role and the 2-4 problems you faced and
    solutions developed (personal initiative)
- team you worked with, your role, aspects that you learned
    from others
- project plans and goals, collaborations and things
    you really enjoyed.
- how did you influence and motivate others

For those with less experience, the same influence clues
can be helpful.  If one can respond with technical
accomplishments it may be the process the interviewer
seeks.  Other approaches can use personal
accomplishments especially if it reveals goal-setting,
dedication to completing objectives, discipline and
working under competitive or team environments.

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