Typical employer interview questions include asking about the candidate's previous job-related successes and achievements.
The employer is trying to determine what your contributions to your job, your department and your company have been in previous positions.
Select an achievement that is professional, relevant and helped the business or organization to succeed.
The sample interview answers will help you to formulate a winning response to these type of interview questions.
Research has shown this to be one of the most common questions job seekers face in employment interviews. Prepare well for it.
"What has been your greatest achievement?"
Choose an achievement that is related to the position and is fairly recent. Review the job description or the job posting or ad. What skills are listed as necessary for the job? This will guide you to the most relevant answer for this employment interview question.
Does the position need strong sales ability, someone with keen attention to detail, good management skills or excellent problem-solving ability?
Reflect upon achievements that demonstrated the required skill. Describe your accomplishment and highlight the job-related skills you used. Point out how the results benefited the company.
If a requirement is problem-solving skills:
"Recently I was asked to implement a new system to reduce our debtors days. I analyzed the problems with the current system, got input from all the stakeholders, and developed a faster way of getting the accounts out and monitoring follow up. Our debtors days reduced significantly and we are currently on target for collections"
If a requirement is attention to detail:
"I am responsible for taking the customer orders by phone.
I listen carefully, ask for clarification and always confirm the order to make sure I have everything correct. In this past year I am the only person in my department who has not made an error on the orders.
Errors are often costly and frustrate customers. It was really satisfying receiving that recognition and I was given a bonus by my supervisor"
When asking employer interview questions about past successes, interviewers particularly want to know about achievements that increased revenues, decreased expenses, solved problems, were innovative or improved a company's reputation.
"My department manager asked me to investigate a bottleneck in the production line. I did some research and suggested a redesign of the department layout so that the production units were in a more efficient sequence.
It worked so well, increasing production by up to 20 percent, that my layout design has been adopted by all our branches"
If you have little or no work experience, refer to an accomplishment at school or in an outside activity.
Just remember to relate the skills you used to the job in question. For example:
"I was part of the rowing team that recently won the championships. It was a particularly satisfying win as we had trained very hard, requiring a lot of discipline and perseverance, to come up from the bottom of the league.
We also really had to work together as a team and keep each other motivated"
It is often difficult to single out one achievement when answering this question.
"I believe I have had a number of successes to date. It is difficult to say which I think has been my greatest accomplishment as they were all important. I am going to focus on my recent achievements as being the most pertinent..."
and go on to describe your relevant, recent accomplishments.
Quick Links to Common Employer Interview Questions
For a complete list of employer interview questions to expect in your job interview go to these sample job interview questions
View standard interview questions with answer guidelines about handling conflict, your ideal job, how you define success and what motivates you.
As a serious job candidate it is essential to prepare some excellent questions to ask in your job interview. This list of good questions to ask provides examples of insightful questions to ask the interviewer.
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