Ho hum. The interviewer sits there drumming her fingers on the desk trying to look interested while you drone on about your duties and responsibilities at your last position. As you finish up your snore-inducing list of daily tasks, your interviewer jots down next to your name – “Good candidate . . . but nothing special.”
What happened? You didn’t get the job. Even though you felt you were well prepared for this job interview. When the employer asked that common interview question: “What accomplishments are you most proud of?” For lack of a better answer you went into your litany of mundane tasks you know like the back of your hand. However, that’s not what the interviewer is looking for.
What are your accomplishments? This is the question you must answer when preparing your job interview answers. Interviewers want to hear real accomplishments that you’ve achieved at school or on the job. This is the new trend in resumes and interviewing. You’ve got to make an impression on the interviewer and make yourself look like you can initiate projects and get them done successfully.
Have you been keeping track of your achievements? If not, start right now. If you’ve already left the job, then sit down in a quiet place and remember as much as you can. Dig up old emails, memos, awards, etc. to help jog your memory. Next, you’ll want to make a list of all of your accomplishments. Achievements are what sets you apart from other job candidates – not tasks and responsibilities.
Q: How many managers, administrative assistants, accountants, etc. know how to do an Excel spreadsheet?
A: Too many to count.
How to Make Yourself A Star
Here’s one of the best job interview preparation advice tips you’re going to get: Always keep a list of your accomplishments so you can access them quickly to use in your resume, cover letter and in the actual interview. What’s that? You don’t have a list of your star-making achievements? Well, now’s the time to make one.
Below are several questions designed to bring out the inner achiever in you. They’ll give you a jump-start on your quest to give yourself the credit you deserve, and, create a list of accomplishments that you’ll be able to share with your interviewer the next time you’re asked that frequent interview question: “What accomplishments are you most proud of?”
Job Interview Achievement Skills Questions
- In each job, what special things did you do to set yourself apart? How did you do the job better than anyone else did or than anyone else could have done?
- What did you do to make each job your own?
- How did you take the initiative? How did you go above and beyond what was asked of you in your job description?
- What special things did you do to impress your boss so that you might be promoted?
And were you promoted? Rapid and/or frequent promotions can be especially noteworthy.
- How did you leave your employers better off than before you worked for them?
- Did you win any awards, such as Employee of the Month honors?
- What are you most proud of in each job?
- Is there material you can use from your annual performance reviews? Did you consistently receive high ratings? Any glowing quotes you can use from former employers?
- Have you received any complimentary memos or letters from employers or customers?
- What tangible evidence do you have of accomplishments – publications you’ve produced, products you’ve developed, software applications you’ve written?
- Think of the “PEP Formula”: Profitability, Efficiency, and Productivity. How did you contribute to profitability, such as through sales increase percentages? How did you contribute to efficiency, such as through cost reduction percentages? How did you contribute to productivity, such as through successfully motivating your team?
- How did you make your company more competitive?
- How did you build relationships or image with internal or external constituencies? How did you attract new customers or retain existing ones?
- How did you expand the business?
- How did you contribute to the firm’s Return on Investment (ROI)?
- How did you help the organization fulfill its mission statement?
Dazzling Interviewers With Your Achievements is one of the most effective techniques used in interviews.