How to answer the question “What is Your Greatest Achievement?” in an Interview

Estimated reading time: 3 mins

When you are applying for a job, you may be asked to answer the question “What is your greatest achievement?” in an interview. This can be a tricky question to answer, as it requires you to think about what you believe is your greatest accomplishment. Here are some tips on how to answer this question effectively, with case examples from real-life interviews.

Understanding What Your Greatest Achievement Is

The first step in answering this question is understanding what your greatest achievement is and why it matters to you. Start by taking some time to reflect on the achievements that make up who you are today. Think about any awards or recognition that you have received in the past, such as scholarships or awards for excellence in a particular field. Consider any major accomplishments that stand out, such as graduating at the top of your class or making significant progress towards a project or goal that was difficult to achieve.

Once you have identified your biggest achievement, consider why it was important to you and how it demonstrates skills and qualities relevant to the job role that you are applying for. For example, if one of your greatest achievements was graduating at the top of your class, this could demonstrate excellent problem-solving skills and academic dedication which could be beneficial when working in certain roles.

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Examples From Real Interviews

Case Example 1: George applied for a role as a software engineer at a large technology company and was asked during his interview “What would you say is your greatest achievement?” George responded by saying “My most significant accomplishment has been developing my own software application which I then released through an app store. This process involved learning coding languages from scratch and overcoming several technical issues along the way but eventually resulted in me creating something which has now been downloaded over 10,000 times!” By demonstrating his ambition and skill set through his response, George showed that he had all the necessary qualities required for the role of software engineer and was subsequently offered the position!

Case Example 2: Sarah applied for a role as a marketing assistant at an advertising agency and was asked during her interview “What do you consider your biggest success?” Sarah responded by saying “During my time at university I developed an online social media campaign which aimed to raise awareness of environmental issues within my local community. The campaign went viral on various platforms resulting in increased donations being made towards local charities dedicated to tackling climate change – this was undoubtedly one of my proudest moments!” Through her response it became clear that Sarah had experience with running successful campaigns which made her well suited for the role she had applied for – she too got offered the position shortly after!

Tips For Answering The Question

  • Always keep responses concise – try not to ramble or give too much unnecessary detail about things which may not be related directly to achieving success
  • Focus on achievements rather than successes – although similar terms there can be subtle differences between what constitutes an achievement compared with success. Quantify the achievement, if possible, as this turns a subjective achievement into an objective achievement.
  • Demonstrate how certain skills enabled success – provide examples where possible of how specific abilities helped propel yourself forward towards achieving something worthwhile
  • Stay humble – although talking about yourself positively is important don’t come across as arrogant or overly self-confident, and don’t use superlatives, like ‘brilliant’ or ‘awesome’
  • Prepare beforehand – practice answers before attending any interviews so that when asked questions such as these they can be answered confidently without hesitation


At times answering questions such as “What is Your Greatest Achievement?” during interviews can feel daunting however with adequate preparation beforehand they can become relatively easy tasks! By following these simple tips mentioned throughout this article anyone should feel more confident when responding positively no matter what their levels of experience may be!

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