Monday, January 29, 2007

Job interviews: 'What are you most proud of?'

Interviewers often ask this question of job candidates. The trap here for unwary candidates is to gush about their family or accomplishments outside of work.

I've interviewed candidates who have talked about how proud they were to have given up smoking or lost weight or brought up a child successfully. But while those are notable achievements, talking about those kinds of non-work achievements is losing an opportunity to really impress the interviewers.

Remember that interviewers are most interested about your suitability for the job. So make sure that, if you are asked this question, you talk about a work achievement that you are most proud of.

The best kinds of achievements focus on benefits that you achieved for other people such as:

  • Increased customer or client satisfaction;
  • Greater revenues or profit;
  • Cost reduction;
  • Reducing the workload for a colleague;
  • Improving a process.
Another favourite question of interviewers is often: 'What are your three biggest achievements?' So make sure in your interview preparation that you rack your brains to come up with at least 3 or 4 different achievements so that you don't get stuck on the spot with nothing to say.