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Best Interview Questions

This is one of the best interview questions among the all-time top ten...

What Was Your Greatest Accomplishment?

Now is not the time to be shy or bashful...this is where you show them what you got.

Consider 3 criteria in preparing your answer:

  1. What have you done to save your company money?
  2. What have you done to save your company time?
  3. What have you done to make your company money?

Broadly speaking, all managers are charged with 3 responsibilities:

  1. Saving time
  2. Saving money
  3. Making money

Managers can't do these things all by themselves; however, they alone are accountable for accomplishing these objectives. So in order for managers to excel, they must surround themselves with top performers who will meet or exceed company goals.

Always have at least 3 measurable accomplishments prepared for best interview questions like this. Share a brief (60 seconds or less) situation or story that convincingly demonstrates your ability to save money, save time, or make money.

Prior to your interview, it's a good idea to rehearse your answers out loud. You want to make sure your answers roll off your tongue in a fluid, confident manner without sounding memorized.

Use the STAR method to help you structure your answer:

  • Situation: Describe the problem
  • Tasks: What routine tasks would solve the problem?
  • Actions: What step-by-step actions did you take to solve this problem?
  • Results: What were the measurable results?

Below is an actual response a job seeker gave me to one of the best interview questions--What was one of your greatest accomplishments?

See if you notice the STAR method in her answer.

Attractive young professional woman with 2 thumbs up

When I was the Account Manager for ABC Corp, I was asked by my boss to take over their troubled Chrysler account.

Through a series of missteps, ABC Corp managed to alienate Chrysler.

As a result, our sales to Chrysler over a 3 year period declined from $50 million a year, to $42 million, to $38 million.

We were now at risk of losing this account.

Two other Account Managers had been assigned to turn things around, but to no avail.

I developed a methodical, long term plan to restore Chrysler's confidence in ABC and win back their business.

Our previous attempts to turn things around were unsuccessful because we basically increased our sales calls, but still hadn't resolved the root cause of our original problem.

Over a 6 month period I met personally with their Sales Director, Engineering Manager, and Supplier Quality Manager to make sure I understood our shortcomings.

I shared their input with our leaders and kept Chrysler appraised of our efforts to implement their suggestions.

Within 9 months we were back on Chrysler's quote list. At the end of 12 months I had won $40 million in new business, up from $38 million.

Over the next 2 years my sales to Chrysler accelerated from $40 million to $100 million--doubling what we did in our best year ever with them.

Practice reading out loud the above example. This one takes about 75 seconds...a little longer than 60 seconds, but just about right.

If the manager wants more specific information, s/he will ask you.

Don't you think the above story is much more convincing and powerful than just saying, I doubled sales in my territory over a 3 year period?

Expect the manager to say, OK--great, tell me about another accomplishment.

Be prepared to dazzle them with 2 more 30-60 second stories that drive home your exceptional abilities to make money, save time, or save money.

It's unlikely you will be asked to share more than 3 accomplishments.

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