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Your Greatest Professional Achievement – Sample Answer

Confident female professional attentively listens to a candidate discussing their greatest professional achievement, representing JOH Partners’ commitment to recognizing talent.

As a professional, it’s important to have a strong understanding of your achievements and how to articulate them in a job interview. One common interview question that often catches job seekers off guard is “What is your biggest professional achievement?” It’s a question that can be difficult to answer if you haven’t taken the time to reflect on your experiences and accomplishments.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at how you can unlock your biggest professional achievement and use it to your advantage in a job interview. We’ll provide tips and strategies on how to structure your answer, offer examples of successful responses, and discuss why this question is so important for interviewers to ask.

Key Takeaways

  • Having a strong understanding of your biggest professional achievement is important for job interviews
  • Preparing and practicing your answer can help you articulate your strengths and experiences
  • The STAR method can be an effective way to structure your answer
  • Highlighting your actions and the steps you took is important in demonstrating your skills, experiences and linking them to the job description
  • Reflecting on your achievements can help you feel more confident and prepared in a job interview

Understanding the Importance of Your Biggest Professional Achievement

Job interviews can be daunting, and interviewers often ask about your greatest achievement so far. This question tests your self-awareness, communication skills, and professional accomplishments.

Interviewers ask this question to evaluate how you approach challenges, your values, and your work ethic. It helps them understand your past experiences and how they may relate to the role you are interviewing for.

Interview Questions and mistakes to avoid

The standard interview question is “What is your biggest professional achievement?” or “What is your greatest accomplishment?”

Why Is This Question Important?

The interviewer wants to know more about your critical thinking and effective problem-solving techniques. Your answer should reflect how you overcame a challenging situation and your impact within an organization.

Your example should showcase your leadership skills and your ability to positively affect the outcome of a project. Your achievements should demonstrate your dedication and passion for the work you do.

What Do Interviewers Want to Hear?

Interviewers want to hear about a significant accomplishment that sets you apart. Your answer should highlight your unique strengths and the impact you had on the organization.

 The best way to answer this question effectively, structure your answer in the form of the STAR method. This method helps you briefly describe the Situation, Task, Action, and Results of your accomplishment.

Interviewers Ask This Question to…

  • Evaluate your problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
  • Understand your values and work ethic.
  • Understand your past experiences and how they may relate to the role.
  • Assess your potential fit within the organization.

Understanding the importance of your biggest professional achievement is crucial to preparing for a successful job interview.

How to Choose and Structure Your Answer

When answering the question about your greatest professional achievement, it’s important to choose an accomplishment that aligns with the job you’re applying for. Consider the skills and experiences required for the role and choose an achievement that showcases those abilities.

Structure Your Answer

Aim to structure your answer using the STAR method:

  • Situation: Describe the situation or problem you faced.
  • Task: Explain the task or goal you wanted to achieve.
  • Action: Detail the steps you took to accomplish the task or solve the problem.
  • Result: Share the outcome and results of your actions.

Using this structure will help you provide a clear and concise answer that highlights your skills and experiences.

Sample Answer

One of my greatest achievements was when I led a project to redesign our company’s website. The situation was that our website was outdated and difficult to navigate, resulting in low customer engagement. My goal was to create a modern and user-friendly website that would increase customer engagement and satisfaction.

To achieve this, I first gathered feedback from customers and conducted market research to identify design trends and best practices. Based on this information, I developed a new design concept and collaborated with our development team to implement the changes. I also created and executed a marketing campaign to promote the new website.

The result was a 50% increase in website traffic and a 20% increase in customer satisfaction ratings within the first six months of launching the new website. The redesign also received positive feedback from customers and stakeholders.

By following the STAR method, this answer effectively showcases the individual’s skills in project management, market research, design, and marketing.

Practice Your Answer and choose your greatest achievement for interviews

It’s important to practice your answer to this question to ensure you can confidently and effectively communicate your achievement during an interview. Practice with a friend or family member, or record and watch yourself to identify areas for improvement.

Remember to focus on the specific steps you took and the results you achieved, rather than just the end outcome. And don’t be afraid to share an achievement that occurred outside of work, such as a volunteer project or personal accomplishment, as long as it aligns with the job requirements.

Sharing Your Biggest Professional Achievement in a Job Interview

During a job interview, the interviewer may ask you to describe your biggest professional achievement. This can be a challenging question to answer, but with the right approach, it can be an opportunity to showcase your skills and experiences.

Using the STAR Method

One effective way to structure your answer is by using the STAR method:

Describe the situation or problem you facedExplain the actions you took to address the situationShare the positive result or outcome

By using this method, you can provide a clear and concise answer that highlights your problem-solving skills and achievements.

Providing Examples of your biggest achievement

It can be helpful to provide specific examples of your achievements, such as a successful project, a significant accomplishment, or an achievement outside of work. Be sure to focus on achievements that are relevant to the job you are applying for, and make sure to highlight the actions you took to achieve them.

Here is an example answer using the STAR method:

One of my biggest achievements was when I led a team that implemented a new software system that increased productivity by 20%. The situation was that our current system was outdated and causing delays. I researched different options and recommended the new software system. I then trained the team on the new system and worked with IT to ensure a smooth rollout. As a result, the team was able to work more efficiently and complete projects on time, resulting in a 20% increase in productivity.

A focused man and a contemplative woman sitting in a waiting area, symbolizing the preparation for discussing professional achievements with JOH Partners."
Reflecting Professional Milestones | JOH Partners

Highlighting Actions You Took

When sharing your achievement, focus on the actions you took to achieve it. This will give the interviewer insight into your problem-solving abilities, work ethic, and leadership skills. Be sure to use active verbs and quantify your achievements with specific numbers or percentages.

Preparing for Behavioral Interview Questions

Questions about your biggest professional achievement are common in behavioral interview questions. By preparing and practicing your answer, you can ensure that you are presenting yourself in the best possible light. Make sure to adapt your answer for different interviewers and job positions, and to focus on achievements that are most relevant to the job you are applying for.

The Perfect Answer for a recruiter / hiring manager

There is no one perfect answer to the question about your biggest professional achievement. However, by using the STAR method, providing specific examples, and highlighting the actions you took, you can create a compelling and effective answer. Remember to be confident, concise, and honest, and to focus on achievements that showcase your skills and experiences.


To summarize, discussing your biggest professional achievement is a common question asked by interviewers. It is important to understand the significance of this question and its purpose in assessing your skills and experiences. By selecting and structuring your answer using the STAR method, you can effectively present your greatest professional achievement.

Remember to practice your answer and highlight the actions you took and the impact of your significant accomplishment. By doing so, you can provide the interviewer with a great answer to one of the most common interview questions like “what is your greatest professional achievement?”

Preparing and practicing your answer is the best way to ensure that you are confident in your response and can impress the hiring manager with a perfect answer. Don’t forget to use achievement examples from both inside and outside the workplace to showcase your strengths and experiences.

Overall, successfully navigating this question can unlock your biggest professional achievement and help you land your dream job.

FAQ – example answers

What is the importance of unlocking your biggest professional achievement?

Unlocking your biggest professional achievement is important because it showcases your skills, experiences, and capabilities to potential employers. It demonstrates your ability to set goals, overcome challenges, and achieve success in your professional endeavors.

Why do interviewers often ask about your biggest professional achievement?

Interviewers ask about your biggest professional achievement to assess your skills, problem-solving abilities, and the impact you can make in a work environment. It helps them gauge your level of ambition, drive, and commitment to excellence.

How should you choose and structure your answer about your biggest professional achievement?

To choose and structure your answer about your biggest professional achievement, consider using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result). Begin by outlining the specific situation, task, or challenge you encountered, detail the actions you took to address it, and highlight the positive results or outcome of your efforts.

How can you effectively share your biggest professional achievement in a job interview?

When sharing your biggest professional achievement in a job interview, it’s important to be clear, concise, and specific. Use the STAR method to provide a structured response, focusing on the actions you took, the challenges you overcame, and the impact or results you achieved. Additionally, use quantifiable data or metrics whenever possible to highlight the significance of your accomplishment.

What is the significance of preparing and practicing your answer about your biggest professional achievement?

Preparing and practicing your answer about your biggest professional achievement is crucial as it allows you to articulate your experiences and successes confidently. By rehearsing your response, you can ensure that you effectively convey the value you bring to a potential employer, showcasing your skills, competency, and ability to make a positive impact.

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