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- January 7, 2015
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QUESTION #4: “What Is Your Greatest Success?”
This is a common question and most people like this one. However, a lot of people don’t take full advantage of the opportunity that this question affords them. This is your opportunity to shine and to really show the employer why you are the person for the job.
Tips to Answer this Interview Question:
The key to answering this question lies in thinking about the things that you have done in your work life, ideally recently, that really made you a “game changer” for the company. For instance, did you win a key piece of business, save a huge account, develop a new program, or mentor someone that turned out to be a terrific asset for the company? Once you decide on what your example is going to be, then you need to think about how you are going to explain the impact on the company or department making sure to quantify your answer by how you made money, saved money, or made things run more smoothly.
Here’s a sales example: I targeted a prospect that was currently doing business with one of our biggest competitors. When I first approached them, I got the typical response;” no, we already have a broker we’ve been working with…thank you, good bye”. I didn’t let this first no deter me; in fact, I started by identifying customers of their business that were also clients of ours. I also sent the prospect articles that were about his industry and followed up with him on a regular basis. I also made friends with some of his support staff and other department decision makers. In time, I was given the opportunity to bid on his business and I’m proud to say, I was able to win the account and have now received two additional referrals from the customer’s vendors and between the three accounts, I was able to put $100K of revenue on the books.
Here’s a non-sales example: When I joined the ABC firm, they were still using paper files in addition to trying to use AMS. Because I came from a paperless office, I was able to help teach my supervisor some tricks to automate the business and eliminate some of the redundancy. She was so impressed that she arranged a meeting with the owner who ended up putting me in charge of automating the office and helping to train the support staff. As a result, I was promoted to the office trainer and was able to help the firm reduce the amount of time it took to process a renewal by over 25%.
Once you have told your story, make sure that you link the results back to the job you are applying for. This is where most people fall short. Say, “I’m sure that when I work for you, I’ll be able to achieve similar results.” Watch for positive response from the employer. Your goal is to get them to see you in the role in their mind, then summarize, relative to the job description, that you feel strongly that you can be very successful in the role.