Interview Insights | Key Question: What has been your biggest accomplishment? [Template & Sample]

Interview Question: What has been your biggest accomplishment?

The truth is that my children are my biggest accomplishments. This certainly resonates with the hundreds of moms that I’ve coached back into six-figure opportunities in corporate America.

However, it isn’t the best response to this question especially if you’re a parent who left a full-time role to focus on your family.

The elephant in the room, if this is your reality, is the following:

Is she really committed this time to working for us?

When you think about your greatest accomplishment with this background in mind, I want you to consider the following moments as the ones to highlight when asked about your greatest accomplishment:

  • When did you train or coach a peer into a desirable role?
  • How did you feel when you earned your last promotion?
  • What did you miss most from your time working in corporate America?
  • Who was in the audience during your most important presentation?
  • How did you shape your industry?

The key insight is to identify that time when you felt professionally invincible…the moment when you made mountains move…time stop…or jaws drop.

This is not a question that calls for humility. It forces you to consider truly why you are seeking to return to corporate America. It has to be authentic. You have to believe it. It’s a bit of a test. If you walked into that moment today and were just an excited as you were back then when it happened, then YES you are ready to commit to working again at this moment.

Here is a sample answer from a real mom:

My greatest accomplishment was when I created the social media strategy for Boomer+ Many, Many Reasons that earned the 2010 Gold Effie. I partnered with multiple agencies to ensure a consistent offline/online effort and that campaign resulted in a +.10% increase in market share. The key to that win and success in media has been starting with a consumer insight, supporting it with data, and empowering clients to sell ideas internally. The latter led to my ability to consistently build strong client relationships.

Side notes:

Yes, her son is her biggest accomplishment. However, earning that win really showcases that not only is she a great media strategist and client partner but also that her expertise rises above that of her peers’ and she was acknowledged as the best in her industry. Needless to say, she has more wins to come. What organization would NOT want to hire her?


Melissa Llarena’s craft is coaching top executives on how to strategically dissect and deliver the perfect job interview. Get instant access to a 20-page interview preparation kit that will give you an edge. Join the thousands who’ve read her career insights in Forbes and The Huffington Post. Follow her at @CareerOutcomes.

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