Tough Interview Question - Tell me about some of your recent goals and what you did to achieve them

Tell me about some of your recent goals and what you did to achieve them.

Similar interview questions:
What have you most recently accomplished?
Tell me about a recent project start to finish.
What objectives do you have in your work and did you complete them?
What plans have you recently completed?

Why the interviewer is asking this question:
The interviewer is asking about goals you have already achieved. So it has a dual purpose in asking whether you set goals and, if yes, whether you have actually achieved your goals (and how).

The best approach to answering this question:
Listen closely to the question. This is not asking about your future goals. The question is asking about recent goals you have completed and how you achieved them. It is a behavioral question that you should answer using the STAR (situation or task, action, results) approach. Keep it professional, not personal.

An example of how to best answer this question for experienced candidates:
"As part of my annual performance planning, I have a series of measurable goals to accomplish over the course of the following year. This past year I set three major goals to achieve during the course of the year. They included      ,      , and      . I achieved all three. Which of the three goals would you like me to tell you more about?"

An example of how to best answer this question for entry level candidates:
"In my recent internship, I set a personal goal to not only accomplish my set objectives for my internship, but also to develop proficiency in a new tool or technology. My objectives for my internship were both completed and I was also able to develop proficiency in Java, which I had previously only used in my classes at school. Let me tell you about the objectives achieved and where I was able to use Java to complete the project…"

An example of how you should not answer this question:
"Well, I've been a gamer since I was a kid and one of my goals was to achieve one of the top ten scores in Minecraft. This past year I was able to score #10 on the global list. I was totally stoked."

Remember to answer each interview question behaviorally, whether it is a behavioral question or not. The easiest way to do this is to use an example from your background and experience. Then use the S-T-A-R approach to make the answer a STAR: talk about a Situation or Task (S-T), the Action you took (A) and the Results achieved (R). This is what makes your interview answer uniquely yours and will make your answer a star!

Further review: know the answers to these Common Interview Questions to be fully prepared for your interview!

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