Tough Interview Question - What accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction in your life?

What accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction in your life?

Similar interview questions:
What are you proudest of accomplishing?
What is your most satisfying accomplishment?
What gives you the most satisfaction?
At the end of the day, what gives you the most satisfaction in your work?

Why the interviewer is asking this question:
This is a combination of the "What is your greatest accomplishment?" question along with the "What gives you the most satisfaction in life?" question. The interviewer wants to see if your accomplishments align with satisfaction in your life. This is a thinly veiled behavioral question, which doesn't technically ask for a specific example, yet allows the interviewer to drive into specifics and turn it into a behavioral drilldown.

The best approach to answering this question:
Take a work example with measurable results where you were able to derive either individual or team satisfaction with the results. If you have an example which helped to move you forward in your career to the next step, use it. It is best answered with a specific example using a behavioral STAR (situation/task, action, result) answer.

An example of how to best answer this question for experienced candidates:
"I recently took on a new and innovative project at work gave me a lot of personal and professional satisfaction. It was a critical project in that it not only was a star project for our department, it also put our department in the limelight at the end of the year with the CEO. We ended up winning a special recognition at the end of the year party, where the video about our project was shown at the all hands meeting. Let me tell you about how it came about…"

An example of how to best answer this question for entry level candidates:
"The project that I completed on my recent internship gave me a lot of satisfaction, since I delivered the project on schedule and it is currently being used at my intern employer. It also became the subject of a further research project in my schooling that received the President's Award for Excellence and was the only project in my major to receive the award. Let me tell you more about it…"

An example of how you should not answer this question:
"I've been pretty good at planning out my vacation time to maximize my time in extreme sports. My job just gets me out there to do amazing things with my GoPro. I live for the day that one of my videos will go viral on YouTube. Yeah, that's what gives me the most satisfaction in my life."

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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