In our series of answers to tough interview questions, “Tell me about a past accomplishment you are especially proud of” is the tough interview question that we are tackling today. In our series, we delve into what the interviewer is trying to uncover. For today’s question, the interviewer is trying to determine what is important to the job seeker and what kind of environment he/she will thrive in.
Answer to tough interview question 6, “Tell me about a past accomplishment you are especially proud of.”
“As a senior finance executive, I have been involved with 12 mergers and acquisitions, in three Fortune 500 companies, over a period of 25 years. My greatest accomplishment so far occurred during my seventh integration project. One of the companies that we were acquiring was about the same size as our company, and the other two were much smaller. What made the integration challenging was that the cultures, systems and processes were very different from each other, and different from ours. We were acquiring the companies for their cutting edge technologies, and their engineers and scientists. We had to manage the process carefully so that we wouldn’t alienate the engineers and scientists, who we wanted on our staff. It was tricky to accomplish, but my team was able to successfully integrate the companies, while keeping all the key employees.”
In the response you have demonstrated that you have experience in integrating three companies into a fourth. Additionally, you pay attention to details, and know how to negotiate and navigate through sensitive situations. Your response to interview questions needs to be specific and succinct, as well as truthful and positive. Candidates who relate a particular situation to the interviewer for each question will be far more effective and successful than those who respond in general terms. The best way to answer tough interview questions is to briefly describe the situation and be specific about the action you took.
The response offered to the sixth tough interview question, “Tell me about a past accomplishment you are especially proud of.” is only a guide, and therefore it is the job candidate’s responsibility to tweak the advice offered.
This article is contributed by Right Management, www.rightmanagement.sg, the global career experts within the ManpowerGroup.