“What Are You Most Proud Of?”
This is a very common question a recruiter or manager might ask you during a job interview. And it seemingly is an easy one to answer too, but it can also quickly trip you up.
You may think you’ll have a solid response, but at that moment you may draw a blank or stumble over your words.
The reason it can be tough to answer is a majority of people find it challenging to brag, even when this is the moment you should highlight your achievements.
Below you’ll find a few examples to help you answer this question as well as mistakes to avoid in your response. Let’s jump right in!
Why Interviewers Ask This Question
So why might an interviewer ask, “What are you most proud of?”
Beyond being a simple starter question, it helps them get to know you and see how you think. And pending on how you answer, it also alludes to how you align professionally with the company and open job position.
And although you might even view this question as generic, your answer can be a good indicator of what you value and how you view success.
I’ve personally asked this question when I’ve interviewed others in the past. Mostly to understand their achievements, why they chose that, and to get a sense of their energy.
This is why it’s important you know ahead of how you’d like to respond if this question is asked.
Example Answers to “What Are You Most Proud Of?”
It’s good to write down a few of your accomplishments in your career or life. You never know in a job interview when this question might pop up. And you certainly want to answer with confidence!
Although “What are you most proud of?” is the common version, there are similar variations where your answer still fits. These variations might include:
- “What accomplishment are you most proud of?”
- “What are you most proud of yourself?”
- “What is your greatest achievement?”
- “What were the biggest wins in your most recent role?”
Regardless, you’ll want to answer personably, but you also don’t want to be too cocky either. Here are a few examples of answers to help you leave a positive impression.
Example Answer 1:
For this first answer example for “What are you most proud of?” I want to start with an entry-level position. Maybe you are just starting your career or making a switch to something new.
Since you might not have much professional experience, you can use a personal story or experience. However, find a way to tie it to the job you applied for, like volunteer work or even a past internship.
“While I have limited professional experience, one moment I am most proud of is the [volunteer work or internship] I did for [Company Name]. During that time, I was able to give back to the [community or company] in [ABC Ways]. Not only did I do something out of my comfort zone, but it taught me how to ask questions, work with a team more efficiently, and not be afraid to learn new things ufamilar to me.”
Example Answer 2:
This next example can work well for those recent college graduates.
Again, you may have limited working experience but you can tie in your studies, research, or other related highlights from your time in school.
“One accomplishment I’m most proud of is recently completing my [X Degree], where I finished strong with a 3.85 GPA. During my time in school, I took courses like [A & B], which I knew would be challenging for me. But I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and take on new areas that would prepare me to work for a company like [Company Name]. Based on the job description, the work I did has prepared me to manage tasks, effectively research, and dive into projects. Which is also why I'm excited about this potential opportunity."
Example Answer 3:
Now, if you’ve been working for a few years in your field, it will be good to highlight a specific project or campaign. This will show what you were involved in, along with how that experience relates to the job role you are hoping to get. Here’s a random example answer, which you can alter to your past results.
“One project I am proud of is when the team and I had to create a presentation for a potential investor. Although I’ve had plenty of experience creating presentations for internal teams, that was the first time I was tasked to present outside of the company. The trust my manager and team had in me was a great motivator for me to do great work. With the help of my team to gather information, I then confidently lead the presentation with our data, research, and reason to why the investor should put money towards our business. We secured funding from the investor, which helped the company increase headcount to fuel our 40%+ revenue growth that year. “
Example Answer 4:
If you have a bit more industry experience, it can be good that overall career progression. It shows what you’ve learned and the things you’ve implemented that impacted your results. Don’t drag this answer out too long though, otherwise, you may appear overly “braggy.”
“I’ve been in marketing for over 10 years now and I've continue to learn a lot over those years. And I've been fortunate to also have various exciting accomplishments that I’m proud of. One of my proudest moments was helping create our first virtual event from scratch. I was able to assemble a team internally to strategize, build, promote, and launch – which I also would not have been able to achieve without our great team. The event taught me about project planning and organizing, delegating tasks, and leading a team to success. We drove over 1,500 registrants for our first-ever virtual event and made a 3x return on the money that went into it. It was a lot of work for the three of us, but also fun to see it all come together and that the audience got plenty of value from the content.”
What Should You Avoid Saying in Your Answer?
Now that you have some good examples of how to answer what you are most proud of, what should you avoid doing?
Don’t badmouth your previous boss or employer
Even if you had a bad manager or employer, don’t use this as a time to bring them up. For example, you don’t want to say you were proud to deal with a bad team and survived. Even if that is true, this is not the example you want to use.
Inflating or being dishonest
If you think your accomplishments are not glamorous enough in your response – stop right there. They are, no matter what level of impact. If you had some solid professional achievements, then be proud of those.
Too often it’s tempting to inflate results or even makeup things to boost your answer. Lying may work at the moment, but it always has a way of catching up to you. Just tell the truth.
Don’t let your ego get in the way
Even if you aren’t one to brag, you want to answer in a modest way. If you drone on about how amazing you are, the results of everything, and that everyone relied on you – you begin to appear self-centered.
Remember, your answers should be humble, professional, and honest.
You don’t need to make accomplishments up or use big numbers to appear overly impressive. This can easily make you appear arrogant and too cocky. And that will be a negative trait and harm your chances of getting the job.
If the interviewer asks what you are most proud of or some variation, ensure you are prepared ahead with the answer examples above.
As simple of a question as this may appear to be, always practice how you would respond. To do that, ensure you write down your accomplishments, what each one means to you, your takeaways from it, and how it is relevant to this job role.
If you work on your answer to this question, you will leave the interviewer with a great impression. You got this!
Other example answers for interview questions:
- What Are You Looking for in Your Next Role?
- Do You Want To Tell Us Anything Else About You?
- What Does Integrity Mean to You?
- Who Inspires You?
- What Are You Passionate About?
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