So, you have an interview coming up, and you’re pretty sure they will ask the “What are you most proud of?” question.

How do you go about it? What could be the best example?

Well, think of a time when you felt that the specific accomplishment was the one you’d remember forever and how it reminded you that your chosen career was the best one you could have picked.

Still, if you have trouble finding that one example or don’t know how to craft the answer, this article will help. We’ll provide five great tips on answering the question and offer three concrete sample answers you could use.

Let’s jump in!

Key Takeaways

  • Going through the tips for answering the “What are you most proud of?” question we provided in this article will give you an idea of what to include as the thing you’re most proud of.
  • Analyzing the sample answers for entry-level and senior-level positions helps you plan your answers in advance.
  • During your interview, always avoid being negative, dishonest, or egotistical, and never badmouth others.
  • One of the best ways to choose the achievement you’re most proud of is to examine the job post and adjust your ideas accordingly.

Why Do Interviewers Ask “What Are You Most Proud Of?”

During job interviews, recruiters rarely skip this question, as the answer to it lets them glance beyond the information you provided in your resume.

Apart from them giving you a platform to stand under the spotlights and use the opportunity for some humble bragging, there are specific things they want to draw out from your answer.

Firstly, they want to peek into your definition of success. This piece of information is paramount because the recruiter can quickly assess whether that definition matches theirs and if it is in line with company culture and values.

Additionally, your answer reveals the skill set in your possession. When answering the question about something you’re most proud of, you’re likely to mention the skills you used to attain this career goal, and the interviewer can see if they’re job-relevant.

They may also want to see how well-thought-out your actions were and how you used your skills while handling the task ahead of you.

Moreover, the achievement you mention puts your ambition and professional drive on display. If the road to achieving the goal was demanding and complex, it may show that you’re now ready to take on big and often difficult projects.

So, let’s see how to prepare to answer this tricky interview question.

Why Do Interviewers Ask “What Are You Most Proud Of?”

How to Answer “What Are You Most Proud of?” Interview Question

Once you’ve decided which accomplishment you’ll highlight as the one you’re most proud of, let’s provide some pointers on answering this common interview question.

#1. Choose a Career-Related Achievement

While it’s OK to mention your superb mastery of interpersonal and soft skills, the achievement you select must be closely related to your career—no anecdotes from your personal life should be included.

You’ll want to discuss an example from your workplace or an accomplishment that helped enrich your career path.

These can be successful tasks you completed or difficult situations you managed to handle. Likewise, a perfect example would be an idea you brought to fruition and got an official recognition or award.

#2. Make it Relevant

Suppose you’re interviewing for the position of a corporate lawyer. In that case, you won’t want to state that your most honored achievement was your students’ first prize at the national English language competition while you worked as an English teacher ten years ago.

In other words, pick something tightly related to that specific role. A closer look at the job description could help you decide on the best fit if you have multiple ideas.

For example, if you’re interviewing for a senior manager position, talk about how you got the recognition “manager of the year” while supervising a team. Naturally, only mention this if applicable.

#3. Elaborate on How you Achieved it

Now, it’s time for some storytelling. Walk your recruiter through each step you took to achieve this goal, but ensure that you’re not repetitive and don’t stray from the main topic.

Present the aim ahead of you, how you approached it, and say what the outcome was. Additionally, other than just explaining how you managed to carry out the greatest accomplishment you’re most proud of, try to mention the particular skills that facilitated the success of your endeavor.

Finally, wrap it up by conveying a message of you being in constant search of skilling up, and note that you intend to achieve career goals that are even more impressive than this one.

#4. Give Credit When It’s Due

You don’t want to present yourself as an omnipotent being who needs no assistance in striving for greatness. So, if you had the help of your coworkers, make sure to give them credit for it.

If you approach it correctly, you won’t diminish your efforts. On the contrary, you may even show that the achievement you’re proud of involves your strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work in a team, which are valuable skills to have for almost all jobs.

#5. Share Your Learnings

Now that you’ve told the interviewer about the achievement you value the most, share any insights or findings you may have gained through this experience.

You can mention that this experience gave you a roadmap for completing tasks that may be challenging or made you more keen on identifying similar goals you want to achieve.

It also won’t hurt if you say that you learned more about hard work and the industry you work in and how this accomplishment made your job easier from that point on.

Still, this could look better backed up with sample answers, so let’s get to it.

A person getting mad at a laptop

“What Are You Most Proud of?” Sample Answers

Now, it’s time for some practical examples. We’ll offer sample answers for different occupations, and you’ll get to see two versions of those answers based on the seniority of the position.

#1. Photo Reporter

Here, we’ll give two examples of the most extraordinary achievements of entry-level and senior-level photo reporters.

Entry-level position: As something I’m most proud of, I’d like to single out an achievement while working for a 24-hour cable news channel that covers all important events throughout the city. As a beginner, my tasks were simple and mainly involved reporting from conferences in the daytime.

However, as the union protests started, finding enough experienced reporters to cover the events was hard, so I volunteered. Although my supervisor had doubts, I assured them I could do it.

At some point, protests started getting out of hand as people broke the cars’ doors and threw things at the buildings. So, most TV crews decided to pull out.

I talked to my team, and we decided to get straight in. We interviewed some people at the protest, filmed the most important events, and returned to the studio.

When I returned to the office, my boss was impressed and said that many highly skilled reporters, let alone someone working for only a year, couldn’t achieve such a thing. A month later, I got a promotion.

Senior-level position: In the 25 years I have spent in this line of work, my most cherished achievement is the Reuters’ Reporter of the Year Award I received five years ago.

I was stationed in an underdeveloped African country, and my primary duties involved filming and taking pictures of ordinary people. One day, I saw a scene of two sisters reuniting after 14 years of not seeing each other.

They were separated as teenagers and sent to different cities across the continent. I’ve never seen two happier people hugging. I knew that was my chance.

Everyone on my team was impressed with the photographs, and they said I should submit an entry for Reuters’ Reporter of the Year Award. Although I thought I stood no chance of getting the prize, the photograph was indeed excellent, so I submitted an entry.

Two months later, they called and said I got the award. To this day, this is the recognition I’m most proud of, and I plan to gain even more prestigious ones.

#2. Software Developer

Now, let’s see two sample answers to what a beginner software developer and their more experienced counterpart could be the most proud of.

Entry-level position: As I’ve been with the company for only a year, the achievement I cherish the most is participating in creating a virtual classroom for a primary school.

Although initially intimidated, I followed my supervisors’ instructions and finished everything promptly. The most crucial part is that I shared two ideas, which became the most essential features of the classroom.

My team leader applauded my proactivity and eagerness to actively propose innovative ideas, so now I’m trusted with my own project. I know this may not look like much, but as a beginner, I think it’s a great experience that will lead to many other successful accomplishments.

Senior-level position: The professional endeavor I take the most has to do with both the complexity of the project and the humane nature behind it. Two years ago, I developed an app designed to facilitate easier access to part-time jobs for less fortunate moms in a rural area on the outskirts of the city where I live. The app is still working and providing top-notch service.

It collects women’s qualifications and availability to work to suggest the best job posts. Moreover, the app includes resources for assistance with resume and cover letter writing, and so far, we’ve had great results.

This effort resulted in the award my team, and I got from the city council. Later, we pitched it for the Innovation of the Year Award—and we got it!

Besides the satisfaction I’m getting daily from knowing that we’re helping those in need, this motivated me to pursue similar projects and become an expert in this innovative niche.

#3. Conceptual Artist

Let’s wrap it up with the most fulfilling things two artists could share at the job interview.

Entry-level position: I’ve recently graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and am now a freelance conceptual artist. The thing I’m most proud of so far has been the grant I got for the art residency in Paris.

The competition was tough, and I heard they typically shortlist candidates with experience and rich portfolios, but I still decided to give it a chance. A few weeks after my application, I got an email that they wanted me to attend the residency.

It lasted three months, and I had the privilege of working with some of the most talented people I’ve met in my entire life. My final piece dealt with love and abandonment; this installation won fourth place at the final event.

Although it may not seem like much, this gave me an immense boost for continuing to perfect my craft and build a name for myself.

Senior-level position: I don’t think I’ll ever be able to top the professional thing I’m most proud of. Specifically, it was the solo exhibition in the Tate Modern Museum.

I used to apply one year after another, but I kept getting rejected or not getting any response. Three years ago, when I hadn’t submitted any pieces, I received a letter from the Tate Modern Museum saying that they’d like to host my exhibition in one of their galleries.

It felt unreal. They said one of my previous associates recommended me, so they looked at my portfolio and loved what they saw. They planned to include someone from my country, so I was the perfect fit.

This point in my resume has opened many doors, and I’ve learned so much from this experience. I networked with some of the most brilliant minds in this line of work, and I’m still working with a few.

What Not to Do When Answering “What Are You Most Proud of?” Interview Question

We told you how to answer this question and backed it up with solid sample answers, but sometimes, knowing what not to do and what not to say is essential. You could deliver a great answer, but one or two things that are off may ruin the overall impression. So, let’s see what to watch out for.

  • Don’t be dishonestRecruiters are skilled at spotting a lie, so choose a genuine achievement so you don’t have to resort to dishonesty. No matter how small, a fundamental goal you’re proud of can impress the people across the table, so pick wisely and prepare each bit of your presentation.
  • Don’t badmouth others—This point can’t be stressed enough. There is no single scenario in which talking ill of your bosses or coworkers is a good idea. Even if you think the people you worked with weren’t entirely just with you, talking badly of them will get you nowhere. It can only show your poor work ethic.
  • Don’t let your ego get in the way—When talking about something you’re passionate about, in this case, something you’re most proud of, stay grounded.

You can still tell them about your brilliance, hard work, and perseverance without sounding like you think the world revolves around you. Giving off the impression of someone who is egotistical won’t get you many points.

  • Don’t be negative—The criticizing attitude that focuses on bad things has no place while discussing something you’re most proud of. Avoid negativity because it can taint the positive impression you may otherwise leave.

Final Thoughts

This question could be contextualized in a lot of different ways—’’What are you most proud of as a student?’’ or even as a founder of a successful business or an intern.

Whatever the angle, remember that what you’re most proud of accomplishing is your own, no matter how big or small.

It’s entirely expected that you want to impress the recruiter, but ultimately, your authenticity while presenting what you value the most may be why you’ll land the job.

Therefore, analyze the samples we provided and look at the five tips, and you should be ready to go. So, put your glad rags on, walk in confidently, and ace that interview.

Good luck!