“What are you most proud of in your life?”
An employer wants to know more about your skills and background during a job interview. One way they might do this is by asking you what you’re most proud of. When getting ready for this kind of question, you should think about your best professional accomplishments and focus on the ones you think best show what you can do. “What are you most proud of in your life?”
In this article, we talk about why employers ask, “What are you most proud of?” and how you can prepare for this question. We also give examples of how different candidates might answer this question in an interview.
Why do employers ask, “What are you most proud of?”
“What are you most proud of?” is a question that employers ask to find out a few important things about you. First, this question helps them figure out what you mean by “success.” They can tell how ambitious and goal-oriented you are by how you answer. The second thing they want to know is what skills you used to reach this goal.
Your answer gives you a chance to talk about how your skills helped you do well. Lastly, this question lets the employer know if your idea of success fits with the culture and values of the company.
How to answer the question, “What are you proudest of?”
How you answer this question can make a big difference in how people see you. You’ll want to show that you’re confident, positive, and a person who thinks carefully about the choices you make, which shows that you have room to grow. To give a good answer to “What are you most proud of?” follow these steps:
1. Think about your job
It’s a good idea to think about your career before going to an interview. Make a list of all the things you’ve done well at work to get ready for this question. Even though you may have done some things in your personal life that you’re proud of, it’s likely that an employer would rather hear about things you’ve done at work. During this time of thinking, write down whatever comes to mind, no matter how big or small. This brainstorming session can help you remember what you’re most proud of.
2. Make it relevant to the job
Now that you have a long list, you can start to narrow it down based on the job you want. Look at the job posting and learn about the company before you write your answer. So, you can see which of your achievements are most relevant to the job.
Choose an answer that shows employers you have what it takes to do great work for them. Instead of a small achievement, try to do something that made a big difference in your career. Use this as a chance to show that you have big goals and work hard to reach them.
3. Tell us what you did.
Use your answer to show how your set of skills helped you do great things. Tell us which of your skills helped you reach your goal. You could also talk about the skills you picked up along the way. Your answer is a great chance to show that you are always trying to get better at your job. Make it clear that you are always working toward something and setting new goals. Show the employer the steps you took to reach this goal.
4. Talk about what you’ve learned.
The key to being very successful is to learn from what you do well. Once you’ve reached your goal, tell us what you’ve learned or what you’ve learned about yourself. Share what you learned about hard work and commitment from the process.
5. Give an honest answer.
Try to be honest and sincere when you answer. Don’t try to make your accomplishment seem less impressive or more impressive than it really is. You don’t know if the employer will ask you more about this accomplishment in the future, so it’s best to be honest. Use the details you can remember to show that you are trustworthy and have what it takes to reach your goals.
How to answer
Even though this is a more general question, the way it is handled in different professions will depend on the nature of the job. Here are some answers that might work:
Journalist example: “I’d have to say that my first editorial in The New York Times is the thing I’m most proud of. When I wanted to be a journalist, the Times was the top of my list of what success looked like. I sent their team ideas for years, but they always turned them down or didn’t answer at all. Even though this process hurt my ego a little, it taught me how important it is to work hard, keep going, and be committed.
I finally came up with a story that would be interesting to their readers. When I got the call that they would pay for my story, I felt like a real journalist at last. Even though I’ve written much bigger and more important stories since then, I’m most proud of this memory. It was my chance to finally show that I could do research and write about it.”
Tutor example: “As a math tutor, I work with a lot of students who are having trouble with math. I’ve helped a lot of my students improve their grades and test scores, but one of them really stood out to me. She was a sophomore in high school and was very worried about her ACT test. She always got Bs and Cs in math, and she always felt like she was barely getting by. I could tell she was smart enough to figure out math, but she never got the help and boost of confidence she needed.
I helped her get her GPA up to a consistent 3.5 over the course of six months. I taught her math, but I also helped her get over her doubts about herself. I gave her more math work to do on her own over time. She learned to enjoy math and stop seeing it as a source of stress in her life. She got a 30 in math when she got her ACT score back. As a tutor, this was the thing I was most proud of. It taught me how important it is for a student to have self-confidence in school.”
Example of a physical therapy: “I’m most proud of the work I did as a volunteer physical therapist abroad. With a few of my coworkers, I went to a poor area to give free physical therapy sessions to people who needed them.
Some of their health problems were so bad because they couldn’t pay for the care they needed. One case that taught me a lot was when I was working with a 15-year-old boy whose back hurt like an old man’s. Since he was 10, he had been working hard, but he never learned how to take care of his body right.
During my six-month stay, I taught this boy how to do his work in a way that was better for his body. I also gave him a set of exercises and treatments that he could keep doing after I left. Even though I couldn’t change how sad his job was, I was able to make it easier for him to do his work. By the time I left, this boy’s posture had greatly improved, and he was no longer in pain.”
Yoga teacher as an example: “I’m most pleased with the yin class I made. I use the traditional techniques I learned in my training, but I’ve also added a few more ways for students to relax at the end of a long day. I help students ease into deep stretches by using essential oils and guided meditation.
My students love my class so much that I always hear good things about it. I learned that more people will use yin in their daily lives if they do things that they enjoy. In fact, in three months I went from having 10 people in my class to having 50. My gym had to give us a room that was bigger for our workouts.”
Office administrator example: “The best part of my career was when I taught everyone in the company how to use our new project management platform. Before this training, I didn’t like speaking in front of people. I worked on becoming a better and more confident public speaker as I worked on my presentation. When it was time for the training session, I used my techniques for calming down and my public speaking skills to give a useful training session.
After the meeting, my boss told me how great I was. She was very pleased with how clear and helpful my presentation was. In fact, she said that this was the easiest way to join the company that she had ever seen. Now, I can’t wait to talk to big groups.”