What would you consider to be one of your greatest accomplishments professionally?

If I haven’t said it before, I am a recruiter. I interview people pretty much every day. As I interview candidates, I tend to think my answers to the questions. It serves multiple purposes including entertaining myself during the particularly boring interviews, challenging myself to come up with new answers, and helping keep my over expressive eyes from betraying how I really feel about a candidate’s answer. (So many reasons I am not anxious to be interviewed.) I could go on for days about my strengths and weaknesses, I have very clear examples of conflicts with co-workers that were professionally resolved, and I know exactly what type of management style works for me. But this accomplishment question stumps me every time.

Honestly, my greatest accomplishment is having never been fired (knock on wood). Not even from crappy jobs in college. What is that saying about promoting to your highest level of stupidity or something? I irrationally fear that one day I will be too dumb or too socially inept to handle my position and I feel a sense of accomplishment that that time has not yet come. But this does not seem like an appropriate interview response.

I could go for the standard line I get all the time – “Being able to work here as long as I have and absorbing all of the knowledge I have.” Or “Being identified as the go-to person in my department.” But those always sound trite and aren’t really true anyway.

Try this on for size:

One of my greatest accomplishments professionally would be the support I have been given and have been able to provide the leaders of my organization. Through my outstanding performance in my training role, I have been recognized for my development and organizational skills and have been given the opportunity to take on special projects for divisional leadership that aren’t directly related to my current position. One such project was to work directly with our General Manager to create, advertise, and maintain a program titled the Employee Council. This program takes current employees identified as “Employees of Excellence” and brings them together with the decision makers of the division to intelligently discuss questions or concerns from the represented departments. We hold sessions twice per year with a rotating panel determined by our peer nominated Employee Excellence Award winners and our management nominated Laboratorian of the Year winners. One successful outcome of these meetings was the implementation of a new vending program in which traditional vending machines were removed and a café style set-up was installed to allow more fresh healthy food options to support the health and wellness of our employees.

I sound like an idiot.

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