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Job Interview Question: How Do You Evaluate Success?

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Job Interview Question: How Do You Evaluate Success? Allstair Berg / Getty Images

During an interview, your interviewer might ask a question like, "How do you evaluate success?" A question like this gives your potential employer a sense of your work ethic, your goals, and your overall personality.

In your answer, you should be cognizant of the type of job you're applying for. Whereas a large corporation might place all their emphasis on the bottom line, a non-profit would measure success not in money but in social impact. Do your research before the interview: browse the company's website, research their presence in the news and media, and see if you can find any information about their mission statement. Here's how to research a company.

Of course, you'll also want to include aspects of your own personality in your answers. If there's an area where your values overlap with the company's, then make sure to emphasize that in the interview. But, you also want to make sure you give a balanced answer, illustrating a dynamic focus on improving your own performance, furthering your company's mission, and making a positive impact overall.

Here are some sample answers:

  • "I evaluate success in different ways. At work, it is meeting the goals set by my supervisors and my fellow workers. It is my understanding, from talking to other employees, that the GGR company is recognized for not only rewarding success, but giving employees opportunity to grow as well. After work, I enjoy playing softball, so success on the field is catching the winning pop-up."
  • "For me, success is about doing my job well. I want to be recognized as someone who always does their best and tries their hardest to make my goals."
  • "I evaluate success based on not only my work, but the work of my team. In order for me to be considered successful, the team needs to achieve both our individual and our team goals."
  • "I evaluate success based on outcomes. It's not always the path you take to achieve success that matters. Rather, it's quantifiable results."
  • "To me, success is when I am performing well and satisfied with my position, knowing that my work is adding value to my company but also to my overall life and the lives of other people."

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