Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
INTERVIEWS / OCT. 14, 2014
version 5, draft 5

How to Answer "How Do You Define Success?"

Interviews are effective tools employers use to identify interviewees who are most suited to a certain position. Question after question, interviewers seeks to test your knowledge of several occupational aspects. Although some questions don’t simply have standard answers, the way you respond to them reflects your wit, goals and work ethic. If you aren’t adequately prepared, this is yet another question that will put you on the spot: “How do you define success?”

Employers want employees who can steer their organizations to greater heights. Before they can determine whether you have what it takes to succeed, they must know what success means to you.

Well, success has many definitions. Generally, it is the accomplishment of desire, purpose and goals. However, for some people it’s the amount of money one has. For others, well-known individuals with a good reputation are the epitome of success. It all depends on the context. So, to answer this question, it is crucial to consider the following points:

The Context

You are certainly attending an interview. So it is an occupational context. If you are looking to secure an entry-level position, your interviewers may be keen on measuring your aspirations. Do you have what it takes to work your way up? In this case, you can say success is moving from an entry-level position through middle management jobs and finally landing the top job!

The Profession

If you are looking to become a doctor, it would be unethical to tell potential employers that success is having lots of money. Ideally, success as a doctor should be saving many lives and helping people lead healthier lifestyles. If you are a prospective stock broker, then the sound of money should mean everything to you! The point is, you definition of success should be consistent with the objectives of your profession.

Your Background

Occupational success if often a product of your personality. What is your character? What are your beliefs? Employers want to hire workers with a good background. This explains why people with a criminal past often face an uphill task finding a job. As such, success can be defined as raising a good family, or the ability to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Employers certainly know that workers who can’t maintain a healthy work-life balance are more likely to burnout, hence lowering the performance of the company.

The Future

Success is a process. You don’t stop working simply because you have already achieved some of your goals. Without sounding like a philosopher, you can define success as what you would want to be remembered for when your time comes to an end. Do you want to be remembered as a person who made a difference in improving the performance of many organizations? Or would you like to be remembered as an office gossip, someone who could mind his own business? By taking this approach, you will portray yourself as a person who can stick to his or her ambitions.

Finally, as you define success, it important to back your point of view with solid examples. They could be personal experiences or those of well-known people. This will save you the agony of trying to rack your mind with lots of ‘ahs’ and ‘ums’. To your success!

Image: Getty Images

Get our FREE eBook!
'6 Steps to Landing Your Next Job'

LEAVE A COMMENT

0 comments

 

RELATED ARTICLES

How to Answer "How Do You Measure Success?"
INTERVIEWS / APR 14, 2014

When an interviewer asks you the question, "How do you measure success?" do you know what he or she is looking for? No, they're not looking for you to answer with a...

downey junior money
INTERVIEWS / OCT 07, 2015

Let’s be honest: salary is one of the first things we check when we’re looking at a job advertisement. First we need to make sure there actually is a salary and it isn’t...

Conflict
INTERVIEWS / MAY 08, 2015

Conflict in the workplace can become a touchy subject; especially when it is asked about in an interview. Some people handle conflict well and others do not. If you are...

How to Answer "How do You Feel About Taking No For an Answer?"
INTERVIEWS / JUN 09, 2015

How do you prepare for a job interview? One way that you can prepare for the interview is to research various types of questions that a hiring manager would ask. This...

interview Job
INTERVIEWS / NOV 14, 2014

A popular and frequently asked interview question is; “Do you consider yourself a leader or a follower?” It’s something of an old chestnut, but a valid question...

How to Answer, "Why Do You Want This Job?"
INTERVIEWS / OCT 04, 2014

Recruiters and career guides insist that you should always tell the truth in a job interview. And that’s good advice; you should never lie. But neither do you have to...

Get our FREE eBook!
'6 Steps to Landing Your Next Job'
G up arrow