Interview Question: Do You Consider Yourself Successful?

Successful employee looking around room
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If you are asked, "Do you consider yourself successful? Why?" in an interview, the recruiter is trying to assess your past achievements and determine whether you will be driven to achieve such results in the future. Your response is also a good indicator of how humble you are - or aren't. This question also allows the recruiter to understand how you define success, and what milestones in your career you consider important.

You might not consider yourself to be a total success but think of the question as an invitation to discuss the professional characteristics that you're proud of or a particular achievement in one of your past jobs. Focus on the things you've done at work that you're proud of, and which helped your team and the company succeed.

How to Answer the Question

The easy part of your response is to assert confidently that you do consider yourself a success. Make sure you look the recruiter in the eye and sell the statement with a confident tone, but without bragging. The more challenging task, however, is to back up your assertion. It's important to provide the interviewer with evidence of how you achieved success in the workplace.

Provide one or two examples of times when you have set and met a professional goal. Briefly explain how you achieved each success – perhaps you overcame an obstacle, effectively managed a team, or budgeted your time effectively. The goal is to demonstrate your determination and willingness to take on challenges and achieve results.

You might also mention successes you hope to achieve in the future or are currently working to achieve. For example, if you mention your successful sales record, you may also want to explain how you hope to improve upon that success in the future. It will demonstrate that you are hungry for new challenges in the new position.

Once you have established a basis for professional success, you can add a personal achievement, like being a dedicated dad or marathon runner, to round out your answer. 

Plan Ahead

It is a common interview question, so be prepared with an answer ahead of time. Before the interview, look through your resume and jot down one or two of your accomplishments in each role, no matter how small. Think about the situation or challenge you faced when working towards each accomplishment and the skills or knowledge you leveraged to bring about positive results.  

Analyze the requirements for your target job and focus on your assets that correspond to the preferred qualifications of the ideal candidate, which you will most likely be able to find in the job listing or on the company's website.

Examples of the Best Answers

I do consider myself successful. Because I always go above and beyond for my clients, I have achieved the highest sales record of anyone in my previous office. However, I am not content with that one success. I look forward to working hard to communicate effectively with future clients to improve on my sales record.
Yes, I do consider myself successful. I think my willingness to take on new challenges and work hard sets me up for success. For example, I volunteered to manage a project for my company, which involved managing 20 staff members. I had never managed such a large staff before. However, due to my hard work, effective communication, and clear goals, I effectively managed the team, and we completed our task ahead of schedule. I don’t shy away from a challenge, and I know this would set me up for success at your company.
I consider myself successful because of my ability to get along well with others, including employers, staff, and clients. My friendly personality, coupled with my ability to communicate effectively, helps me establish relationships and achieve results, particularly in team projects. Of course, I consider myself to be successful in other areas of my life; seeing three children through high school and college is probably one of my greatest successes!