Tell me about a time you set a goal and achieved it
- 1 Tell me about a time you set a goal and achieved it
- 2 Other interview questions that are similar
- 3 What the interviewer is looking for by asking this question
- 4 How best to structure your answer to this question
- 5 What you should NOT do when answering questions
- 6 Tell me about a time you set a goal and achieved it – Example answers
- 7 Other Interview Question and Answers
Other interview questions that are similar
- Can you describe an instance where you successfully reached a challenging objective?
- What’s an example of a personal target you’ve accomplished recently?
- Have you ever established and fulfilled a significant milestone? If so, how?
- Can you share a story about a time when you met or exceeded a particularly difficult goal?
- What is a memorable achievement you’ve secured after setting a specific goal?
- Can you recount a time when you set an ambitious goal and how you went about achieving it?
- Describe an occasion where you set a goal that required significant effort and how you achieved it.
What the interviewer is looking for by asking this question
There are probably an infinite number of questions that the interviewer could ask you on the day. Some questions are incredibly common appearing in almost every interview you will have, while other questions you might hear once and never again regardless of how many jobs you apply for.
Fundamentally though all interview questions are really trying to find out one of 3 things:
1 – Can you do the job? (Do you have the skills/experience needed?)
2 – Will you do the job? (Do you have the drive/motivation to get the job done?)
3 – Will you fit in? (Does your personality match the workplace culture? Are you likeable?)
That’s it. Those are the 3 things that the interviewer is trying to ascertain. Every question that is asked of you will fundamentally be trying to resolve one (or more) of these 3 things.
So, when you’re asked a question like “Tell me about a time you set a goal and achieved it,” the interviewer is looking to gauge your ability and motivation. They want to know if you have the skills and determination to see tasks through. This question leans heavily towards the first two points: Can you do the job? And will you do the job? Your response should showcase not just your ability to set realistic goals but also your commitment to achieving them. This reflects your work ethic and problem-solving skills, which are crucial for most roles.
How best to structure your answer to this question
Unless the question you are asked is a straight ‘up or down / yes or no’ style question then you are going to need to learn to describe, expand and elaborate on your answers. The best way of doing this is to follow the B-STAR technique for answering interview questions.
Answers using this method follow the below structure:
B – Belief – What are your thoughts and feelings with regard to the subject matter? Relating this to your goal-setting experience, it’s important to convey your confidence and commitment to achieving the objectives you set, demonstrating your capability and drive.
S – Situation – What was going on? Briefly explain the scenario that was taking place. In the context of the goal you achieved, briefly setting the scene helps the interviewer understand the challenges you faced and the context in which you demonstrated your skills.
T – Task – What was your role in the action? Most of the time it is best that you are taking an active rather than passive role in the encounter. This highlights your ability to take charge and be accountable, showing that you are someone who can and will do the job effectively.
A – Activity (or action) – What did you do? Detail the steps you took and why you took them. This part is crucial for illustrating how you approach and overcome challenges, showcasing the skills and determination you would bring to the role.
R – Result – How did everything end up? Try to use figures if possible. Quantifying your achievements in this way makes your contribution clear and measurable, proving that you can not only do the job but do it with significant, tangible results.
Remember though that the B-STAR technique is descriptive not prescriptive. You do not need to follow this flow strictly, go with what is best for your answers and that will allow you to put your point across and show your experience the best.
What you should NOT do when answering questions
Do not avoid the question – directly address it to show your confidence in your abilities and experiences.
Do not downplay the situation – acknowledge its significance to demonstrate your capability in handling important tasks.
Do not overhype the situation – maintain a realistic view to show your honesty and self-awareness.
Do not give a one-sentence answer – expand on your thoughts to adequately showcase your skills and experiences.
Do not overly describe the scenario and miss the action – focus on your actions to highlight your active role in achieving goals.
Do not have a passive role in the situation – emphasize your involvement to show your initiative and leadership qualities.
Do not forget to mention what you learned – tie in the learning aspect to demonstrate growth and adaptability.
Tell me about a time you set a goal and achieved it – Example answers
Example Answer 1 (Detailed)
“I’ve always believed in setting challenging but achievable goals. In my previous role, our team was tasked with increasing our quarterly sales by 30%. As the team lead, my primary role was to strategize and guide the team towards this goal.
I started by conducting a comprehensive analysis of our past sales performance. This involved identifying our top-selling products and understanding our customer demographics better. Based on these insights, I led the team in a targeted marketing campaign, focusing on social media platforms where our key demographics were most active.
I initiated a series of training sessions for the team, focusing on advanced sales techniques and customer service skills. I personally developed a new sales script, emphasizing the unique selling points of our products. We also revamped our follow-up procedures to ensure better customer engagement post-sale.
To encourage the team, I set up a weekly tracking system to monitor our progress and organized regular meetings for sharing best practices and challenges. This approach fostered a collaborative environment where each team member could contribute ideas and solutions.
The culmination of these actions led to a significant increase in sales. Not only did we achieve the 30% target, but we surpassed it, reaching a 40% increase by quarter’s end. This experience reinforced the value of a data-driven approach and the importance of continuous team development in achieving ambitious goals.”
Example Answer 2 (Shorter)
More Sample Answers…
The examples provided above can serve as a foundation for creating your unique answers. For additional inspiration, our new guide includes five sample responses to this question and over 250 answers to all of the most common interview queries.
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