As a neurodivergent job-seeker, interviews can present unique challenges. One common question that often arises is “What is your greatest professional achievement?” While this question may seem straightforward, it can be particularly difficult for neurodivergent individuals who may face gaps in employment or struggle to identify a single standout achievement. In this blog, we will explore why employers ask this question, outline steps to help neurodivergent job-seekers prepare effectively, and provide guidance on how to respond with confidence and authenticity.
Why Employers Ask This Question:
Employers ask about your greatest professional achievement to gain insights into your capabilities, accomplishments, and problem-solving skills. They want to assess your ability to set goals, overcome challenges, and contribute to the success of an organization. Additionally, your response allows employers to gauge your motivation, resilience, and self-awareness.
Steps to Prepare for the Interview Question:
Step 1: Reflect on your experiences.
Take time to reflect on your past professional experiences, even if you have employment gaps. Consider moments where you overcame obstacles, made significant contributions, or demonstrated growth and improvement.
Step 2: Identify transferable skills.
Focus on the skills you developed or utilized during your professional journey. These skills may include problem-solving, teamwork, adaptability, leadership, or creativity. Look for examples where you have applied these skills to achieve positive outcomes.
Step 3: Emphasise personal growth.
Highlight instances where you have demonstrated personal growth, such as learning new technologies, acquiring additional qualifications, or developing resilience in the face of challenges. Showcase how these experiences have shaped you as a professional.
Step 4: Showcase non-traditional achievements.
Remember that achievements are not solely limited to traditional metrics like promotions or awards. Consider accomplishments such as successfully completing complex projects, receiving positive feedback from clients or colleagues, or making a positive impact on the team dynamics.
“While I may not have a singular standout achievement, I believe my greatest professional accomplishments lie in my ability to adapt, learn, and grow in various work environments. One example of this is during a previous role where I joined a team with limited experience in a new software tool. Recognising the importance of mastering this tool, I dedicated myself to self-study, online courses, and seeking guidance from colleagues. Through my efforts, I not only became proficient in the software but also took the initiative to train and support other team members, improving our overall productivity and efficiency. This experience taught me the value of perseverance, self-motivation, and collaboration in achieving success.”
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Read our How to Answer the ‘Do You Prefer to Work Independently Or As part of a Team’ Job Interview Question advice here.