Does your Resume pass the 10-second test?

Tough Interview Questions and Answers

Why haven't you achieved more in your career?

Alternative and related questions:

Why haven’t you achieved more in your current/last job?

The meaning behind the question:

This question is clearly a veiled criticism. It’s a very clever question and can quickly separate out the weaker candidates from the stronger ones. This is a tough question because the main aim of the question is to put you under pressure – under attack – so as to see how you handle it. As with a number of other tough questions, the way you answer is more of interest to the interviewer than an actual explanation as to why you haven’t achieved more.

Your answer:

Don’t let this question rattle you. Don’t let the interviewer put you on the defensive. Don’t take it personally.

In most cases, you shouldn’t fall into the trap of admitting that you feel you should have achieved more. Even Bill Gates will feel he should have achieved more in his career; it’s human nature to feel you could have done better. You should instead spin this question around and throw it back at the interviewer as a statement of precisely what it is you have achieved in your career – and why you are proud of that. You should also express optimism for the future.

If, on the other hand, you clearly could have achieved more in your career then you should attempt to cite some extenuating circumstances. This is inevitably going to be a weaker answer but it’s preferable to stubbornly insisting that there aren’t any weaknesses in your career path when there blatantly are. It’s even more important in this case to express your optimism for the future – to emphasize that you are now ‘back on track’ and ready to make up for lost time.

Example:

I’m actually very pleased with my career to date. As I’ve progressed from organization to organization I’ve gained a great deal of practical experience and developed my abilities considerably. I have been responsible for a number of significant achievements; in my current role I successfully drove down stock from £1.5 million to £800K in just nine months – while maintaining lead times – consequently boosting working capital by £700K. I always strive to achieve my best and that is definitely a factor in my now looking for a new job. I feel that this vacancy would be a perfect next step for me because I know I can rise to the challenge and make a major contribution

The Interview Question & Answer Book

The Interview Question and Answer Book

Take the fear out of your interview and never be stuck for the right answer to even the toughest questions with The Interview Question & Answer Book.

The job market is fierce, competition has never been greater and it's important that you can grab every opportunity for competitive advantage and stay one step ahead. Written by one of the world's leading careers experts and bestselling author of The Interview Book, this definitive guide to questions and answers encourages every job-hunter to think on your feet and express your individuality while supplying ideal responses to interview questions so that you’re seen as the ideal candidate for the job.

 

Order The Interview Question & Answer Book from Amazon

More tough interview questions and answers

 

You must surely have more than one weakness?

What character flaws do you have?

How do you handle being criticised?

What really makes you lose your rag?

How did you cope with the most difficult colleague you've ever had?

Are you able to make difficult decisions and tough choices?

Why haven't you achieved more in your career?

What don't you like about this line of work?

Where does your current employer think you are at the moment?

What are your current boss's weaknesses?

What are your current employer's plans for the year ahead?

What reservations do you have about working for us?

You've been out of work for a while. Has it been difficult finding a job?

What's your sickness record like?

What do you think of me as an interviewer?

If you were in my position, what questions would you be asking?

What would be the toughest question I could ask you?

What makes you better than any of the other candidates I'm interviewing?

I think you're overqualified for this job. Don't you?

What will you do if I decide not to hire you?

See this pen? Can you sell it to me?

If you were an animal at the zoo, which animal would you be and why?

If there was a monkey hanging from a chandelier, how would you get it down?

Why don't polar bears eat penguins?

How much water would it take to fill St. Paul's Cathedral?

Author:

Share