What is your definition of success?

Question: What is your definition of success?

Response: To me the object of success changes constantly but what remains constant is the underlying theme. In that regard, success to me is doing the best I can to achieve the best results I can in any task I undertake. When I was in college, I defined success for myself as ‘completing the degree with first grade and supporting myself throughout’ and I did it. While I was working at DonLon Corp, success was to be the best among the peer group there and I was ‘best employee of the month’ two times in the same year. Success to me is just that, defining the outcome and doing everything to achieve it.

For Fresher’s: To me the object of success changes constantly but what remains constant is the underlying theme. In that regard, success to me is doing the best I can to achieve the best results I can in any task I undertake. When I was in college, I defined success for myself as ‘completing the degree with first grade and supporting myself throughout’, to someone else it may have been to be the topper in the college, it doesn’t matter what the goal was, success is doing everything to make it happen.

Notes: Try to define your success around the common goals of the company. You can (SHOULD) have your own personal goals of success but this is not the place to blurt them out. Customize one for the interview. If you are a fresher and your grades are no good, then try to use the above example (as it subtly indicates that you are independent, hardworking and achieve what you set out to, even if it was mediocre, underlying point is, you can achieve what you have set for). If your grades are awesome, modify your example, you could say “When I was in college, I defined success for myself as being the topper while supporting myself, I have achieved it and that is success to me – defining the outcome and doing everything to achieve it.”

Variations of this question:

  • How important is to have goals?
  • It takes a lot to be successful here, do you think you can handle it? (modify your response around the same theme).
  • Have you achieve anything significant so far? How did you do it? (modify the above response to highlight whatever you have achieved so far, degree, awards, etc., and how you did it. Always indicate the struggle where you were victorious).

Trap alert: Never get philosophical or aloof in your response. This question is specifically designed to see if you have a practical definition of success and how you measure it. If you have great definition of success and nothing to back it up, then, you better come up with a different definition that you can back up.