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Job interviews are never fun. They can feel intimidating and downright scary for some people. You need a job, you have to get interviewed. Makes sense. But, you also need to know about the company, what the job position is like, dress well, and answer all of their questions. Yet, how do you define success in an interview question? While it sounds like a simple answer, it is a loaded question as the answer depends on who is receiving the question. Is it measurable? Does it even matter? Maybe it’s just one of those questions they ask so that they sound important. Regardless of how you feel about the question, you need to make it a good answer.

So, let’s get into the thick of it. How do you define success?

Why Do They Ask the Question?

There is an actual answer as to why interviewers ask the dreaded question. They want to see what kind of employee you are going to be. It helps them evaluate and determine the work ethic that you are presenting about yourself. The question itself has a question within it. It’s not, “How do you define success?” it’s, “How hard will you work to complete your goals?” Everyone wants to be successful, so you need to give them an answer that says that you are a hard-working individual that finds success through completing tasks and taking on challenges.

Employers may also ask this question to figure out what things you prioritize. But, your answer is going to come from the heart. Just be honest and tell them what you think success is. If it’s helping the company and your teammates or simply working your way up, it tells a lot about who you are as an employee.

Tips to Help You Out

Sometimes it’s hard to get the words out of your mouth. You don’t want to give a half-assembled sentence, but you want to convey your thoughts that are in a mature and laid-out manner. Consider some of the following tips to figure out an answer that suits you.

What Are Your Best Achievements?

While coming up with an answer to “How do you define success?” is tricky, there are ways to help you come up with a good answer. Consider what your best achievements that you have accomplished are. You should think of at least a handful of times so that you have plenty of options. For instance, is it making leaps into a career you are passionate about? Is it having good grades in school? Or perhaps it was how well you did at your previous job? Regardless, look for the themes that accompany each of the accomplishments that you have thought out. If you find what that theme is, use that for your answer.

Success Is a Process

A lot of people may consider success through constant short-term victories. For you, you might be thinking about working your way up to owning the company and being the executive. Both short and long-term goals are perfectly fine. You go at the pace that you are comfortable with. There is no race to success, it is what you did along the way that matters.

What Does the Company Think of Success?

As you look at the job position, you may also want to start going over job interview questions. That also means learning what the company and its culture is like. How do they define success? Use that research to create a hybrid of what success looks like from the eyes of you and the company. The interviewers will understand that you are in agreement with the company’s values.


How do you define success in an interview question? Success should only matter to you. Your success is not based on your friends or a company. It is how you get through life and what you did to make your achievements come through.

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