Can You Answer This Interview Question?

“What was your finest hour?” HR guy Tim Tolan likes to ask that question of candidates.

And some people don’t know. Sure, that’s kind of a strange thing to be asked—and most people aren’t going to put a work-related achievement at the top of their list of good deeds—but it’s something you might wanna be prepared for in an interview.

And here, Tolan says, is how to answer that question:

It’s not about asking them to poke out their chest and babble to the world on how great they are…but instead a time for them to clearly articulate when and where they made a difference. With details, please…

WHERE: This gives me information that I can cross verify in my reference check should they make it to the final round.

WHEN: Was this early in their career? If so, they may have a few of these stories to tell me. People have a history of repeating themselves – so the timing is important to me.

HOW: How did the finest moment impact the organization they were working for? How did they accomplish this phenomenal feat? Were others involved? I’m curious and want to know…

WHAT: What was the outcome? How did they move the needle. I always like to hear how their accomplishment changed or impacted the people, customers or the company they worked for.

What’s your finest hour?