If you have ever been asked this question how you choose to answer it can provide insights on your focus, values, attitude, passion and abilities. In recent conversations I have observed how those posed with this question were either unable to gather their thoughts quickly, spoke of work that they didn’t directly handle or provided convoluted responses which flummoxed the listener.
I personally found this question interesting for the following reasons -
- You can gauge how engaged or distant the individual is to the work
- Qualifying ‘best’ is subjective and make the individual think really hard. The smart ones probe further on what qualifies as best!
- It gives you the opportunity to observe what matters to the individual – team work, planning, quality, outcomes, impact, goals, challenges or something else
- It allows you to appreciate the context and barriers that the individual faced and how they were overcome, if at all
- It helps steer the conversation in directions you want to take
There isn’t one way to answer this question – which makes it even more interesting to listen to responses. The individual can discuss the need, the objectives, the gap, the approach and explain his or her role in making an impact. However, through the choice of words, the body language and inflection in the voice you can gauge how much stake the individual had in the work itself. The tough part is not knowing how the person who posed the question mentally evaluated your response!
Have you ever considered this question while interviewing candidates? What did you observe? Keen to hear from you.