Believe it or not, this question doesn’t really have a right answer. To be able to tackle this question successfully, you need to know the company’s background and yourself.
Give an honest answer. Don’t try to turn your answer into a conversation about metaphysics. Be honest and define success from your own perspective. There’s nothing wrong with telling the truth. The recruiter wants to hear something that’s straightforward and genuine.
Don’t be too focused on the position. If you try to define success as being employed at the top level, think again. Reorder your priorities — don’t let a management position be the goal that defines success. If you give that sort of answer, the recruiter may assume that you put too much emphasis on rank.
Get to know the company’s goals. The goals of the company you want to work for should also be part of your own professional goals. No matter what position you’re applying for, your definition of success should be inline with how the company evaluates success.
Don’t lose yourself in the process. Add a personal touch to your answer by mentioning a personal goal. This will help you stand out.
Know your goals. Sometimes it can be hard to ace this question, especially if you don’t know what your goals are. Before applying for a job, make sure you have a clear picture of what you want in life and work to determine how you can achieve it through your chosen career path.
Be positive. Present yourself as a goal-oriented person. This question determines what environment you belong in according to your own judgment. Never tell the recruiter that you’re already successful. The recruiter might assume you won’t take on new challenges.
Keep in mind that success is what you make it. You cannot be successful in an instant. Be humble and give your honest opinion of how you define success. Don’t focus on money and power. Perhaps you want to be a more effective team player for the company. Try to think objectively and avoid focusing too much on salary figures and job ranking.
A sample answer may sound something like this:
“Success is setting a goal, planning the steps required to achieve it, and effectively implementing that plan. Once I think I’ve achieved that goal, I’ve succeeded.”
Your answer should fall along these lines if you really want to get your point across.
Don’t forget to smile and be confident during the interview. Take your time preparing for this question.