You’ve experienced your fair share of successes and failures in life. You’ve worked on great projects and belonged to excellent teams, but you have also failed in some of your endeavors–just like any other person in the world, including the billionaires. But what exactly are the hiring managers referring to, when they ask about the best project?
Are they inquiring about the most successful one? Or about a project that you enjoyed working on the most, because you had a great team? Do they perhaps want to hear about the project that failed, but you learned a crucial lesson while working on it, and that’s why you consider it the best one, or the most important one for your professional career?
The answer isn’t obvious. Actually it doesn’t matter much whether you talk about a successful project, or about one that ended up a failure. As long as you can demonstrate right attitude to work, and to life in your answer, they will be satisfied with your words. Because employees with the right mindset do not fail. They either succeed, or learn.
Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to this interesting interview question. The list includes also some answers for people without previous working experience.
Do not forget to check also my notes below the answers, because they will help you to pick the right answer for your interview (or to adjust your own answer accordingly, while describing your best project), and also offer some advice for the case when you deal with one of the alternative questions to this one, such as “What types of projects would you like to work on?”, or “Tell us about the most challenging/interesting project that you have worked on“, or simply “Tell me about your project.”
7 sample answers to “What’s the best project you’ve ever worked on?” interview question
- I’ve worked on a variety of projects in my career in marketing, and I certainly learned something from each one. If I should pick the best one, however, it would be the advertising campaign we ran fro XYZ client. We faced a lot of uncertainty in this campaign, since it was an innovative product and customers weren’t ready for it yet. We focused on influencer marketing, partnering with strong names on Instagram and Facebook, people who had the right audiences on their social media channels, loyal followers. It worked great, because following their role models, people weren’t afraid to give the innovative product a try, and since it delivered on the promises, the sales sky-rocketed and the entire campaign was a great success. Judging by numbers, this was definitely the best project I’ve ever worked on.
- This is my first job application, and I do not have any experience with working on projects at work. However, everything can be considered a project, even your relationship, or your college studies. You can set milestones, goals, and you proceed step by step, until you eventually graduate, ideally with good grades, and earn your degree. In my opinion, it is important to have system in everything we do, and I consider my college studies the best project I’ve worked on up to this point. Now I am looking forward to the next chapter, and hope to be successful in work.
- My answer may surprise you, but I consider my failed mobile app development project the best one I’ve ever worked on. The reason is simple–I learned so much while working on this project. I made many mistakes, underestimated the market research, didn’t hire a good designer to the team early enough, and basically we eventually released a game that was deemed to fail. But it was a great experience. You learn the most when you fail, and I believe this project helped me to become a better product manager.
- The best one was definitely the improvement of XYZ process in the production in my last employment with ABC company. Why do I consider it the best one? First of all, we had a great team, we all followed the same goal, and feedback flew freely in all directions. It allowed us to explore new opportunities, and to eventually improve the efficiency of the process by 10%, which is a huge improvement in automotive, considering the quality of the existing processes companies have in place. I enjoyed my work on this project a lot, and believe that we also did something great for the company. That’s why I consider it the best one.
- To be honest, I cannot recall many projects I’ve worked on. Working in hospitality, mostly as a receptionist, my work hasn’t been project-based. But I still tried to improve things in work, and gave several suggestions to the hotel managers. I was trying to improve the functioning of the reception, to make the check-in and check-out process smoother for the guests. Maybe you can call this a project, at least from the position of a receptionist. The managers weren’t very supportive of my ideas, however. But I kept on trying, and that’s what matters the most in my view.
- This is my first job application, but I’ve been working on a few interesting seminary projects at school. I consider the best one a project that deal with predictions of marked trends in tourism after the covid pandemic. We predicted the decrease of revenues quite accurately across the industry, and suggested certain steps companies should take to minimize the impact. It started as a school project, but we actually sent our analysis and suggestions to the restaurants and hotels in the city, and I could see that we made some real impact with our work. Hence I consider it my best project, one that had the greatest impact so far. Having said that, I consider it only a start. I hope to work on many great projects in my new job, ideally with your company….
- In my opinion, there’s nothing like best or worst project. Sometimes you succeed to reach your goals, and other times you fail. At the end of the day, the final outcome is never entirely in your hands. Market trends, moves of your competitors, work of other team members–it all has an impact on each project. Instead of considering projects successes or failures, I simply consider each one a learning experience. I try my best in work, but I do not dwell much on either successes or failures. Each project I worked on was great, because it helped me to become better in what I do, to move forward. And I always tried my best. Whether it eventually panned out in the way we wanted is of secondary importance to me…
Your attitude matters, not the particular project or situation you describe
It doesn’t matter much whether you talk about a seminary project, some small improvement you suggested in your last job, or about a big project with a budget in millions.
As long as you clearly demonstrate that you tried your best, that you went above and beyond, or that you learned a crucial lesson while working on the project, hiring managers will be satisfied with your answer.
Because they understand that when you are in your early twenties, or even early thirties, you have likely not had a chance yet to work on something big. Maybe that chance awaits you in their company… As long as you have the right attitude, and proactive approach to work, you’ll grab the chance by the horns, and do your best in every project.
* Special Tip: This isn’t the only difficult question you will face while interviewing for any decent job. You will face questions about prioritization, dealing with pressure, dealing with ambiguity, and other tricky scenarios that happen in the workplace. If you want to make sure that you stand out with your answers and outclass your competitors, have a look at our Interview Success Package. Up to 10 premium answers to 31 tricky scenario based questions (+ more) will make your life much easier in the interviews. Thank you for checking it out!
Numbers and dates help with credibility when you talk about your project
At the end of the day, you can make something up. You can talk about a project that never really happened, or you can add a few unreal details here and there, just to make your story more compelling.
If you decide to do so, be sure to add some numbers and dates to your narrative. For example, you can specify when exactly this or that happened, and quantify the results of your efforts with some numbers, percentages, or tangible goals.
This will help you to sound more credible, and it will also be easier for the hiring managers to visualize the project, and what exactly you achieved, and why you consider it the best one you’ve ever worked on.
Do not be afraid of failing
If you read the biographies of famous entrepreneurs and business tycoons, you will find out that they have several things in common. Failure is one of them. Nobody was born a genius, and even the most successful people had to fail to learn the important lessons the hard way, and to build their success from there.
You can definitely talk about a project which ended up a failure. Explain what exactly you learned, and how it helped you to become better in your profession, or how it changed you as a person. Picking a project that failed and describing it as the best project you’ve even worked on can be a very powerful answer, something the hiring managers will remember long after the interviews with you…
And that’s exactly what you want to achieve--you want them to remember you once they are making the final decision about the shortlisted job candidates…
Alternative question: What types of projects would you like to work on?
Sometimes they inquire about the past, and sometimes they ask you to look into the future. Asking about your preferences, the hiring managers wonder whether you will find satisfaction in your new job, working on projects that really interest you. Obviously you should study the job description carefully, as well as the website of the company. Try to understand your new role, and what kinds of projects you may have a chance to work on–in case that you get the job, which I hope you will :).
Then you should mention such projects in your answer. And if you are not sure, you can simply say that you would like to work on any projects that will allow you to put your creativity to the test, to bring some value to the team, to learn something new. Most hiring managers will be satisfied with such an answer.
Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Check also 7 sample answers to other tricky interview questions:
- What do you dislike about your job?
- How do you manage your time in work?
- What have you learned from your biggest mistakes?