How do you define success and how do you measure up to your own definition?
This is yet again one such question that should be personal to you. Don’t try to pass off a generic answer that the interviewer is likely to have heard a dozen times already. If you are not being sincere, the interviewer will be able to tell. Hence, think about this question a bit and try to have an answer prepared beforehand.
In asking this question, the interviewer wants to find out who you are as a person and what skills do you value. They want to know what your priorities are, what makes you think that people are successful, and what qualities can they expect you to exhibit at the job. They want to see whether you value hard work and dedication or perhaps you value creativity, or maybe you prioritize work-home balance. Whatever the case, you should give an honest answer, but also ensure that the answer shows you in the best possible light, otherwise it is just an opportunity wasted.
Describe what in your opinion makes a person successful, but also try to use that to support why that makes one a better employee. Use each thing you say to promote yourself as a great candidate. After all the emphasis here is not on what skill you think defines success but rather whether or not you possess that skill and how do you measure up to it, as well as how that skill can help the company.
Be honest and confident in your own abilities, but do try to avoid boasting about yourself and your skills and talents, as that may just have a negative effect. Instead, try to subtly focus your skills and say something along the lines of how you are always trying to improve or better yourself. Also, don’t try to give a vague and philosophical answer, as it just makes it seem like you are avoiding the question.
In my opinion, success is not money or status, but rather having the respect of your peers. I do think that my peers respect me; in fact I was voted Most Dependable at my last company. Despite of that it is something that I actively try to improve on. I want to the type of person to whom people can bring any type of query or problem and they won’t be turned away; and for them to know that they can depend on for anything.