Job Interview Questions About Your Career Goals

Woman Being Interviewed
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An interviewer might ask you the question, “What are your long term career goals?” This is similar to interview questions such as, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” and “What are your goals for the future?”

An employer will ask you this type of question for a number of reasons. He or she wants to know how self-aware you are, and whether or not you have any long range visions or plans. Employers also want to know that you plan to stay at their company for awhile, or hope to leave at the soonest opportunity.

While it might be hard to think about the future in an interview, there are ways to successfully answer this question.

How to Answer Interview Questions About Your Career Goals

Below are a number of tips for answering this question well.

Start with short term goals, then move to the long term. You probably have a good sense of your short term goals, such as getting a job with an employer like the one you are interviewing for. Start by describing these goals, then move to more long term plans.

Explain the actions you’ll take. Listing goals is not going to make a strong answer. You also want to (briefly) explain steps you will take to achieve those goals. For example, if you want to take on a management role, explain the steps you have taken, or will take, to become a manager. Perhaps you are developing your leadership skills through running group projects, or you plan to attend a series of leadership conferences.

Focus on the employer. Even though this question is about you, you want to convey that you won’t abandon the employer anytime soon. Focus on how you will add value to the company through the achievement of your own goals.

Don’t get too specific. While you want to present clear goals, do not get into too many details.

For example, if you know you want to work for a particular company in a particular position (not the company or position you’re interviewing for), don’t share this with an employer. Emphasize more general goals, such as taking one particular responsibilities. This allows you to balance clear aims with a flexible attitude.

Best Answers

Here are example interview answers that you can edit to fit your personal experiences and background:

  • In the short term, I hope to work as a sales representative for a company such as yours; one with a mission based on customer service and care. Working as a sales representative for a company I believe in will prepare me to hopefully take on expanded responsibilities in the future, as these become available.
  • My current, short-term goal is to develop and use my marketing and communications skills in a job similar to this one. However, I eventually want to develop into a position that allows me to continue to use these skills while also managing a marketing group. I will prepare myself for this goal by taking on leadership positions in team projects, and developing my professional career through attending leadership conferences, such as the one put on annually by your company.

    More Interview Questions About Your Goals

    • What are you looking for in your next job? What is important to you? - Best Answers
    • What are your goals for the next five years / ten years? - Best Answers
    • How do you plan to achieve those goals? - Best Answers
    • Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? - Best Answers

    Read More: How to Set Career Goals | Job Interview Questions and Answers | What Are Your Goals for the Future? | How to Answer Interview Questions About Achieving Goals

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