This manager is tough in an interviewInterviewers use a variety of questions. To inquire about your goals, or intentions, belongs to the most common questions they use, in all levels of interviews.

But do you have any idea why do employers ask this question, and how to construct the right answer? We’ll have a look at it in this article.

  • They try to estimate your loyalty.
  • They try to find out if they can count on you in a long run.
  • They want to figure out if you are responsible and know what you want to achieve in life. Every responsible person has some goals in their life, at least on personal level.


What goals should you mention, and what goals should you avoid mentioning?

The answer is not so easy and depends strongly on the position you are applying for, on the possibilities of career growth, and other things in the company of your choice. Let’s have a look at some specific tips, when it comes to answering this question. After the tips, we will have a look at sample answers.


Companies do not like to hire someone for less than a few years

If you are not applying for an interim position, companies will always have long term plans with you (or other candidate they chose for the job). Recruitment is expensive and they simply do not want to repeat the whole process again and again, just because candidates leave for better offers, after being with them for one year only.

For this reason, you should always try to connect your goals with their future. The following goals are definitely NOT recommended to mention:


I want to start my own business one day.
I plan to go abroad after some time.
I want to work for XY company, but it is not possible right now.


HR workers or interviewers do not want to hear any of that. If you plan to start your own business, or to go abroad, they can hardly count on you in a long run….   Oppositely, your answer should indicate the desire to work for their company for a long time. A good answer can be:


I would like to have a good career in an international company (like this one) and simply be useful for my employer. I am looking to stay here, and grow both personally and professionally.


I am motivated by my achievements. I really want to do my job well and help the company to prosper in a long run. This is my biggest goal, to be a part of a successful team and to play a vital role in this success story.


Personal goals are not always bad for the interview

Some people believe that it is a mistake to mention personal goals in an interview. They should think again…. If it goes about jobs that offer little career growth possibility, personal goals are better than professional. Just think about it for a while. If you apply for a job of a receptionist (just an example), there are hardly any possibilities for career growth.

That’s why mentioning your personal goals, such as:

To become a better person
To improve my language skills


is not a bad idea at all. Especially, if it is useful for the employer, like in this case. To improve language skills is definitely a good goal for a receptionist, and it is also positive for the employer.

Some sort of personal goals are especially good. The goals that are associated with abilities such as responsibility, endurance, and the like, will help you to leave a great impression in the interview room.


Small goals are sometimes better

Your aims do not have to be big. They should simply correspond with your decision to apply for the job. But they can be small. For example, the following goal is very good for administrative position, customer services, and similar.

I just want to have a good job, a job I like, where I can do my best and be happy in my daily life.


To conclude it, you should not think about it too much. Simply try to remember the principles we outlined, be honest, and always try to say something positive from the point of view of an employer.

If you would like to see brilliant answers to many other tough interview questions, we recommend this eBook from Bob. Alternatively you can spend more time on our website, checking other questions and answers. Team wishes you good luck in your interview!