Last updated on June 4th, 2020 at 07:06 pm

Every responsible person has some goals. Each ambitious man or woman wants to achieve something, either in their private or professional life.

But do your goals correspond with the goals of your prospective employer? Would your new employment allow you to pursue your goals and dreams?

And do you think only about yourself, or do you have the success of your employer on your mind?

HR managers try to understand all these things while asking about your goals and dreams. They want to see if they can count with you in a long run, and if you can achieve your goals while helping them to achieve their goals.

 

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

The answer to this question depends on the position you apply for. The possibilities of career growth it offers, the plan they have with you, and the type of work you§ll do–all of that has some impact on the goals you should refer to in your interview answer.

We will have a look at different scenarios, and offer some guidance on how to answer this question. Let’s start!

 

Companies do not like to hire someone for one year

Man talks about his career goals in a job interview. They keep the eye contact with the interviewers.Unless you apply for an interim or temporary position, companies will always want to hire you for a long time.

Recruitment is expensive, and they do not want to repeat the entire process again and again, just because new hires leave them after three months of employment.

Try to avoid the following answers:

I want to start my own business one day (in a few years).
I plan to go abroad soon, trying to do something with my life.
I want to work for XY company, but it is not possible right now, so I seek employment somewhere else.

* Special Tip: this is not the only difficult question you will face in your interview. Read also how to answer “What are your weaknesses?

 

Better answers for your interview

If you plan to start your own business, or want to go abroad, do not reveal your plans in an interview. You can have such a dream (and many of us nurse such a dream, or the lucky one already live it), but it is better to keep it secret. You should rather go with one of the following answers.

I would like to have a good career in an international company (like this one), and grow both personally and professionally. My goal is to become an excellent financial analyst, and to pursue a career in this field.

My goal is to be a part of a successful team, and to play a vital role in the success story of my employer. And I also want to quit smoking.

 

Personal goals can also resonate with the interviewers

Not every employment offers career growth options. If you apply for a job of a secretary, a receptionist, or let’s say for a job of a firefighter, it is pointless to talk about promotion in work, or about a better position in the company which you want to have in five years time (if everything goes well).

It is pointless because there’s no such position waiting for you…

Personal goals will resonate better in this case, and goals that show your determination and will are your best choice. Goals that show that you care about society and family, or about your health, are also a good pick…

My goal is to quit smoking. I’ve been smoking for ten years, and now I am in the process of quitting.

My biggest goal is to lose twenty pounds in twelve months time. I’ve been overweight for some time, and I understand it limits me in work. I really want to get fitter and healthier.

I try to run marathon under three hours. I am training hard and I hope to achieve my goal next year.

I want to become a better mother and wife. I am aware of the mistakes I make, and I try to improve in the most important role of my life.

* Special Tip: Stress can impact you big time in an interview. Learn how to overcome interview nerves.

 

Small goals can often beat big goals

A woman is celebrating signing a new job contractNot everyone can become a CEO, a professional athlete, or a rock star.

Many people are happy in their simple jobs, and all they want to do is having a job, earning money, and enjoying their life outside of work, mostly on weekends.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this way of thinking. What’s more,  many interviewers will appreciate hearing an honest answer.

This is true especially if you apply for a job that does not offer many options of realization of your intellect or creative spirit. Let’s have a look at some sample answers:

I just want to have a good job, a job I enjoy doing, and be happy in my life outside of work.

I want to do a good work in this store, help customers to be happy, and enjoy myself in work.

My goal is to be a good colleague and employee, and to earn a decent salary that will allow me to support my family and the people I love.

Special Tip: Download all sample answers in a one page long PDF, and use it for your reference anytime later, when preparing for your job interview:

what are your goals sample answers, PDF

Conclusion and next steps

Interviewers listen carefully to the answers of a job candidate.While it is true that responsible people have goals in their life, you do not necessarily have to dream big to impress the employer in a job interview.

Whenever possible, you should relate to their business, and things they want to achieve. Try to convince them that they can count on you in a long run, that you do not plan to leave them soon.

Goals you have in your private life, or a simple honest desire to enjoy your job and earn a good salary, can also work well in an interview–depending on your situation, and a job you try to get…

This isn’t the only difficult question you will face in your interview. Check also other questions:

  • Why should we hire you? Learn how to identify the value you can bring to the company, and how to demonstrate it in your interview. According to statistics and number of google monthly searches, no other question attracts as much attention as this one. Most job seekers are afraid of the questions, but you do not have to be…
  • Why do you want this job? A tough question indeed, especially if we speak about jobs that are generally considered bad, or at least not ideal, and we apply for them simply because our current situation does not allow us to apply for a better job, or because we need any job, to survive. Learn how to convince the employer that you actually want the job, and not only need one.
  • What are your weaknesses? Most people do not like to talk about their weaknesses. What is more, we often can not even tell our strengths and weaknesses, or have an unrealistic view of them. Learn how to identify your weaknesses, and how to answer this question in your interview.

Matthew Chulaw
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