It isn’t as easy to dream for the young generation as it was 20, 50, or even 100 years ago. Climate change, wars, pandemic, economic problems–the future doesn’t see particularly bright. But as it is always the case in life, you can see the glass either half-full or half-empty, and all these challenges present opportunities for ambitious people, who dream of helping the society to handle them, and prevent it from collapsing. But is this what you should talk about in your interview, or on your student essay? Should you dream big, or should you talk about different ambitions? We will try to find the answer on the following lines.

To start with, ambition is not the same thing like a dream. We can dream of anything–flying to Mars, earning billions, winning the gold medal at the Olympics, or dating a young and beautiful Hollywood actress… Ambition, however, should be something more realistic, something you can realistically achieve, considering your present life situation, education, experience, and future plans. It can be a certain occupation you want to have, business you want to run, and so on. Or you can approach the answer more holistically, talking not only about your professional life, but also about private life, spiritual life, etc.

At the end of the day, you can also show a big ambition. If you decide to do so, however, it is always good elaborating on your answer, saying that you understand it will be incredibly hard to achieve such things, and that shooting for the stars, you won’t be disappointed to reach just the Moon, or even less :). Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers now. I tried to come up with some variety on the list, and I hope the answers will give you some inspiration for your own, authentic response to this tricky question. Do not forget to check also the notes below the answers for additional hints on how to make the best possible impression on the interviewers. Enjoy!


7 sample answers to “What is your ambition in life?” interview question

  1. My ambition is to run my own dental clinic in my home city one day. I know I am just at the beginning of my journey, and have many years of education in front of me. But I have been always passionate about dentistry, and want to give this career my best shot. And I can assure you I am ready to make sacrifices for this ambition. Having said that, I also do not want to focus on career only, since that would be a strange life. I sincerely hope that one day I’ll have a family, two kids perhaps, and some nice place where we will live and help each other. This image in my head helps me with motivation on days when I find it hard to continue, or feel tired mentally. It is great to have some ambition, some vision you follow in life.
  2. In all honesty, I do not have any huge ambition. I just hope to be a good person, have some meaningful job in society, and maintain good relationship with people around me, people I love. Still young and just at high school, I am not sure yet about my future profession. But no doubt I will meet many interesting people on my way, and they will help me find my calling, and later clarify clearly what my ambition in life is, and how to pursue it.
  3. It may sound extremely ambitious to you, but I actually aspire to help to revert the global warming. Let me explain. First of all, I try to make informed decisions as a citizen of this country. What do I really need to buy and what not, what kind of transport I use, what I eat and recycle, and so on. But secondly and more importantly in a long run, I want to become a scientist, and my ambition is to join one of the research teams that work in the field, trying to come up with new innovative ideas on tacking the climate change, and help it to achieve some breakthrough in the field. Of course, the future doesn’t seem particularly bright for us, and the planet right now. But I have faith in human capabilities, and believe we can still save this amazing place for future generations.
  4. My ambition in life is to do as good job as possible in all the roles I have, and will have in the future. That means being a great daughter and sister, one day a good mother, employee, friend, colleague… At the end of the day, not everyone can become an actress, a famous athlete, or a billionaire. Most people have rather ordinary lives and I see nothing bad about such a life, as long as you try your best and live in harmony with other people and with your surroundings. And that’s my main ambition really.
  5. To be honest, I prefer to live in a present moment, focusing on the step I am taking right now, instead of dreaming about the future. And that’s my ambition in life–to always be present, in each act and conversation, making sure my mind doesn’t wander here and there. I believe it is the best way to live, especially in these times, when things change so quickly, and you cannot really tell what the next year will bring, or the one after that.
  6. My ambition in life is to become a successful businessman one day. For me it means running a company, having employees, making sure our place is profitable and at the same time provides some value for the society, for the local community. I have some ideas in particular, but I prefer not talking about them yet, since the first step for me is to earn the MBA here, and understand the basics of running and managing the business. That is my biggest ambition at the moment, and I sincerely hope you will give me a chance to realize it.
  7. In all honesty, I do not have any particular ambition at the moment. Just try to enjoy life, and give myself as many options as possible for the future, with a good education that I try to get here. But what exactly I want to do, and what kind of life I want to live, I just cannot tell you at the moment. There are so many opportunities out there. At the same time, you never know what will happen to you, who you will meet, how the life will unfold. Sure, you control certain things, but many other things you do not control, and you simply have simply to accept them and their outcome. I am ready for that, and let’s see what the life will bring.


Final thoughts on “What’s your ambition in life?” question

Doesn’t matter if we speak about school admission process or hiring process, people who decide about successful candidates always prefer to choose optimistic people, candidates who still have some spark in the eye and who see life ahead as a promise of good things. Having said that, it doesn’t mean you have to show some huge ambition…

On the contrary, it is perfectly fine saying that you just dream of having a calm and balanced life (check sample answer no. 4), or even that just want to be a good person (check answer no.2 on my list). Of course, you can also show big dreams (answer no. 1 or no. 3), as long as you can explain your reasoning and why you believe you can achieve them.

Last but not least, you can opt for a rather philosophical answer. Maybe you prefer to live in a present moment, just like I do (sample answer no. 5), or even say you do not have any specific ambition (answer no. 7), and will see what life has in stock for you… I hope you know now how to deal with this question, and wish you best of luck in your interview!


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Matthew Chulaw
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