What Are Your Career Goals? (With 10 Sample Interview Answers)

Everyone sets goals and objectives in life. These are probably considered as a map that will help you steer through an uncertain future. Organizations are interested in knowing these goals, visions, and objectives. These help them immensely to understand a lot of traits relating to your preferences, priorities, and attitude towards work and life, eventually allowing them to know, whether or not you can be absorbed in this company.

Why This Question?

You must be wondering why an interviewer is interested in one’s personal goals and objectives. Some might even think, that, this is an invasion of privacy, and I will not answer this question. But, hold on. This is a cleverly set and framed question that provides a clear insight into your mind. This helps an interviewer to analyze a variety of things, some prominent ones are:

  1. Are you serious about this job opening?
  2. Does the job description really match your work ethics and preferences?
  3. Will, you quit the organization, after serving for a short period of time?
  4. What are your motivations, is it only money?
  5. Will you be able to fit in the work culture offered by the company?

If an interviewer is able to find answers to all these questions, on the expected lines and pre-set criteria, then only you will be able to secure a job, otherwise, like many, you would also be lost in the heat of competition.

Why To Set Goals?

There are several employees and working professionals who are still not aware of the relevance of setting goals and priorities in life. You might wonder, but almost all the athletes, artists and accomplished entrepreneurs, set goals in life for smooth sailing forward. There are various benefits for setting goals, such as:

  1. It helps in better time management
  2. Gives you the motivation to achieve your tasks and perform your duties in a time-bound manner
  3. Helps you decide better, what you actually want in life
  4. Upon completion of a goal, you achieve satisfaction and an increased confidence level, helping you to perform adorably
  5. Accelerates your career
  6. Helps you to get a better corporate position and compensation
  7. Makes you disciplined and detail-oriented

Common Career Goals

Employees set goals for smooth career progression and advancement. Since every individual is different and distinct from the other, these goals can vary from person to person, based on their personal aptitude and priorities. Yet, we can summarize the major career goals, as follows:

1) Education Related Goals

You might want to study more and make yourself more enlightened. For this purpose, you must set an educational goal. For Example, I will complete my Certified Financial Analyst course within the next 2 years.

2) Performace Related Goals

These types of goals, help you to achieve better work performance at a workplace by making you efficient, effective, and more focused. For example, Next time I will try to remove a similar software bug within 2 days.

3) Finance Related Goals

Saving is a good habit. Its relevance has only increased. Employees usually set financial goals in order to secure their future. For example, I will make a corpus of around $50,000 by the end of 2023.

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4) Physical Goals

Obese. Unfit. Too slim. In short, you are physically not fit and often prone to illness and weakness. Then you must strive to fix a few physical goals. Accomplishing these goals and achieving an attractive body, will boost your confidence considerably.

5) Vacation Goals

No play and only work makes a person boring and dull. You might have often heard of this saying in your life. It is advisable to take a few days off from work and go on vacation. This helps to rejuvenate and refresh one’s mind leading to more focus and efficiency.

6) Public Service Goals

Setting these types of goals is on a roll. There are several employees nowadays working socially for the betterment of society. For example, I will plant 500 trees with the next year or I will distribute food to 1000 homeless within the next 6 months.

Five Best Tips To Answer This Question Impressively

1) Mention Maximum Two Goals

It is nice that you set goals for almost everything in life. But you are not required to share your complete list with your employer. Your answer must contain a maximum of two goals. This would be enough for evaluation purposes. Overexcited or lengthy answers can disengage an interviewer and at the same time, you might also lose focus and concentration.

2) Explain Properly, But In Brief

It has been observed that several employees tend to get carried away when asked about their goals. They just start narrating their big background stories, their motivations, inspirations behind setting a particular goal. This is not required at all. Rather, you must be crisp and to the point. Your answer must complete within 5 minutes.

3) Provide A Well Reasoned Answer

Merely saying, that:

  • I like to set goals for career advancement
  • I have set so many goals, but really confused about which one to share
  • I have not yet set a goal, but will surely do soon
  • I believe, we must live in today, without thinking much about the future

Responses based on similar lines, simply show your lack of preparation and casual attitude towards the vacancy. Your answer must be well structured and must show one to two clear reasons for setting a particular goal.

4) Don’t Share Impossible Goals

People tend to be over smart and in order to impress an employer, they tend to share objectives that are quite unrealistic and unachievable. For example, one might say that I will become a director within the next 3 months, by working really hard. This does not go well with your interviewer and shows your utter lack of understanding of the question.

5) Don’t Be Over-optimistic.

Over-optimistic replies such as, I have set a goal to acquire your position or I will soon start my enterprise and become a threat for you, will severely impact your reputation and you will be seen more of a non-serious person, who just loves to talk, but nothing practical.

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Ten Latest Sample Answers To Consider

Sample Answer One

The importance of setting goals is huge in professional life. I follow this principle and have myself set a few goals. The most prominent being, my education goal. I see myself as a senior accounts manager within the next 3 years and would complete the course of Financial Analyst within the next 18 months. Along with this, I will also learn to play piano within the next 6 months and move forward with my love for music.

Sample Answer Two

Being a career-oriented person, I always set goals for improving my performance at the workplace. In the field of software development, I have found that testing software for bugs and run-time errors, consumes a lot of time. I have set a goal for myself, to reduce this time from an average of 90 hours to 75 hours, without affecting my personal efficiency and strictly adhering to all the guidelines and principles.

Sample Answer Three

My accounting field requires continuous up-gradation of one’s skills and professional expertise. This is possible only when we plan and undertake professional courses. I have made a plan to learn the latest version of SAP FICO software, within the next 1 year. I believe, this way, I will be able to contribute to my employer more exceptionally and strategically thereby improving my chances of promotion and financial compensation.

Sample Answer Four

I have always been fascinated with the idea of entrepreneurship. I have made a goal to start a food-related business within the next 7 years. But this in no way, affects my professional life with a corporate. To improve my current performance, I will be undertaking a financial literacy course, within the next 6 months.

Sample Answer Five

I believe, taking regular, short breaks, leaves a positive impact on the human mind which in turn improves their efficiency and effectiveness at the workplace. I plan to make three distinct trips to three island nations within the next 3 years with my family. I don’t want to be a dull employee, rather want to be energetic and enthusiastic, ready to complete allotted tasks in a time-bound manner. This prompted me to set a vacation goal.

Sample Answer Six (For Freshers)

Being a first-time job applicant, I feel I am not in a position to set any professional goal. But still, I have made a few educational goals for myself which I will be pleased to share. I wish to complete a master’s in business administration within the next 4 years, while actively working with your prestigious institution. Other than this, I have made arrangements to improve my communication skills, by joining an online course. That will be completed within the next 3 months.

Sample Answer Seven

Goals give meaning and purpose to one’s life. I have set a few career-related goals for myself. I wish to become a manager within the next 5 years. For this, I will be working hard at my workplace, upgrade my skills by joining online courses improving my technical and interpersonal skills. Further, I have also decided to join public speaking sessions every weekend, in order to groom my complete personality.

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Sample Answer Eight

Setting objectives is necessary and working upon them is mandatory. I have set a goal to close 30% more deals than the previous year. In order to achieve this goal, I am learning persuasive skills using YouTube, CRM software from a reputed institute and improving my vocabulary base by reading popular English books. I believe, I am working hard and will be able to achieve my goals in due course of time, as planned and thought.

Sample Answer Nine

We set goals in order to move forward in life. I believe in the same principle and have set a few financial goals for myself. I have set a goal, to make a diversified corpus of $100,000 with the next 5 years. I will invest an equal amount in, Mutual funds, Term deposits, Insurance schemes, Debentures, and Government bonds. This way I will be in a position to secure my future and earn a good life.

Sample Answer Ten

I believe one must constantly upgrade one’s skills and abilities, by being on the path of continuous learning. For this, I have decided to undertake a year-long part-time fellowship program organized by a leading skill development organization in our country. In this, I will be able to learn practical skills and procedures, that will improve my understanding and broaden my base. I believe I will be able to contribute to my employer, more effectively post this.

Conclusion

A person who does not set goals and objectives in one’s life is probably not serious enough for his career and eventually his or her future. This is a common interview question and helps an employer to evaluate your seriousness and discipline. Thorough preparation can work wonders and can help you secure, your dream job. If you like our articles then don’t forget to share them with your family and friends. Also, do let us know through the comments section below, how much you like our articles.

References

  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2009-00981-000
  2. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/c558/254d89542695d6ed7518f9c1a3c960786c58.pdf