What Are Your Goals? (With Sample Interview Answers)

It is quite normal that every person sets some goals related to whatever they want to achieve, either in their personal or professional life. The HR and management team would like to know about all these ambitions and goals. They are interested in knowing if they can take you into account as an ambitious employee in the long run and whether you will be able to achieve your target while you meet the company’s annual goals.

What do you mean by a career goal?

The driving force that keeps you motivated at your workplace is the month-end paycheque that you are going to receive, however, it’s not just the only factor that motivates you but there is much more to this. This is when your career goals come into action and acts as the driving force for your motivation. It is very important to have certain ambitions and career goals because this will be the one thing that will help you grow, not only professionally but also builds your personality. Career advancement goals will help you to achieve and push you forward towards what you want for your career to develop.

How can you set your career goals?

You have to first determine what you want to do in your career and where do you want yourself to stand in the next 5 years which can be a management role, leadership or even CEO of the company. Now, start evaluating what you will need to achieve them for real. These might include gathering more information for achieving the goal, becoming more educated and trained in your field, get equipped with enough skills for long term purposes or making your connections stronger in your field to achieve what you want.

What mistakes should you avoid to make in the interview?

You can not afford to make any silly mistakes that might debar you fom the interview. That would not be desirable at your end. So take a look at these and frame your answer accordingly:

1. Irrelevant points to the job

Hiring manager will be interested in recruiting applicants whom the can count on in the long run and not people who prioritize their work on temporary basis just to have some work at their hand.

2. Unprofessional career goals

Rely on goals that are not particularly personal but also tend to meet the company’s annual goals. That way you sound a lot more professional and shows that you care for the company as well.

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3. Unreal/Imaginary career goals

You can not say that you have a goal of becoming the CEO of the company in two years of your joining the company. We are not saying that it is not impossible to achieve a dream position, but maintaining a slight line of realistic attitude will show your responsible behaviour.

What are the types of career goals?

There are atotal of 4 types of career goals that you might come across which are the most common ones. However, there are hundreds of such career goals in existence. Take a look:

1. Productivity related goals

This goal mainly focuses on how productive can you be and delivers quality results to your supervisor or manager you are alloted to within a stipulated time limit.

2. Efficiency focused goals

This is just as similar to productivity goals that do not only just focus on the quality of results that you deliver, but also the speed consistency and accuracy your results bring with themselves.

3. Education related goals

Educational advancement in your job helps to stand out from other employees because that not only helps you develop your skills as a professional but also develops you to be competitive in your field.

4. Goals related to personality development

Personality advancement is a much-needed aspect to work on because your personality will influence your career in the long run. Improving your communicative and networking skills will help you bring more clients to your service.

What kinds of goals does the company expects?

This will completely depend on which post you are applying for in the company. The probable career advancement it offers, the expectation they keep with you, and the type of work for which you have been hired, all the goals and ambitions relevant to all these aspects will determine what kind of goals you should refer to in the interview. We will take a look into different situations and answer accordingly with all respect to the relevance of the job. Let us take a look below:

Companies would not hire you for 1 year or less

If you are not applying for a temporary position in the company, then the company is not expected to hire you for a year or less, instead, they will always want an employee for long term purposes. The process of recruitment is very expensive and they are not likely to conduct the same formalities over and over again because that will only add to their costs and nothing else. Do not try to mention these points in your answer: “I would like to start my own business in some time” or “I have plans for settling down abroad very soon”.

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What should you actually cite in your answer?

If you are interested in starting your own business or in a plan to settle abroad, you should not reveal that to the interview panel. Naturally, we all have personal goals to accomplish but conceal them. You might use one of these answers – “I would like to have a career in a multinational company one-day asI want to become one of the finest financial analyst and grow personally as well as professionally” or “I want to be a part of an extremely professional team and polish my existing skills to be a better version of myself”.

Personal goals in line with professional goals

You will not get career advancement opportunities in every employment you apply for. As the job of a receptionist or a secretary, it is not worth talking about promotion because there is no such opportunity that is going to come your way. In this case, it would be smart enough to talk about your personal goals which will show your determination.

If you are talking about goals that are in line with serving the society or people around you, then that is also a good choice. You might use one of these answers – “I would eagerly want to quit smoking which has been almost eight years now and I have learnt to quit it partially”, “I am very determined to lose 15 pounds in twelve months because it restricts my ability to perform certain kinds of tasks and I would want to get back to fitness”.

Small ambition may prove to be a tough competition to bigger ambitions

If everyone becomes the CEO or the Manager Director of the company, then who is going to take the credit for the backend team? Mostly, people are satisfied with less complicated jobs and the money they are earning from it with all the happiness they are getting from weekends and vacations.

An honest answer is always expected. Let us have a look at some of the examples: “I am happy with what I am doing and just want to have a decent job with a fair salary and be happy outside work premises”, “I am motivated to work in this store, assist the customers and be happy in my place” or “I want to form the best team as a colleague and earn a decent amount of money to support my family”.

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What should be your next step?

people with higher ambition indeed tend to have higher goals in their life. However, it is not mandatory to have a fancy dream to be able to impress your recruiter in the job interview. Whenever you get a chance, you should always try to convince them that your goals are in line with the company’s goals and if you can meet the company’s standards, you will be anyway meeting your goals.

They should be able to count on you as a long-run member in their organisation and that you do not plan to leave their company soon. You can also include your goals in your personal life and that you just want to enjoy your job, earn a decent salary based on the position you have applied for.

Instances of Career Goals

  1. Work on your networking skills
  2. You might be wanting to start your own business
  3. Ambitious for a leadership position
  4. Earning a fantastic degree
  5. Getting acknowledged for your work
  6. Opting for training activities
  7. Getting promoted in work
  8. Polishing your exixting skills and becoming a better version of yourself
  9. Increasing your credibility
  10. Increasing customer satisfaction abilities
  11. Mentoring skills
  12. Promoted to become a manager

There are a whole lot of such career goals categorised under short term and long term career goals and if we start mentioning about all of those, then it might take us eternity to finish all of those.