How to Answer the Question “What Are Your Career Goals?”
Getting asked about your career goals can feel both exciting and nerve-wracking. It means someone is interested in your future plans and is curious about how you want to grow or develop professionally. Answering this question well requires you to think critically about your aspirations, values, and plans for the future. Here are a few tips to help you master this question.
1. Be Honest and Specific
Rather than providing an overly-general answer, be sure to focus in on specific, achievable goals that could be achievable within a set time frame. After all, employers are more likely to be interested in someone who knows what they want and is willing to take steps to get it.
2. Do Your Research
Before you answer this question at an interview, research the company you’re interviewing with. Doing so will not only help you tailor your answer to the company’s needs, but also ensure you’re bringing up goals that are possible to achieve with the company.
3. Connect Your Goals to the Job
When addressing your career goals, it’s important to make sure your answer is tailored to the specific job you’re interviewing for. Doing so shows the interviewer that you’re serious about the role and that you have the skills and qualities needed to do the job.
4. Have Short and Long-Term Goals
Your answer should include both short-term and long-term goals. For example, you could discuss your goals of being promoted to a higher-level position in the next year as well as being considered a leader in the industry in five years.
5. Be Realistic and Optimistic
When discussing your career goals, make sure they are achievable and realistic. Being overly ambitious and talking about grandiose goals may make you seem naive, but being overly humble will make you appear unprepared. Make sure you convey both confidence and optimism in your answer.
6. Use Supporting Examples
To make your answer stand out, use examples to back up your goals. For example, if you want to become a leader in your field, you could discuss taking on additional responsibilities at your current job or leading a team project.
7. Tailor Your Goals to Your Values
Your goals should reflect your values and what you’re passionate about. Discussing things like personal growth, building relationships, and helping others shows you have a strong sense of purpose, drive, and resilience.
Finally, it’s important to practice your answer ahead of time. Share your response with a friend or family member and ask for feedback. Doing so can help ensure you feel comfortable and confident talking about your goals during an interview.
Overall, answering the question “What are your career goals?” can be a great opportunity to showcase your ambition and dedication. With a little preparation and practice, you can feel confident in sharing your vision and plans for the future.