How to Answer ‘What Are Your Goals’ Interview Question

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‘What are you goals?’ is a common interview question that you should be prepared to ask during your interview. Answer this question by understanding what your goals are and how you plan to achieve them ahead of time. It also helps to understand why hiring managers and recruiters pose this question.

This article will explain how to choose goals and the best way to respond to the interview question, ‘What are your goals?’.

Why interviewers ask, ‘What are your goals?’

Interviewers ask job candidates ‘What are your career goals?’ because they want to determine if the person they are hiring will stay with the company for a while. Companies want long-term commitments because it is expensive to hire and train employees.

Surprising ways interviewers ask, ‘What are your goals?’

Interviews may ask, ‘What are you goals?’ in a different way, such as these popular alternative questions:

  • ‘What are your long-term career goals?’
  • ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’
  • ‘What are your goals for the next five to 10 years?’

Companies also want to determine if job candidates have achievable goals, know how to succeed, and have already taken action to achieve those goals. Achievable goals and comprehensive steps reflect quality long-term planning and analysis.

Additionally, it is important to weigh the types of goals job candidates have. These goals may provide insight into the candidates’ priorities and personality.

Understanding your long-term and short-term goals

Before talking about your goals, you should determine what those goals are. This is a two-part question because many hiring managers will also ask, “How do you plan to achieve your goals?”

First, think about what your long-term career goals are. Decide what you want to be doing in 5, 10 or 15 years. Once you know, define short-term goals. It’s helpful to remember that short-term goals involve the steps needed to get to a long-term goal.

Remember that a goal, whether it be short-term or long-term, should be SMART: specific, measurable, action-oriented and realistic with timelines.

If you have already taken the time to figure out what your goals are and what it takes to achieve them, it will be much easier to answer this question and to tailor your resume to indicate where your focus is. Then, can practice giving this answer before your interview.

How to present your answer to, ‘What are your goals?’

Follow these steps to answer, ‘What are your goals’ during an interview:

1. Show the interviewer that you are passionate about your industry.

Tell that you love working in the industry and that you are motivated to perform well while on the job. You can use past experiences to convey your dedication.

2. Demonstrate that you want to form a mutually beneficial relationship with the company.

You need to explain how building your brand will also advance the company’s goals. This is a question that requires creativity.

3. Prove that you can fit within the company.

Your career goals must illustrate that you will fit seamlessly into the company’s culture. You can also show how your personality and work style can benefit your team.

4. Show that you are a team player.

Indicate that you look forward to being part of a team and building relationships within the company. You may also use past examples to show how well you work with others.

5. Show how your goals align with the employer’s goals.

You can start by researching the company and learning about its mission and core values. Figure out where your long-term goals overlap and mention this during your interview.

How to answer the ‘What are your goals?’ interview question

Follow these steps to answer the interview question, ‘What are your goals?’:

1. First, talk about short-term goals.

Discuss your short-term goals. You can then build up to long-term goals.

2. Second, demonstrate that you have a plan.

Explain how you plan to achieve those goals with general steps. You do not need to go into great detail, but it is good to show that you have given the process some thought.

3. Next, discuss the steps you have taken.

Discuss the goals you are already working on. The interviewer might ask you about your progress, so be prepared to answer.

4. Then, explain how you plan to attain your goals.

Only discuss attainable goals. Since action-based answers are best, focus on steps you can take.

5. Next, explain how the goals fit with your larger goals.

Include some personal objectives. For example, share that you would like to support your family and you expect the job to help you with personal growth.

6. Last, show that you are confident about achieving your goals.

Speak with confidence and certainty. A positive attitude will help convince the hiring manager that you will be a good asset to the company.

Before you interview for a job, make sure you can define your goals and articulate what you want from the position you are applying for. It is a good idea to tailor your answer to fit the company.