Interviews can make or mar the chances of getting a job. There are some despite having all the qualifications and attitude, fail at the interview because their answers to some questions were not satisfactory.
Some interview questions can be tricky and one of such questions is, ‘What are your career goals and how do you plan to achieve them’. The answer to this question should be in such a way that it augurs well with the company’s future and your caliber so that the interviewers get the feeling that you both are on the same page.
Each candidate is different so will be their answer to this question but at the same time, how one approaches this question can be common. Here are some ways to answer the very tricky yet relevant question as to what your career goals are and how you plan to achieve them:
1. Adopt a practical approach: When asked about your career goals and your plans to meet them, first talk about things you have done so far and your plans that you have chalked out for yourself. Just see to it that whatever goals and plans you talk about are associated some or the other way with the job for which the interview is being conducted.
2. How an experienced person should answer: If the candidate is aiming for a managerial position in accounts section, he can talk about the courses he has undertaken in latest accounting field. Then he can talk about his vision of becoming a senior accounts manager in the near future.
3. How a fresh candidate should answer: If an entry level candidate is going to say he hopes to become a writer after five years, then, be sure that this question will be the last and the person will be right away asked to leave. Thus it is safer to say that he is looking at learning new skills and learning more about the field so that he can gradually rise to a senior position.
4. Avoid narrow answers that you think is humorous: Sometimes, sense of humour doesn’t make any sense at all. If you are planning to say that your career goal is to take over the post of the manager who is interviewing, the latter will not see any sense in your humor rather in all probability, he will see you as a potential threat and avoid hiring you.
5. Think about career advancement activities and formulate an answer: For anyone to advance in their career, they need good training, handling of new responsibilities, learning leadership skills and a focus on individual development attributes. Frame an answer including these points so that the interviewer knows that your ultimate aim is.
6. Display your enthusiasm: When the interviewers find you enthusiastic about your career goals, they will get a feel that you will be able to handle responsibilities well because you are excited about new role and job.
7. Walking the fine line is helpful: Some interviewees tend to give emotional answers to this question while some will delve on personal and professional career goals and some tend to present a long list of career goals. It is best to strike a fine balance and to be concise yet detailed to answer in such a way that it presents you as a professional talking sense, and not some emotional fools who appear to be day dreaming.
There are also a few things that you should avoid saying.
Do not mention goals about going back to school or starting a family. This may make it seem like you won’t be with this company for the long haul.
Do not mention a career path that couldn’t happen in the company you are interviewing with.
Be careful not to start bragging about what you think you will accomplish.
Here is a good sample of an answer about career goals: I want to continue learning new techniques that will make me a better technician. I really strive to be the best that I can be, which means that my goals include staying current which means I will attend seminars and workshops.
I also want to use the knowledge that I gain to help others reach their top potential. I could see myself being a great leader and manager who pushes the employees to be better and therefore make the company better.
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