500 Questions: Career Goal Questions, Part One

What are your long-term objectives?

Your employer is attempting to determine if you have plans to stay with the firm. Let them know that if you are selected for the position, you would hope to meet your goals and take advantage of opportunities to learn so you would be considered for other positions within the company. Reassure them that you hope to build your career with a company such as this one.

What are your short-term objectives?

Indicate that for the short-term, you’d like to find a position that is a good fit and where you can contribute to a company’s bottom line. Your answer should describe your ideal job. Focus on what you seek in your next job, taking care that your response closely matches the position you’re applying for.

Do you like the career path you have selected? Has it been gratifying for you?

Describe for the interviewer the positive results you have achieved in your career and how they measure up to your expectations. The interviewer is trying to establish that your needs can be satisfied on the job.

If our company hired you, what professional goals would you set for yourself?

Indicate how your specific goals and objectives are uniquely aligned with the company’s objectives and that you will set goals to improve the skills required to meet those goals.

What has motivated you the most to become what you are today?

Discuss the values that have motivated and influenced you over the years and the type of effect each has been. Show how these relate to the person who you are and what that allows you to bring to the job.

Do you think that you have made the right career choice?

Unless you are aiming for a complete change of career, you must convince the interviewer that you wouldn’t change a thing. You love your career and, given the chance, you would do it all over again.

What do you expect your job title will be in five years?

Everyone hates this question, but everyone asks it. The traditional answer is “management.” But in recent years companies have started to develop a technical career track. Many companies call this position “consultant” or “senior software engineer” or “staff engineer.” Of course, any other management position that you think would interest you is also appropriate: product marketing manager, application manager for a project (a first-line manager), or any other position that requires a technical background. Employers like goal-oriented workers, so saying you don’t know will turn a manager off.