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Communications Design Industry Discussion, Inspiration, & Tutorials

Dec 21, 2008

Interview Question: What are your Goals?


What are your long-term goals?
What are you professional goals?
Where do you see yourself in 2, 5 years, or 10, etc.?


These are basically the same question. This is not merely an inquiry as to whether you'll stick with the company for the foreseeable future. When this questions arises in an interview setting, the interviewers likely want to gain insight into you as person, your self-awareness, and your communication skills.

Here are a few Wrong Answers: 

  1. "In five years I plan to be the director of marketing at this company, managing a small but innovative team--working to grow the brand of this company." Is this even an option within the company or department where you're applying. Unless you're 100% sure, that your vision for the company is in line with their strategic plans, goals and direction, this goal shows inflexibility. It also connotes a low opinion of the current 'brand'. 
  2. "Hmm, with this busy final semester and graduation, I haven't really had time to think about it." This answer will likely prompt a few follow up questions that you really don't want to answer...What have you had time to think about? Realistically, this answer shows a lack of vision, planning, and creative thinking. 
  3. "Well, in a few years I hope to be back in school working on my MFA in order to become tenured faculty at X University." This answer states, without stating, that you are killing time in the potential job. You are either looking a company to pay for your advanced degree or a place to wait until you get into grad school. 

How about the Right Answer:


What are your goals? What do you really want. Most successful business people will tell you that a key success factor is the ability to set and achieve goals. Think about this before you get to the interview. Is this job a stepping-stone for the next professional level? How does this job factor into your real long-term goals.


Monster.Com says to Script it Consider this answer:

"I have learned that long-term goals are best achieved when I break them into shorter goals. My short-term goal is to find a position that will put me in a forward-moving company with solid performance and future projections. As part of a team, I want to add value and continue to grow the company. My long-term goal will depend on where the company goes. My plan is to move into a position of responsibility where I can lead a team."


How Do I answer this question?


Honestly. Whenever asked about my goals I have always had only one answer. I want to continue to grow, learn and develop. I want my horizons to be ever expanding. Professionally, this means that I see myself as a perpetual teacher and student. Personally, I talk to strangers, read voraciously, travel, and ask questions.






In an interview setting, I tend to polish it up a bit, but this is my truth. What is your truth...where do you see yourself in the future?



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