MockQuestions

Interview Questions Related To Your Career Goals

To help you prepare for your next job interview, here are 15 Career Goals interview questions and answer examples focused on your career goals.

Career Goals was written by and updated on May 4th, 2019. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 15

How does this position fit into your career goals?

How to Answer

The interviewer would like to know that you see this position as a good fit. Is this role a lateral move that you are just complacent with taking until something better comes along? Assure the interviewer that this position will be challenging for you, is a step up in responsibilities, and that it fits with your overall career goals. A well-thought-out answer will show the interviewer you have considered the pros and cons of this position, in regards to the impact it will have on your career.

Written by Rachelle Enns

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15 Career Goals Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1. How does this position fit into your career goals?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know that you see this position as a good fit. Is this role a lateral move that you are just complacent with taking until something better comes along? Assure the interviewer that this position will be challenging for you, is a step up in responsibilities, and that it fits with your overall career goals. A well-thought-out answer will show the interviewer you have considered the pros and cons of this position, in regards to the impact it will have on your career.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      1st Answer Example

      "My primary goal in my career as an HR professional is to eventually work my way from an Administrator level to HR Partner. I feel that what your organization offers is a strong path towards those goals and I am excited about what this position has to offer."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Admin

      "My primary career goal is to find a position where I can stay long term. Because your company has such a strong reputation for workplace culture, it fits perfectly with my desires for a long-term fit."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Manager

      "This role works into my plan to be a regional manager in the next few years. I look forward to climbing the ranks in your industry. I plan to take additional coursework on leadership to prepare myself for regular promotions."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Marketing

      "This position aligns nicely with my career goal of becoming a team leader in within an agency environment. The role is in my comfort zone, but a new enough approach that will intrigue me, and your company size is adequate to support growth."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Retail

      "I have been seeking a retail environment outside of typical big box stores. Your brand and brand story resonates with me, and I like the fact that you encourage continued education opportunities for your management team as well."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Sales

      "My greatest goal is to become the top sales executive in a global sales environment. My current organization does business solely in the USA, so I am very excited about the global possibilities that your organization offers."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Teacher

      "I am, and will always be, a teacher first. This role fits with my career goals because you also offer opportunities for me to participate in extra-curricular activities like being a soccer coach. I love physical activity and have a strong belief in encouraging kids to be active."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Community Answer

      "I am looking for a company where I can grow and add value. My primary goal as a business analyst is to get to a management position. I am certain that what your organization offers will help me in achieving those goals and I am excited about what this position has to offer."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great answer! You sound confident in your career plan and have established an attainable long-term goal to focus on and work towards. I suggest adding a sentence indicating to the employer that you hope to achieve this goal with their company, if possible. You can further strengthen your answer by outlining the smaller steps you plan to accomplish in order to achieve your ultimate career goal.

  • 2. Why is this job right for you at this time in your career?

      How to Answer

      Discuss with the interviewer why you are looking to make a change, and how this particular role fits well with the changes that you are seeking. Be sure to give a more in-depth answer than the typical 'I am looking for growth' answer that so many interviewers hear. Be thoughtful and draw upon the research you have done on the company.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 10th, 2018

      1st Answer Example

      "I have been passively seeking a new position for quite some time and haven't jumped on anything yet because I want to make sure it's the right fit. I feel that this job is right for me, at this point in my career, because it offers an opportunity for me to utilize my new education in GIS while giving me an opportunity to advance in my management skills."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 10th, 2018

      Admin

      "This job is right for me at this time in my career because I am prepared and ready to take on an executive assistant position in the c-suite. I feel that your company would appreciate the training and coursework I have diligently attended. I am ready for further diversity in my work responsibilities."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Manager

      "I currently manage a small production team of 12 operators. Although I love the work, I am ready to stretch myself professionally into an organization with a bigger production floor, and teams of 25 or more. This year I dedicated myself to taking two leadership workshops which I feel greatly prepared me to take on the challenge of the work volume present in your company."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 10th, 2018

      Marketing

      "Your marketing director position is the position I have been striving for, for the past twelve years of my career. I have run smaller agencies with large clients, in the past. Now, I am ready for a large agency that handles multi-million dollar marketing accounts."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Retail

      "I have been an assistant manager in my clothing department for three years. I am ready for advancement in a management role; however, my organization is unable to promote me without a transfer to another city. When I saw your position open for a management role, and so close to my home, I was excited. What excited me even more; however, is that you are a label and brand that I have closely followed for many years."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Sales

      "This position offers me the exposure to the c-suite clients with which I have been looking to become involved. I currently sell to the decision makers, but generally, it's small business owners, or mom and pop shops. I am ready for the next important step in my career."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 10th, 2018

      Teacher

      "I have been working as a substitute teacher for a couple of years, applying solely for full-time permanent teaching positions in this district. I was thrilled when the principal of my current school told me about this opportunity. This role would offer the career stability I have been seeking since I graduated with my Education degree."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

  • 3. What are your career aspirations beyond this job?

      How to Answer

      Everyone has some dream or aspirations of where their career could go. When you think about the future, what comes to mind? Openly share with the interviewer where you'd like to see your job take you. Be sure to include how you feel this particular company would fit in with those specific aspirations.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 10th, 2018

      1st Answer Example

      "I have some pretty lofty career aspirations, and after researching your organization and learning more about this position, I feel that this role fits with my future aspirations. I would love to see myself promoted based on my hard work and results, eventually managing my branch, then become a regional director."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 10th, 2018

      Admin

      "I would like to be trained as a technical writer so that, over time, I can benefit you further. Rather than being a standard administrative assistant, I could also help with writing RFP's and RFQ's."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Manager

      "I plan to stay with your company long term. One aspiration that I do have is to return to school to complete my MBA. I would prefer to do this in tandem with full-time employment."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Marketing

      "My biggest career goal is to begin handing multi-million dollar campaigns and accounts. I know that your organization has critical clients who are taken care of by only your top marketers. My goal, beyond this job, is to become part of that marketing team."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Retail

      "I want to get into a company that I can stay with an grow long term. While change is good, I like the comforts of having something familiar or regular around me. I aspire to grow into a leadership position and teach newcomers the ins and outs of retail sales."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Sales

      "My biggest career dream is to be the top salesperson in your organization and be granted the ability to travel worldwide. International travel is something I have always wanted to do, but could never afford. As a global sales director, I could fulfill that dream while making an impact on your organization."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Teacher

      "I aspire to complete my Master's degree in Education and work my way into a Principal position within your district. I realize this will take many years, but I am dedicated to my craft and am committed to forging an excellent career path for myself, in this district."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

  • 4. If you could start your career over again, what direction would you take?

      How to Answer

      A hiring manager will be able to tell a lot about your personality by learning about your other career interests. If you could do anything over, what would you do, and why?

      A safe answer to this question is to stay in your current career. Avoid saying things like, 'Well, I would have gone into a STEM related-career instead of sales.' You can mention how you would have sped up your career progression if you knew what you now know. An example of this would be, you would not have minored in accounting if you knew you were going to become a software engineer.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 5. What career path interests you the most in this company?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know if you are interested in career progression within their company. Having completed some research on the interviewing company is essential. Be sure to envision where you can see yourself fitting, and growing, with the organization before your interview. Do some research on what a career path could look like with this particular company.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 6. Have you progressed in your career as you have expected?

      How to Answer

      Career progression can be a touchy subject, especially if you feel that your career hasn't progressed as well as you would have liked. Avoid any sob stories with the interviewer. If it shows in your resume, one or two odd career decisions you have made, admit to those mistakes and describe how you have learned from those decisions.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 7. Have you ever taken a role in a company that hasn't fit into your long-term career plans?

      How to Answer

      Most people have taken on a position that was not a fit for them in the end. It's the best top openly discuss any jobs that you have held that were not a fit. This answer will assist the interviewer in being able to place you within their organization correctly. Be sure to end your response on a positive note, discussing how you bounced back from the misstep.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 10th, 2018

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  • 8. By this time in your career, you should have advanced further. What has slowed down your career progression?

      How to Answer

      When an interviewer sees slow career progression on your resume, they will immediately want to determine whether this is by your own choice, any outside circumstances, or if you are not motivated to create growth in your career. If your job has progressed slower than you wish, you must be honest with the interviewer when discussing this.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 10th, 2018

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  • 9. Where do you see your career one year from now?

      How to Answer

      This question is a short variation of the typical interview question, 'Where do you see yourself in five years?' Instead, the interviewer may ask more directly, 'Where do you see yourself in the next year?'

      Interviewing, hiring, and onboarding is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor for any company. The interviewer wants to know that, if engaged, you will see this as a longer-term fit. Discuss your career plans, goals, and how those fit with what this company is offering. Describe your passion for this opportunity, and what you like about the company for which you are applying.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 10. Tell me about a career related goal that you set and did not reach.

      How to Answer

      Tell the interviewer about a goal you set for yourself, but failed to meet. Show the interviewer that you are ambitious and, rather than giving up, you are going to try to achieve that goal again. Everyone has goals they have failed to reach so do not be embarrassed about that aspect. The interviewer is more interested in knowing that you are persistent and tenacious.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 10th, 2018

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  • 11. Describe for me a time when you made the wrong career decision. How did you correct your misstep?

      How to Answer

      Everyone has had a misstep in their career at one point or another. Perhaps you took a job with a company who was not as reputable as you initially believed. Maybe you accepted a role that was 'oversold' to you. Or, perhaps you declined an opportunity that you now regret passing on. The key to a great answer is to discuss what you did to correct the misstep.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 10th, 2018

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  • 12. What is your dream job?

      How to Answer

      This question can be a bit tricky to answer since you don't want to give a reply that will make you seem like a bad fit for this role. A general rule of thumb, if it isn't related to your current career path, you probably should not mention it in an interview. It's fun to think about off-the-wall dreams like becoming a dolphin trainer, but an interview is not the time to express those dreams.

      Instead, focus on what you aim to gain from this particular company. Perhaps you see yourself in that shiny corner office, or you want to work your way into a territory manager role, jet-setting all over the country to give client presentations and perform essential negotiations. Or, maybe you are already looking at your dream career! Be brief in your answer and express how you plan to see this dream job realized.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on May 4th, 2019

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  • 13. Do you have a big career goal that, right now, seems unattainable?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know more about your biggest goals when it comes to your career. Have you ever heard author Jim Collins' thoughts on the importance of building a Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal (BHAD)? The concept is embraced by many organizations where they believe that every person and company should have an ambitious long-term goal that seems near impossible to reach. You can read more about it in Jim's book, 'Built to Last.'

      Keep your answer career-related and as relative to this particular company as you can. You want to avoid saying that your BHAG is never to work again, or to work for their competition!

      Written by Rachelle Enns on April 20th, 2019

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  • 14. Which career development goals have you set for yourself this year?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know that you are motivated to better yourself personally, and professionally. Career development can come in many forms:

      - Conferences
      - Trade Shows
      - Seminars & workshops
      - Reading
      - Podcasts
      - Online coursework
      - Finding a mentor

      Discuss with the interviewer how you plan to develop yourself professionally this year and be sure to tie it into how this goal will benefit their company, should they choose to hire you.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 10th, 2018

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  • 15. If hired, what can we do to help you achieve your career goals?

      How to Answer

      If an interviewer asks you this question, you should be jumping up and down with excitement! As many organizations turn away from the hierarchical organizational structure and lean more toward a flat organizational structure, you will begin to see companies show more concern for the growth and development of their employees. Jackpot!

      Be prepared to discuss how you like to be motivated, what you may need in your compensation package or even the type of workplace environment you know you need to be successful.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 10th, 2018

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