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15 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated May 4th, 2019 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Topics    
Question 1 of 15
What career path interests you the most in this company?
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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.
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Answer Examples
1.
What career path interests you the most in this company?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I saw on LinkedIn that your last Technician gained promotion to overseeing and training new technicians. I am analytically minded but also have a keen ability to coach and train. This job title is an opportunity I would love down the road."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am interested in a variety of paths with your company. I could see myself working as a sales assistant in a sales representative role, as I further my knowledge of your product."
2.
How does this position fit into your career goals?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"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."
3.
Why is this job right for you at this time in your career?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"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."
4.
What are your career aspirations beyond this job?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"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."
5.
If you could start your career over again, what direction would you take?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I certainly do not regret the direction I have taken my career; however, if I had to start over in a new direction completely I would likely pursue my Degree in Education and become a teacher. Both of my parents were teachers, and they seemed to have a very fulfilling career. I enjoy coaching and leading others so, any tasks in my current career that related to these skills, are very welcome."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am delighted with the direction my career has taken. If I could change anything I would perhaps have furthered my education to include a unique administrative focus; however, I have no regrets!"
6.
Have you progressed in your career as you have expected?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Overall, my career has progressed a touch slower than I would have liked. I have held a couple of positions that didn't offer the growth and learning that I was expecting; however, I have bounced back nicely. I feel that this particular position would take my career exactly where it should be."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am pleased with the progress of my administration career. I have been given some great opportunities, between permanent and temporary gigs, which have offered me exposure to a variety of industries. I feel my knowledge is well-rounded and vast."
7.
Have you ever taken a role in a company that hasn't fit into your long-term career plans?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Yes, you will see that from March to May 2007 I held a role as Executive Business Development Manager at Company XYZ. This particular role was not what I was expecting and had little to do with management and more to do with cold calling onto C-suite level clients. This job wasn't nurturing my plan to grow the management side of my career, so I resigned after just two months. Luckily I landed a wonderful job immediately after and grew with that company for the following six years."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Sure, when I was younger and just starting out on my own, paying the bills was very important. You can't sit around and go bankrupt waiting for your dream job. That said, I have never taken a job where I did not tell the hiring manager up front that it was temporary."
8.
By this time in your career, you should have advanced further. What has slowed down your career progression?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I agree with you that my career progression has been slower than some. You will see that between 2001 - 2009 I worked for the same company without an increase in the title. The company was too small to offer a promotion to me as the next level was ownership and the business wasn't for sale. After this, from 2009-2012 I was on leave as I needed to care for my ailing parents. The growth since returning to work has been steady but those years were a bit of a standstill for me. I am ready to spring into action now, and forge ahead in my career."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have progressed comfortably in my career as an Administrative Assistant. Although it may not seem as advanced as some, I am content with my progression as it has offered me a manageable pace."
9.
Where do you see your career one year from now?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am thrilled to be interviewing here for your robotics engineer opportunity. I believe with the talents and skill set I bring to your team, we will solve some very challenging problems. This role is an opportunity I have been seeking for some time now, so I plan to stay for the long term should I be lucky enough to be hired."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"A year from now I would like to be learning and growing in a friendly organization that cares about its customers and its staff. I have been progressing in the administration field for the last three years, and I know there is more to learn such as tricks in Excel, and technical writing."
10.
Tell me about a career related goal that you set and did not reach.
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Last January, I set a goal to learn the Python programming language by June; however, a few unexpected work-based projects came up which slowed my progress. Instead, I have been practicing and studying the language every Sunday evening. I hope to be comfortable with the programming language by August."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Last year I set a goal for myself to test as an expert user in Excel. I studied online tutorials for weeks and took mock tests as often as I could. When the time came for me to test, I graded at only an Advanced level. I was disappointed that I did not test as an expert; however, I still did very well and continued to work at it."
11.
Describe for me a time when you made the wrong career decision. How did you correct your misstep?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Last year, I had a management position that would have offered me the leadership experience for which I was seeking. Unfortunately, I turned down the offer for fear that I was not yet ready for the responsibility of being a leader to so many people. My lack of confidence in myself got in the way. I recognized that lack of confidence in myself and changed turned it around by attending three leadership workshops over the next year. Now I am bursting with confidence and am ready to take on this leadership role with your company."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"As a nurse administrator, I have always worked in hospitals. I took the opportunity to work in home health and found that the driving and lifestyle was not for me. I stayed on and trained my replacement; however, the entire experience set me back about one year in my career."
12.
What is your dream job?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"My dream is to be the Controller of this company one day. I plan to start in this cost accountant role and work my way up over the years. It's exciting for me to think about all of the possibilities present in your company."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am looking to make my way into an executive assistant position. Supporting your c-suite would be a dream position for me, and I look forward to earning my way into a role like this with your organization."
13.
Do you have a big career goal that, right now, seems unattainable?
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!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have a huge career goal that involves me completing my MBA while working full time. I know it will take a great deal of dedication and discipline and it has been done before. I feel that this level of education will greatly assist me in this career."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I believe in the importance of setting meaningful career goals. When I dream of my ideal career pursuit, I am working towards becoming the executive assistant to the VP of this organization. I know it's a long way from a receptionist role, but I am willing to do what it takes to reach my goals!"
14.
Which career development goals have you set for yourself this year?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"This year I have set the goal to read one new book per month, all related to leadership, goal setting, maximizing efficiency and other business-related topics. I am just a few months in and can already see how this infusion of knowledge is boosting my work performance."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"The professional goal that I set for myself recently was to find a mentor to assist me in my career. Being newer to my professional career, I felt it was important to consult and meet with someone more seasoned than I. This move to have a mentor can only benefit me and, down the road, I hope to return the favor to someone else who needs a mentor."
15.
If hired, what can we do to help you achieve your career goals?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Thank you for asking! I am seeking to join an organization with a solid succession plan for each position within their company. When I have a clear understanding of where my role can take me, I can better plan for the future and take more direct and successful steps."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I appreciate you asking this question. For me to be successful and achieve my goals, I would like to know that there is a solid training plan in place for my role. The more comfortable I am in the fact that I am well-trained and knowledgeable, the better I perform."
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15 Career Goals Interview Questions
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Interview Questions
  1. What career path interests you the most in this company?
  2. How does this position fit into your career goals?
  3. Why is this job right for you at this time in your career?
  4. What are your career aspirations beyond this job?
  5. If you could start your career over again, what direction would you take?
  6. Have you progressed in your career as you have expected?
  7. Have you ever taken a role in a company that hasn't fit into your long-term career plans?
  8. By this time in your career, you should have advanced further. What has slowed down your career progression?
  9. Where do you see your career one year from now?
  10. Tell me about a career related goal that you set and did not reach.
  11. Describe for me a time when you made the wrong career decision. How did you correct your misstep?
  12. What is your dream job?
  13. Do you have a big career goal that, right now, seems unattainable?
  14. Which career development goals have you set for yourself this year?
  15. If hired, what can we do to help you achieve your career goals?
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