Employers are looking for people that are driven to succeed. One way to show that is to have goals. That’s why your employer may ask you interview questions about these goals, to see if you are someone that has a purpose and motivation when it comes to your work and home life.
It’s hard to know exactly what someone’s goals actually tell the interviewer. Goals are always changing. Most employers only ask this question in order to see if you are going to commit to the company and judge whether or not you have ambition, so your answer should try to reflect that.
How to Answer
Your short and long term goals need to be related. For example, you can’t claim your short term goal is to work in technology, but your long term goal is to open your own restaurant. Also, your goals should relate to the job. It’s a good idea to focus on intangible qualities of work. For example, “I would like to work somewhere that makes me happy”, instead of more tangible goals “I would like to be the head of XY”.
My short term goals are eating well and better sleep.
Remember, it’s always best to answer in the context of a professional work environment, and avoid personal comments. The reason for this is to keep the conversation focused on why you’re the right candidate. You can always share some personal interests later after you’ve been hired.
My short term goals are to simply break into the field. As a college graduate, I need to start building a strong presence in the industry, working for a company I respect and doing a job that I enjoy. My long term goals are to earn new responsibilities within the company, ultimately reaching higher positions as they open and helping the company succeed in the long term.
This is a good answer because it implies that you will stay with the company you are interviewing.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Your short and long term goals should broadly benefit the company looking to hire you
- Show that you’re committing to working at the company long term