Employers like people that are good at setting goals and achieving them. It is more impressive still if those professional goals are related to the company, and not just to money or status. Although interview questions about professional goal setting are not necessarily common, they do come up especially during managerial or leadership job interviews.
Interview Questions About Setting Goals and Achieving Them
Behavioral Interview Question: Give me an example of an important career goal which you set yourself and tell me how you reached it. What obstacles did you encounter? How did you overcome the obstacles?
This question has the potential to be dangerous. Most professional goals do not sound that positive to the employer. Making more money, getting promoted, starting your own business are great but these professional goals are less likely to get you the job. It is better if you can find a goal that is related to work and provide details that shows how and why you met it. This type of goal greatly improves your chance of getting the job.
How to Answer:
“When I started at XX, I set myself the professional goal of helping the baby care department, become brand leader for Australia and New Zealand. I also set a long term goal to pursue my personal passion for developing environmentally sustainable products. In terms of XX, this involved the development of organic, biodegradable diapers. I knew that to build that brand presence, I would have to prove my talents at internet marketing strategy, and convince the company to implement these new ideas.
I encountered several obstacles along the way. The company was more traditional, and invested heavily in TV advertisements. I was in management, but there were several other project leads above me, and not all of them shared my marketing perspective. We also didn’t have the infrastructure to complete large scale, measurable online marketing strategies.
But, step by step, I was able to overcome each obstacle by using data, persuasion, evidence, and a considerable amount of hard work. I completed projects myself, in my down time. I analyzed the strategies with the best immediate ROI, and leveraged the growth that I was able to display into acquiring more resources for the team.
I continued to move up the corporate ladder, and while I wasn’t able to meet the goal of helping the team create an organic diaper line, I did become head of the Baby Care department for over 3 years.”
Certainly, this can be a tough interview question to answer. But those that answer it in an effective way are immediately going to impress the hiring manager.