What Are Your Goals?

This is a broad question which is designed to determine whether you are, in fact, a goal-minded person. A person who is focused on goals is one who sets attainable objectives for him or herself and then strives to achieve them. The particular types of goals you discuss will also provide insight to your priorities in life—are they related to work, to family, to money, or other factors Consider balancing the subjects you discuss for best results.

Points to Emphasize

A goal-oriented candidate is usually preferable to one who is less focused in life. Speak candidly but keep your ideas appropriate for the setting:

  • Discuss both short-term and long-term goals, those which are weeks or months in the distance as well as those which are years away.

  • Talk about goals that you are working to attain and how you’ve made progress toward that end.

  • Highlight goals related to several different facets of life (family, work, personal interest, etc.)

  • Stick to attainable goals which can be achieved through action, not chance.

    Separate goals from dreams. You may dream of winning the sweepstakes, but it’s not necessarily a goal that you can work toward achieving by design.

    Mistakes You Should Avoid

    Make sure to avoid long delays. Your goals should already be in the back of your mind—coming up with ideas on the spot is not recommended.

  • Never come up empty when asked about your goals—failure to visualize your future is a red flag.

  • Don’t talk exclusively about work-related goals, but don’t leave work out entirely.

  • Avoid talking about hopes and dreams—focus on the goals you can make happen through hard work.

  • Don’t take a pessimistic tone. If you don’t believe in your ability to achieve your goals, your interviewer isn’t likely to take much confidence in you, either.

    A goal is a positive concept. Speak about yours as though you have every chance of achieving every one of them.

    Sample Answer

    Give some thought to the best subjects to discuss, should you receive this inquiry during your interview. Here’s a helpful starting point:

    My goals in life revolve around family, work, and a few select personal passions. Overall, I’m focused on continuing to advance in the publishing industry in order to put a down payment on a house and then to eventually secure the kids’ college funds. With any luck, I’ll have some time later in life to invest in restoring boats and watercraft, but family and career are what drive me every day.

    This response ties in three separate ideas, relating them to the common focus of succeeding in one’s professional life in order to realize personal goals.

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