When you walk into the room for a professional interview, you should be prepared to be asked a variety of question about your past work experience and your career goals. For instance, the hiring manager may ask, “How did you get where you are and what are your long-range goals” Your answer to this question helps the hiring manager understand if your plan aligns with the company’s mission and practices. Your answer also helps the interviewer gain insight into your skill set and how you use it effectively. Take this into consideration as you build a compelling response to this question. Be honest, but still bear in mind what you know about the job, the industry and the company.
Points to Emphasize
You want to present yourself as a highly effective employee, so try to show how productive and driven you are in your response.
- Focus on your most developed skills and talents.
- Highlight problems or issues you may have successfully resolved.
- Concentrate on what you learned while being in the industry.
- Mention a relevant mentor or supervisor.
Be as positive and enthusiastic as possible when you respond. Workers tend to do their best when they enjoy their position, so reflect that energy in the way you reply.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
If you had a hiccup in your past, don’t worry about it, but also don’t hone in on it during the interview. Instead, showcase your triumphs.
- Do not state your intentions regarding monetary compensation.
- Avoid getting overly specific about your year-by-year timeline.
- Do not speak negatively or pessimistically about career prospects.
- Avoid talking about professional mistakes or mishaps.
When you answer, be confident and clear. Hiring managers are drawn to those who express themselves well under pressure.
Here is an example of a good answer to the question about how you advanced and what your long-term goals are:
Well, I began my time in the industry because an uncle worked in pharmaceuticals. He said it was a great place for a young chemist to do some interesting and fulfilling work. After an internship, I came to agree that this was the industry for me and I found a job in a research facility for one of the nation’s leading providers. In the long-term, I want to lend my hand to more specialized niches which is why I chose to apply to this diabetes research facility.
If you can, circle back to how your professional ambitions align with your potential employer’s available position. You are still there to gain employment, so make sure you focus your answer towards that goal.