An interviewer who asks you about your lifelong dreams is asking you to reflect, share something about yourself, and possibly gauging how you react to unexpected situations. Often times, he or she is much less interested in the material of your response and focused more on evaluating how you respond to a seemingly irregular question.
Treat discussion of personal dreams as though you’re being asked about your goals. Talk about the dreams you can make (or are making) happen by design to show that you’re motivated to build your own success.
Points to Emphasize
Your response should come from a place of honesty, as manufactured answers are often easy to spot. Keep these ideas in mind:
- Emphasize the effort you have committed to realizing your dreams.
- Try to relate some part of your response to your career in some fashion.
- Discuss dreams or goals that you hope to realize as well as those you have made progress toward achieving.
- Keep the subjects you discuss within the realm of possibility.
Discussing your desire to make your dreams come true rather than waiting and hoping shows initiative and drive for success.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Don’t get lost talking too much about yourself and your aspirations—keep your response focused.
- Avoid discussing concepts predicated on luck or chance, such as winning the lottery or traveling to the moon.
- Don’t forget to emphasize that dreams and goals are realized through effort and focus.
- Make sure to avoid pessimism—discuss your dreams as though they’re fully attainable. Stay positive.
- Do not brush off the question with canned answers or abstract ideas. Even if you dream of world peace, it’s not necessarily an impactful response in an interview.
Give the question some thought but don’t stall too much—this is a good opportunity to show you can think on your feet.
Remember what the interviewer is trying to find out about you and tailor your response accordingly. Here’s an example to start you off:
My personal lifelong dreams have always related mostly to traveling throughout different parts of the world. Our first focus is on our kids’ college funds, but if everything continues developing as expected, my wife and I are hoping to spend some of our golden years abroad on Europe.
This answer is grounded in mature, realizable goals. Personal dreams are discussed and related to goals which are likely to have come about later in life. A sensible order of priorities is established as well, making for a well-rounded response.