Many employers look to hire knowledgeable, goal-oriented employees. These types of individuals tend to be quite productive and a great help towards reaching, and often exceeding, company goals. As such, some interview questions are targeted towards determining applicants' career focus.
When interviewers ask questions such as, "How does a person progress in your field" they are trying to gauge your understanding of your career field and its hierarchy. You not only want to demonstrate an understanding of these things, but also a plan to help you reach your career goals.
Points to Emphasize
There are a few points that you will want to emphasize in your endeavors.
· Clearly layout a pathway that individuals take towards advancement in your career field.
· Articulate your plan of advancement, including your end goal or position.
· Make sure to draw a correlation between your plans and the job you are applying for.
· Show enthusiasm about continually working towards your career goals.
A clear, intelligible answer will show that you have studied and analyzed the industry to formulate the best pathway for your success. Such an answer can help you to stand out amongst other applicants.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Along with things to mention, there are a few pitfalls that you should try to avoid.
· Do not provide a general answer of "working hard" and "completing tasks efficiently" that could be applied to any job or industry.
· Even if you are not completely aware of the progression path, do not make something up.
· Stay away from describing a path that shows no relation to the job you are applying for.
· Do not elaborate on how difficult progression is in your field, even if this is true.
A good answer to this question might sound like this:
In my field an individual begins in the general sales position and progresses to sales manager, where they oversee the work of sales professionals and assist in securing sales. From sales manager, one can progress to a regional sales manager, then a national sales manager and eventually a Vice President position. As a sales manager I am currently seeking to advance to a regional sales position, and believe my experience, education and strong sales and administrative skills make me a proper candidate for this position.
However you formulate your answer, ensure that you draw a clear picture of the path, where you are on it and how the position fits in your plan.