What Do You Really Want To Do In Life?

In a job interview, you may be asked something along the lines of, “What do you really want to do in life?” When the interviewer asks you this question, he’s checking to make sure that the position you’re applying for is somehow related to your life goals.

While the connection doesn’t have to be exact, knowing that you aren’t taking the job for the sake of a job shows the interviewer that you are interested in the position for a reason.

Points to Emphasize

Your answer to this question should be honest but should also reflect your desire for the job.

  • State how the position you’re applying for will help you reach your overall goals in life.
  • If there is little connection, talk about how the job duties would prepare your character for your future endeavors.
  • Emphasize the qualities of the company you’re applying to work for and how learning from them will help shape your future.
  • If there is a clear connection, specifically state how the job would prepare you for increased responsibility in your desired field.

Mistakes You Should Avoid

If you’re too honest with this question, you may answer incorrectly if you’re not prepared with a clear connection.

To help ensure a positive response, avoid these common pitfalls:

  • Don’t state a desire that has nothing to do with the job you’re applying for.
  • Avoid saying that you want to do exactly what the job is unless there is no room for advancement.
  • Don’t say you really want a higher-level position in the company without stating how the current job will help train you for it.
  • An answer of “I don’t know” can be detrimental as it shows a lack of motivation and focus.

With this answer, you’ll want to avoid stating a desire that is completely divorced from the position or company.

Sample Answers

A great response to a question regarding your life desires can be similar to the following:

I’m very excited about this entry-level opportunity because what I would learn from this position would be invaluable to helping me reach my goals. I hope someday to work in a managerial position where I can use my acquired skills to train new entry-level employees in the same manner as I would be trained.

The hiring manager asks this question to make sure you have a personal interest in the position. Making a connection between it and any future goals will help assure him that you’re invested in the company’s success.

About the Author

LiveCareer Staff Writer

At LiveCareer, we live and breathe the belief that we can help people transform their work lives, and so do our contributors. Our experts come from a variety of backgrounds but have one thing in common: they are authorities on the job market. From journalists with years of experience covering workforce topics, to academics who study the theory behind employment and staffing, to certified resume writers whose expertise in the creation of application documents offers our readers insights into how to best wow recruiters and hiring managers, LiveCareer’s stable of expert writers are among the best in the business. Whether you are new to the workforce, are a seasoned professional, or somewhere in between, LiveCareer’s contributors will help you move the needle on your career and get the job you want faster than you think.


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