Interview questions such as, "What is a typical career path in this field or organization" have grown in popularity over the last few years. Interviewers are beginning to see the importance of asking "informational" questions, or rather questions that help to determine an interviewee's mindset and work style.
When interviewers asks the aforementioned question they are really gauging how you view the industry and to determine how dedicated you are to your career. Answering this question correctly and having a clear plan can help to set you apart from other applicants.
Points to Emphasize
In providing a proper answer to this question, you will want to emphasize a few key points.
· Detail a common career path within your field.
· Describe what steps you are taking towards advancement and state your end goal.
· Draw a clear correlation between your career path and the position that you are applying for.
· Highlight any skills, experience or knowledge that you have that will help you to succeed in both your plan and the job.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Though there is no one right answer, there are a few mistakes that you will want to avoid when answering this question.
· Do not draw a broad conclusion that could be applied in any position or industry.
· Even if you have experienced some difficulty in your endeavors, do not elaborate on your struggle; this can create questions about your ability to fulfill the position.
· Do not describe a path that is not related to or could be accomplished without the inclusion of the job you are applying for.
· Do not just make up an answer that you believe the interviewer want to hear.
A proper answer to questions related to advancement within your career path could sound like this:
A typical career path would be beginning at an entry level customer service position. Individuals could then progress to shift manager, taking on management duties of both the store and employees. They could then become store managers, progress to regional managers and national managers after that. As a customer service professional with years of experience and strong leadership skills, I plan to secure a shift manager position such as this, and follow the path to become a national manager and eventually advance into a corporate position.
You want your answer to clearly show your understanding of the industry, your plan for your career, and how you feel the position fits in your plan.