It seems like virtually every interview question has some kind of hidden meaning. It can be difficult to recognize exactly what information the interviewer is trying to uncover. If you are able to figure that out, you can provide a focused and especially strong answer.
One of the trickiest questions you could be asked is, "What are your non-occupational goals in the future This question usually specifies a certain number of years in the future. You may be wondering how this applies to the job. Really, they are trying to find out if anything is going to pull you away from your work before too long. They are trying to make sure the money to train you will be well spent.
Points to Emphasize
There are many ways your answer to this question could create an undesired impression of you. Choose your words carefully.
- Be open. You are not required to go into specific details, or even answer at all, but being open about your future plans encourages trust between you and the interviewer.
- It can be very effective to follow up your answer with reassurance that you are committed and have adequate time to dedicate to the job.
- If your future plans happen to apply, being able to connect them with the job makes for an especially strong answer. For example, you might be interested in starting your own business.
- Display your character. Your non-occupational goals speak volumes about who you are. Show them you are passionate and give everything your 100%.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
The interview questions that seem off topic are often the easiest ones to mess up. There are many pitfalls you can fall into, but you can avoid those mistakes by following these tips.
- Do not just tell them what you think they want to hear. It is not as encouraging as you might think to simply say your plans are to work with their company.
- By the nature of the question, your answer needs to be personal, but it should still be professional. Do not talk about a vacation you plan to take or similar topics unless it applies to your ambitions.
- Downplay any plans that will take you away from the work. The interviewer should not think they will be throwing money away by training you.
- Be brief. It is easy to get carried away when talking about personal things.
The following as an example of a strong answer.
I have always wanted to pursue my painting abilities. I am passionate about my art and I think this job would be a great way to gain relevant experience in the world of fine arts.