skip to Main Content

What are Your Career Goals – Tips to Answer the Interview Question

If there is one question that would almost certainly feature in most job interviews, in one way or another, it has to be the query about your career goals. If you have an interview any time soon, it is imperative to prepare yourself for a question centered around – what are your career goals.

You also need to discern the intent of the employer asking this question. They are attempting to determine how long you might be considering working with the same organization. This also gives them a basic understanding of your career vision, and that you have one, rather than simply travel from job to job. They need to understand if you as a candidate are worth investing in, in the long run.

Understanding your future objectives will also enunciate if the role and the nature of the job that you are applying for, and whether it is truly fitting for your ambitions. So, it is extremely important that you prepare yourself to put your best foot forward when you face the question – what are your career goals.

Here are a few tips on what to keep in mind to answer the question – what are your career goals – appropriately.

Be pertinent to the employer and the organization

When approached with this particular question – what are your career goals – it is important to keep in mind the goals of the company you are being interviewed for. This will help convince the employer that your personal vision and goals are in alignment with that of the organization’s. Be sure to specifically mention a particular skill or role that is not just one that you have long sought to acquire or fulfill but one that will also benefit the role that you are applying for. This is something that will please the employer since it will also contribute to the fulfillment of the company’s needs and vision.

Specify short-term and long-term goals

A key way to ensure that your response comes across as rational and astute is to first chart out precise and clear short-term goals. Then move on to the subsequent long-term objectives. Charting out a logical trajectory like this will tell your interviewer that you have spent time thinking about this and are invested in your career with their company.

Your plan of action

Now that you have your vision in place, don’t stop there. You need to put a plan in place. And preferably an analytical one at that. This will tell the employer that you are truly serious about your own career and growth, as well as your role as an executive of their company. So, provide a concrete plan of action to accomplish the goals that you aspire to fulfill. If you mention that you aim to strengthen a particular skill or ability while you are on the job, also make sure that you mention the steps that you will adopt to ensure that is actualized.

Refrain from unrealistic or inappropriate responses

While it is crucial to keep in mind key facts that you should definitely incorporate in your answer, it is equally vital to chart out all the aspects that you should completely avoid while responding. Not equating your desired salary with your career goals, not setting an unattainable objective, and not providing a response that betrays your aspirations to assume other roles than the one you are applying for a few crucial points to bear in mind while you respond to a question related to – what are your career goals.


In order to make sure that your answer comes across as genuine and coherent, it is essential to practice and prepare yourself, well in advance. Interviews can be very stressful. Even more so when there are multiple people interviewing you. In order to get your point across confidently without any miscommunication, it is imperative that you practice beforehand and truly believe yourself so that when the time comes, you come across as confident and collected while you convince your employer about your career goals.

Responding to a question such as – what are your career goals – requires a considerable amount of tact, practice, research, and insight to ensure that your employer is not left undecided in their decision about you being a right fit for the role you have applied to. These tips will help you prepare to face the panel in your next interview. Doing well in an interview will allow them to assess if you are really invested in the job that you are applying for and that the job is truly congruent with your ambitions. And once the interview is done, and you have done your best to represent yourself, all you can do is stay positive till you receive an answer.

Back To Top