6. “What are your goals?”

A great movie example for how to answer this interview question is suggested by Avatar (2009) in the different goals desired by Jake Sully, the injured Marine veteran. One of his early goals is to get the surgery he wants to regain the use of his legs. To do that, he needs to get specific information to the Colonel about the natives and the planet. Furthermore, as he is introduced to the elders of the tribe he tells them he wants to learn from them. So he has multiple goals, all simultaneously true. Because you probably have multiple goals too, how do you select which one(s) to share with your interviewer?

Good Interview Answers for this Popular Interview Question

To reply to this frequently asked top ten interview question, follow the information below. Here’s the interviewer’s side of what they want to hear (and don’t want to hear) in response to this question.

Alternate versions of this question include:

  • “Tell me where you see yourself in a few years.”
  • “What are your goals, short term and long term?”
  • “How would working here meet your goals for your career?”

Your answer should be:

  • balance between showing drive and realistic
  • either general or more specific can create positive responses from interviewers
  • perhaps something that indicates the next natural job progression
  • perhaps include further certification or education in your field
  • include focus on value you are creating for organization
  • your desire to continue to learn and grow and take on more responsibility

Your answer should not be:

  • anything that indicates a desire to leave the company, start own business,
  • something potentially not doable within organization
  • perceived as a threat, such as “want your job”
  • unrealistic

Here’s How to Create Your Answer:

First of all,identify a goal that you want that is also something that they want and is of benefit to them. Even though this question sounds like they want to know about you, your answer will be more effective if it is also about something they want.

Example #1

“My immediate goal is to begin working here and become a valued team member in this department. Also, my long-term goal will be to grow into a position of greater responsibility. Furthermore, where that would be would depend on where my skills would be most needed by the company.”

Example #2

“First of all, my short term goal for the next nine months to the year is to make the inner circle club of top sales performers. Also longer term, I would be looking for increased opportunities to continue to  grow my skills and enhance my value to the organization.”

Example #3

“My immediate goal is to become one of the best nurse’s aides you have here. In time, I know I would have to go back to school to become an LPN and I would plan to do that by fitting part time classes in around my shift schedule.”


Finally, to further improve your own answer to this question, get immediate access to the “WHAT’S RIGHT WITH YOU?” Guide in the Hollywood Movie Method Job Winning Series. This Guide includes 12 sample answers given by real people for this question. You will discover ratings for each answer that will help you quickly refine your own answer to be even more effective.

This Guide also includes samples and complete how to answer training for even more questions you face in your job interviews.

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