Job Interview Question & Answer: What Are You Looking for in Terms of Career Development?
Why Employers Want To Know
Employers want to hire goal-oriented, ambitious workers whose career visions align with the needs of the business. Managers ask about plans for advancement or career growth to find out if a candidate intends to stay at the company for the long-term. They want to understand your professional motivations and what you want to achieve with the work you do.
How to Answer
Workers who want to excel in their field and invest time and thought into their own advancement tend to perform better in interviews. Hiring managers like to see applicants motivated by the idea of career growth. Show the employer you have clear, defined goals. Answer in detail and discuss reasonable, realistic professional aspirations so you appear focused and responsible.
What Not to Mention
Avoid being overeager in your response. Managers might hesitate to hire someone whose ambition may disrupt teams or seem threatening to coworkers. Also, avoid boasting or focusing on high-paying salaries and titles, as you may appear unprofessional. Applicants should prepare for this question carefully because not having a clear answer can give the impression that you lack career goals.
Tips for Answering “What Are Your Career Development Goals?”
When an interviewer asks, “What are you looking for in terms of career development?” provide an honest response and include solid details that explain your intentions with that company or field. Below are some additional tips that can help you answer this common interview question:
- Discuss where you are currently in your career and where you hope to be a few years from now.
- Focus on one or two specific skills or experiences you wish to gain from this specific role.
- List a couple of your short-term and long-term goals and explain how they relate to the company. Describe how you hope to achieve them while working in this position.
- Draw the focus away from what the job does for you and pivot it towards how your goals align with the company’s mission or will benefit the business down the road.
Sample Responses to “What Are You Looking for in Terms of Advancement Potential and Career Growth?”
Need more help to prepare your response to this common interview question? Read the sample answers below to help you think about your career growth and advancement potential, so you can develop an answer of your own:
Sample Answer 1 – Insurance Agent
“Early on in my banking career, I discovered I wanted something more involved than a basic nine-to-five job. The financial work I did before was stressful, but I picked up crucial organization and customer service skills. Now, I want to do more for clients. With a role in insurance, I can meet people’s needs, encourage them to invest, and achieve enduring professional satisfaction in different forms.”
Sample Answer 2 – Sales Associate at a Jewelry Store
“My ultimate career goal is to become a jeweler, so I want to learn as much as I can about the industry, and hands-on experience is my favorite learning strategy. On my way to becoming a jeweler, I want to understand how pieces are made, marketed, and sold. This position is my ideal starting point before beginning classes at a trade school next year.”
Things to Keep in Mind
When preparing for a question like, “What are you looking for in terms of advancement potential and career growth?” consider the company and role you’re applying for and whether it aligns with your goals. Research the business before the interview to decide if the job supports your professional aspirations. Employers always appreciate informed, polite, and honest applicants.