Job Interview Question & Answer: What Are Your Plans for the Future?
Why Do Hiring Managers Ask this Question During Job Interviews?
Interviewers ask “What are your goals for the future?” to determine if a candidate wants to stay in a position long-term and could be successful in the role. Having an idea of the applicant’s career plans helps managers decide who will best suit the job. A potential hire whose goals match the company’s progression would be a good fit.
How to Answer the Question Effectively
If asked about future goals during the interview process, offer a response that aligns with the company if possible. To do this, job hopefuls should research the values and mission of the business. Reaching out to current employees might provide some insight on how the job tends to progress.
Avoid talking too much about personal goals, family plans, or money. These answers may be true, but are likely not relevant to the company. Also, stick to objectives which are attainable in a reasonable timeframe or will not impact employment.
Topics for Answering “What are Your Plans for the Future?”
To stand out in the hiring process, applicants should reply within the context of the job they want. While it is great to be specific to the company, also think of skills that are vital to any career. Favorable responses often relate to:
- Becoming a leader at your place of employment.
- Mastering an essential skill, such as writing or time management.
- Meeting or exceeding expectations, like yearly sales numbers.
The following examples can help those who feel lost when asked “What are your future goals?” in a job interview. Remember, a response must focus on your own experiences and not be rehearsed or memorized.
Sample Answer 1 – Fashion Retail Worker
“My future goals involve learning as much as I can until I eventually take on a leadership role. I prefer to work with others, and I believe that I could thrive as a leader if given the chance. I would love the opportunity to manage a team and shape them into successful workers.”
Sample Answer 2 – Restaurant Cook
“In a couple years, I hope to have sharpened my talents working in the back of house. I want to use my expertise to be a mentor to others. Hopefully, I can start training new employees as well. This might give me the practice I need to someday be a head chef.”
Sample Answer 3 – Entry-Level Candidate
“Being new to the industry, I’d like to gain valuable insight and experience. That way, I’d become more familiar with the field. The skills I could learn in this job may help me advance my career and teach me about myself as a professional.”
The Bottom Line
Hiring managers who ask “What are your future plans?” are trying to get a sense of the candidate’s long-term career goals. Replying to the question is simple if you focus on:
- Matching your goals to the values of the company.
- Avoiding answers that imply you won’t work in the position for long.
- Basing responses on job-related goals instead of personal plans.
- Discussing your future in the industry.