Job Interview Question & Answer: What Steps Will You Take To Achieve Your Goals?
Why Do Employers Ask About Goals?
“What will it take to attain your goals?” is one of the most common interview questions for a reason. Responses let interviewers assess candidates’ long-term plans and ability to set realistic goals. Job hopefuls’ answers also help employers gauge how their personal goals fit with company goals, their preparation and ambition, and how long interviewees plan to commit to this position.
How to Answer
When an interview question is as packed with information as this one, planning your response is important. Consider these major aspects of your answer to reply in a way that appeals to employers:
- Strike a balance: The hardest part of answering this question is balancing ambition with reality. Hiring managers need to know applicants can follow through on their plans. After all, they want workers that finish their projects. The best responses mix excitement and passion with thoroughness and practicality.
- Show self-awareness: To answer this question well, have a clear idea of your personal goals and how they benefit the company. Candidates should focus on objectives that also help their employers, such as training or certifications, and relate responses to the job they want.
- List specific steps: Choose one or two goals and explain the actions needed to reach them. Getting detailed shows employers you understand what it takes to achieve your vision. Stress long-term commitment to the company as you complete these objectives to help hiring personnel see why you’re a good addition to their team.
Responses to Avoid
Answers inform hiring personnel about job hopefuls’ overall attitude. Arrogant responses, like detailing plans to make CEO within five years, will make a bad impression. Having no goals is the other main way to answer this question incorrectly. Employers need to know applicants have ambitions and that this position is more than just a job to them.
Responding to “What steps will you take to achieve your goals?” is easier than you might think. First, choose one or two objectives that also benefit your potential employer. Then, lay out a specific plan to achieve them. Keeping your goals work-related, specific, and realistic will help you qualify for the job you want.
Sample Answer 1 – Fashion Retail Worker
“Starting this job as a sales associate would be my first step towards a career in fashion merchandising. I love working with customers and helping them find the outfit that makes them feel great, but my real passion is in branding and creating the displays that make customers think, ‘I want to live in that world.'”
“While working as a sales associate, I plan to earn a visual merchandising design certificate in my spare time, which will take about a year. Afterward, I would love to work with customers and displays to increase our sales and gain experience. My ultimate goal is to move into one of the company’s visual merchandising roles.”
Sample Answer 2 – Grocery Store Position
“My favorite part of every job I’ve ever had is working with people. I find it exciting to help people solve their problems, work more efficiently, or find what they need, so my long-term plans involve making that a larger and larger part of my everyday work.”
“Ultimately, I would love a career in management, but I need a lot of experience to get there. After proving myself as an exemplary employee, my goal is to move into an assistant grocery manager or trainee position here as one becomes available. To refine my skills, I will take online courses to earn a retail management certificate and then a business management degree.”
Sample Answer 3 – Hotel Concierge Job
“After working as a front desk receptionist for three years, taking on the role of a hotel concierge is the next step in my career goals. Since a concierge links guests with the community, filling this role is a way for me to pursue unparalleled service in a larger capacity.”
“As a concierge, I would apply for Les Clefs d’Or membership after five years. Membership would be useful for the prestige it brings to our hotel and access to the Golden Keys’ education resources. I want to remain at the cutting edge of the industry and take on increasing responsibility here, and this position and training would help me achieve that goal.”