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How to Best Describe Your Career Goals in An Interview

We’ve all experienced the moment of panic when someone asks us what we like to do. Even though we know the answer, we find ourselves scrambling to say something intelligible that doesn’t make us sound crazy. A similar phenomenon happens in the interview process.

One of the questions employers love to ask is, “what are your career goals?” It seems simple until you’re under the pressure of the moment and suddenly you have no idea what you’re doing with your life. Regrettably, this delay can have serious effects on your chances of getting hired.

Instead of getting tongue-tied, follow these steps to ace the interview question and show your potential employer you know where you want to go.


1. Start with knowing your goals

This seems obvious, but it’s always good to start at the beginning. You can’t articulate what you don’t know, so take some time to consider where you actually want to go. Whether you’re starting in your career or making a transition to something new, you have some idea of what you are working toward.

if needed, journal your thoughts. Write down where you are, what you like, and what you’re hoping to accomplish. By working through the process, your goal may appear and surprise you.


2. Tailor your goals ahead of time

Before each interview, you want to be prepared to directly tie your goal to the position. All life goals are interesting, but telling the interviewer your true dream is to travel and not work isn’t really what they want. Tailor your dreams to the position and be ready to show how they’re connected.


3. Use examples of how you’ve grown

Take a moment to talk about your career achievements and how they pushed you to where you are. This allows the interviewer to get to know you more and understand your career path.


4. Bring it home

Finally, it’s time to explain your plan for achieving the goal and, more importantly, how the position you’re applying for will help you get there. Thinking this through prior to the interview is advantageous for more than just your chances. Instead of aimlessly looking for work, you can evaluate whether or not this is a position that can help you get closer to your goal.


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At Sterling Personnel, we know how challenging the job search can be, but we’re here to help you get to work faster. We connect candidates in the Texas Gulf Coast region to the best companies, and we can help you. Search our jobs to get started today.