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4. “What are your short term goals?”

This question primarily depends on where you are in your career. A person with 5 years of experience will have different short term goals than a person with no work experience. I’ll give an example for both scenarios. But first, here are some short answers.

Short Answers

“My short term goal is to find a position where I can use the knowledge and strengths that I have. I want to partake in the growth and success of the company I work for.”

“I’ve learned the basics of marketing during my first two years. I want to take the next step by taking on challenging projects. My short term goal is to grow as a marketing analyst.”

“As a program manager, it’s important to understand all areas of the project. Although I have the technical abilities to be successful in my job, I want to learn different software applications that might help in work efficiency.”

“My goal is to always perform at an exceptional level. But a short term goal I have set for myself is to implement a process that increases work efficiency.”

Long Answers

“My short term goal is to learn everything I can about marketing. I want to find a position where I can contribute what I’ve learned through education and to gain real life experience. I believe the next couple of years will be very important to me and my immediate goal is to learn and become skilled in all aspects of marketing.”

“My short term goal is to get into a management position. The last five years of my career, I’ve concentrated on learning and acquiring all the skills needed to perform excellent work. Recently, I’ve taken more responsibilities in management because I eventually want to become a sales manager. I’m excited about the last few assignments I completed because it involved working with vendors and partners while managing a small group of workers. So I hope to be in a management position within a year or two and I feel I’m doing a diligent job by volunteering for extra work to gain more experience.”

The first example is a person straight out of school. Learning is a good short term goal to have because it shows that you will be trying hard in your job. The second example is more detailed because that person has several years of experience. Anybody can say they want a management position, but this candidate is taking it a step further by showing the steps he is taking to achieve the short term goal. Thus, it becomes a stronger answer.

5. “What are your long term goals?”

This question is asked to see how serious a candidate is about his or her career. Some people might not know their long term goals, and some people might have long term goals of becoming rich and retiring early. Those are incorrect answers for this question. The type of answer you want to give is an ambitious answer that shows you really love your career. A good interviewer will read between the lines and find out if a person is going to be a hard worker or just a mediocre one. Being descriptive and shooting for a big goal is something interviewers want to hear.

Short Answer

“I would like to become a director or higher. This might be a little ambitious, but I know I’m smart, and I’m willing to work hard.”

“After a successful career, I would love to write a book on office efficiency. I think working smart is important and I have many ideas. So after gaining more experience, I’m going to try to write a book.”

“I’ve always loved to teach. I like to grow newer employees and help co-workers where ever I can. So in the future, I would love to be an instructor.”

“I want to become a valued employee of a company. I want to make a difference and I’m willing to work hard to achieve this goal. I don’t want a regular career, I want a special career that I can be proud of.”

Long Answer

“My long term goal is to become a partner for a consulting firm. I know the hard work involved in achieving this goal, and I know that many people fail to become a partner. That’s not going to stop me from working hard, learning everything I can, and contributing to a company where I’ll become a valuable asset. I know it’s not a guarantee, but becoming a partner is a long term goal of mine, and I going to work towards this goal throughout my career.”

This example shows a candidate with a big goal. This person identifies the difficulty of the goal and shows the steps required to achieve this goal. Despite the difficulty, this candidate shows he or she will not get discouraged with difficult situations and will never give up. It is a short answer that goes a long way.


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