“What are your long-term goals?” is a common interview question.

“What are your long-term goals?” is a common interview question.

A long-term goal is an end goal that is meant to be reached by reaching a number of smaller goals over a long period of time, like five to ten years or more. Many professionals set long-term goals to create a clear path of smaller goals and opportunities that lead to their success and happiness. In an interview, you might be asked about your long-term goals and how they fit with the company you’re talking to. To get ready for this question, you can think about your long-term goals before an interview.

In this article, we talk about why potential employers want to know what your long-term goals are and how to answer the question in a good way.

Why companies want to know what your long-term goals are

Many possible employers may want to hire someone who wants to move up in an organization and learn skills that will help them become a future leader in their field. They may ask this question to figure out how likely it is that you will do well at the company and stay there for a long time. Employers can tell if you are a good fit for a job by how you describe the roles, responsibilities, and skills you want to have in the next five to ten years.

This question also gives employers a chance to see how good a potential employee is at setting goals, such as by seeing how well they can find goals that are attainable, predict problems, and set smaller goals that are related to the overall goal. Showing that you have good long-term goals is a good way to show that you are qualified.

What to say when someone asks, “What are your long-term goals?”

In your answer, you should talk about your long-term goals, the steps you’ve already taken to reach them, and the steps you plan to take. You will also have to explain how the job you are interviewing for can help you reach those goals. Here are the steps you need to take to make a response.

1. Say what your long-term career goal is

First, you need to give a clear description of your long-term professional goals. The best way to do this is with the help of the SMART goals framework. With this strategy, you need to be clear about your goals, set measurable milestones along the way so you can keep track of your progress, and make sure your goals are attainable and reasonable. This method can also help you make sure that your goals are relevant to your career.

2. Explain what you’ve already done to get there.

To show that you’re serious and reasonable about your long-term goals, you’ll need to talk about what you’ve done so far to reach them. Talk about some of the things on your resume, like your education or early jobs, that have helped you reach your long-term goals. This step boosts your credibility by showing that you are committed and determined to plan and choose the right steps to reach your long-term goals.

3. Describe the steps you will take.

After describing the steps you’ve taken so far to reach your long-term goals, you’ll need to explain your plan for the future and how you plan to reach your goals. Talk about your ideal next job or some of the next steps you want to take in your career. This step gives context and shows that you have a well-thought-out long-term plan that you are fully committed to following until you reach your goal.

4. Talk about how this job or business helps you reach your long-term goal.

After talking about your long-term goals and what you’ve done and planned in the past, you can show the interviewer that the organization they work for is the perfect place for you to reach your goals. Maybe the job you’re interviewing for is your next dream job, or maybe the next step up is the job you’ll get after this one. This step will show that your long-term progress will not only help you, but also help the business.

How to talk about your long-term goals during an interview

In addition to specific steps for writing your answer, you can also think about the following tips to improve your answer and interviewing experience:

Show that you have the same values as the company.

The first step is to want to stay with a company for a long time, but the potential employer also needs to see that you are the right person to do that. Your long-term career goals should show that you have the right kind of personality and work ethic for that company, showing that you are a good long-term fit. Research the company ahead of time to find out what kind of people they like to hire, and then show how you fit that profile.

Try hard, but don’t expect too much.

A potential employer is definitely looking for ambition in your answer, but you should also show that you have a level head and are realistic. If you show that your goals are reasonable and doable, you can show that you know what short-term and long-term goals you can achieve.

Be excited about the part.

Employers want to hire people who are both personally and professionally interested in their work. When you talk to a potential employer about your long-term goals, it’s important to let them know that you want to grow and improve your skills within the company. If you get the job, this tip can help you show how committed you are.

How to answer

Here are some answers to give you ideas for your own:

Example 1

“My long-term goal is to be in charge of a company’s sales department. I hope to do that by first being in charge of a smaller team in the next two to three years and then getting good enough results after another two years to be considered for department manager. I’ve been getting ready for this for the past year by taking sales classes, and I’m going to take a management class soon. The sales department of your company is very well-run, and I think it would be the best place for me to reach my goals.”

Example 2:

“In the long run, I want to be in charge of writing for a TV show. In the next two years, I’ll have to work on a writing team and make work that will get me considered for higher-level roles when new shows are being made. This is why I got my bachelor’s degree in creative writing, and this fall I will start my master’s degree in screenwriting. Your TV station is the perfect place for me to succeed because you have always given young writers a chance.”

Example 3:

“In the long run, I want to be a full stack developer and work on a big social media platform. I know that to reach that goal, I need to fully master both back-end and front-end development. I plan to learn both within the next three years by getting professional experience and completing different learning modules. I already knew about back-end development from college and my last job. I plan to learn more about front end development over the next year so I can be just as good at back end development. Working as a junior front-end developer for your company will help me get there and put me on the path to becoming a full stack developer.”

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