“What kind of job do you want?”
During an interview, a potential employer might ask a variety of questions. One of these is, “What do you want from your job?” To answer this question correctly, you need to know what the employer is looking for. “What kind of job do you want?”
This article explains why employers want to know what you want out of a job and gives tips and examples for how to answer this question.
Why your boss cares about what you want from your job
When an employer asks what you want from your job, they may be looking for a number of things. The question will tell you what they want to hear from your answer. When an employer asks you what you want from your job, they may really want to know:
- “What did you want to get out of your last job, and how did you get it or even more?”
- “What do you want from us as an employer in terms of your growth, the work environment, and the culture?”
- What do you think our goals for this job are?
How to talk about what you want from your job when asked
To give a good answer to a question about what you want to get out of your job, do these things:
1. Determine the true question
The first step to giving the right answer to “What are your job expectations?” is to figure out what the interviewer is really asking. Look for clues in your conversation to help you figure out what the interviewer wants to know.
2. Be truthful
In an interview, you should tell the truth when you answer this question. If you answer this question honestly, it will help the interviewer decide if you would be a good fit for their team.
If the interviewer asks what you did at your last job, don’t try to make them sound bigger than they were. If the interviewer asks you what you want from them as an employer, you should list the things that are most important to you in a job. If the interviewer wants to know if you know what is expected of you in this role, explain the job duties in your own words based on the job description.
3. Answer in a good way.
Whenever you answer a question in an interview, you should always say something good. You should always think about the good things that happened and the best parts of the jobs you’ve had in the past. You shouldn’t talk about what was hard or scary about your old jobs. Having a positive attitude about your past experiences shows the interviewer that you can find the good in any situation and gives them peace of mind that you won’t say bad things about their company in the future.
4. Answer directly and give details.
It is very important to answer questions about the job in a clear and detailed way. If you answer this question in detail, you and the employer will be able to talk about what you both want from the job. If the interviewer asks what you expected from your last job, give a specific example of how you met or exceeded those expectations. If the interviewer asks what you want from them, tell them briefly why the things you chose are important to you.
What do you want from your job?
Here are some ways to answer the question “What do you want from your job?” in different interview situations:
Questions about prior job expectations
“As a senior sales representative, my old boss wanted me to show through special projects and tasks that I could be a leader. This is something I could do. For example, my boss chose me to be a coach for new sales reps as they started their jobs. In this role, I gave new sales reps feedback and advice while still doing what was expected of me.
This is a good answer because it shows that you met your employer’s expectations for your job duties and that they trusted you enough to give you special projects and tasks that let you show your leadership skills. To back up your answer, you give a specific example of what was expected and how you met that expectation.
What do you want the business to do for you?
“I want the company to give me a job where I can help the team, be appreciated for what I do, have a stable job, and have the chance to grow with the company. I’m especially excited to be the receptionist and help the legal team with whatever they need. But when I finish my degree, I’m also looking forward to becoming a paralegal.”
This answer is good because it shows the employer that you expect to be a valuable team member and that you also plan to stay with their company as your career grows.
Questions about what you know about what the company needs from you.
“From what I’ve read in the job description and what we’ve talked about, I think the company wants me to meet certain sales goals and targets while also providing customer service to existing clients. In my last job, I showed that I could meet and beat sales goals by always being a top performer and keeping strong relationships with customers to keep them from leaving.
This answer is good because it shows that you know what the employer wants in a good candidate and gives examples of how you have met those expectations in the past.
What to say when asked, “What do you want out of your job?”
Here are some ways to talk about what you want from the job when asked at an interview:
Learn about the job.
You can plan answers that show you are the best person for the job by reading the job description to find out what the employer is looking for in a candidate.
Be ready with answers that are specific.
When asked about what you want from a job, you can give the best answer if you know what you want to talk about ahead of time. Think about what your past employers wanted from you and how you met those needs or went above and beyond. Think about what you want from an employer and what you think they will want from you in the job you are applying for.
When asked what you want from a job, you should be honest. If the interviewer asks what you expected from your previous jobs, you should answer in a way that helps you set realistic goals for your new job. If the interviewer asks what you want from your potential employer, it’s just as important to have reasonable goals that they can meet.