How To Answer The Job Interview Question: “What Are Your Career Goals?”



When i was 3, i remember my teacher once asked the class what we wanted to be when we grew up. A variety of responses flew across the classroom ranging from pilots, doctors, engineers and all those “enviable” titles probably inspired by their parents’ professions.

But amidst the banter of responses, one seemingly odd feedback caught my teacher’s attention. She briskly made her way towards me and cheekily asked, “Could you please repeat that?” as if she heard it wrong the first time.

I looked up at her and innocently blurted out without a care in the world, “Spiderman!”

The whole class roared into laughter and I just sat there confused. To me, that was who I genuinely wanted to be in my adult life.

This was a resolution, brought about by the accumulation of weeks’ worth of binge-watching spiderman cartoon episodes, that resulted in me subconsciously getting attached to its catchy theme song to-date.

Despite the cringe-worthy experience, l learnt a very valuable lesson that has helped me a lot in my adult life and that is SPIDERMAN DOES NOT EXIST!

Same applies to whenever the question “What are your career goals?” is brought up in any job interview. Please keep your personal goals to yourself.

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Forget mentioning about the weight loss program you plan to undertake or about opening up a boutique business because you read ‘somewhere’ that it can make one a millionaire in exactly 6 months.

To effectively answer such a question, you need to distinguish between personal goals and professional goals. What your interviewer is interested in between the two, is the latter.

Furthermore, it should be related to the job that you are currently being interviewed for.

The latter can either be categorized into two i.e short and long term goals related to the job.

Some of the examples may include:

  • Going back to school to further one’s education.

  • Adding more skills through job experience and added responsibility.
  • Position growth from a supervisory role to a managerial role.


My immediate goal is to enhance my customer service skills through the added responsibilities encompassed within the job description.

However, I eventually want to resume studies on management so that in future I can be able to manage my own team of customer service representatives.


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