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What Is Your Goal? What Is Your Career Objective?

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This is yet another quintessential interview question. Most often, candidates are caught off-guard when such a question is darted at them.

Though, it is an open-ended question that is often asked by all sorts of interviewers wide across various industries but it has a solid reason attached to it.

“What is your career goal? Have you set your goals? What is your career objective?”

The primary reason to bounce off such a question is to check an interviewee’s level of self-awareness and his planning skills.

Therefore, when you are asked about what are your career goals, it is the time to communicate your short and long term plans with the interview – the interviewer would want to learn how stable you are in your professional/personal life, how you plan to achieve your goals and how you will grow with the company that you are working for.

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This question can better be explained in a form of an example:

Interviewer: “What is your goal in life? What is your objective in life?”

Let us assume that the interviewer is looking for a candidate who has long range planning skills and believes in working in a methodical environment.

Interviewee 1: “I wish to become a marketing manager with quite a large team to handle and lead.”

Clearly, this answer seems to be too shallow and narrow.

Interviewee 2: “Of late, I have been so much tied up with work, that it has escaped my thoughts to give my life a vision/personal goal to work upon.”

Though, it is nice to hear that the candidate is a hard-working individual but the mere fact that he hasn’t thought about a short term goal or a long term goal is utterly in bad taste. It highlights that he has no vision and plan to achieve things.

Interviewee 3: “I

wish to do my MBA and later on, set up my own business.”

It is an honest answer. However, no interviewer would be keen to appoint a candidate that wishes to retire from the job soon and start of a venture on his own. He would want the candidate to stick around for some time.

How to answer the question – “What is your career objective?”?

There are a few basic things that you need to keep in mind while answering such questions:

If you happen to be a methodical person who seems to plan for everything under the sun, then such a question would be a ‘cake-walk’ for you. However, if you are one of those who lead an un-planned life, you need to be prepared.

FOCUS: You need to contemplate and figure out what exactly you are looking for. If ‘getting a job’ is your short term goal then what kind of job interests you? What do you plan to achieve once you secure the job? Have you chalked out a career graph keeping in mind the job under consideration?

Start off by planning small goals and draft a career graph for yourself. Be ‘employer-oriented’.

Draft the answer well in advance: Though, it is difficult to flesh out an answer but if you prioritize things, you would be able to come up with an appropriate statement.

Example of good career objective statement as an answer: “I believe long terms goals are achieved when we break them into smaller achievable goals. My short term goal is to get a job in an organization that is progressive and performance driven.  I wish to join a competent team wherein I can add value to projects and in turn, take home learning as well. My long term plan is to secure a challenging position as XXX in the organization and deliver my best.”

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