Tough Interview Question - What are your short-term goals?

What are your short-term goals?

Similar interview questions:
What do you plan to accomplish in the next two years?
Where do you see yourself in the near term?
What are your near-term goals?
What do you see as your next position after this one?

Why the interviewer is asking this question:
The interviewer wants to know if you have a clear and realistic view of the position you will be taking and where it will logically lead. If there is a disconnect between your short-term goals and what the employer can offer, it often comes out in the answer to this question.

The best approach to answering this question:
Focus on developing yourself to be the best for the specific role for which you are interviewing, in prep for taking on greater responsibilities, either within the role or as the entry point to the next level role. Keep it professional, not personal.

An example of how to best answer this question for experienced candidates:
"In the near term, I am working to further develop my core competencies, both through on-the-job experience and professional development. My goal is to become the very best at my role within my employer so that I can both perform higher level duties as needed, as well as preparing myself for future advancement opportunities. As an example of this, I recently took a lead role on a project…"

An example of how to best answer this question for entry level candidates:
"I am working to make the most of my remaining schooling by not only taking the classes required for my major, but also as many other 400 level elective courses as possible. This classroom experience, combined with my recent internship experience, have developed me to make an immediate contribution, which is my near term objective. After starting my new role, I plan to study for industry certification, with a goal to complete it within the first year of work. I would like to become the one of the best in my role in 2-3 years…"

An example of how you should not answer this question:
"Well, I'd be lying if I didn't say my goal is simply working for the weekend. My current job is such a pain that I cannot wait to get out of there by Friday at 5. That's why I'm looking, hoping that this job will be better than the crappy job I have now."


Remember to answer each interview question behaviorally, whether it is a behavioral question or not. The easiest way to do this is to use an example from your background and experience. Then use the S-T-A-R approach to make the answer a STAR: talk about a Situation or Task (S-T), the Action you took (A) and the Results achieved (R). This is what makes your interview answer uniquely yours and will make your answer a star!


Further review: know the answers to these Fifty Standard Interview Questions to be fully prepared for your interview!

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