Good Goals

in General Discussion edited January 2014
I'm in the process of interviewing for jobs and of course, one of the big questions I'm asked is what my goal is. Unfortunately, if I were to be honest, I'd have to say "I'm just looking for something that will pay my bills and give me health benefits until I've saved enough money to go back for my Masters." I'm looking at jobs that will give me some experience in the "real world" and don't really care to find a career job at this point. However, I have a feeling that if I go into an interview and say that I'll only be staying with the company for a year or two and then I want to move on, they probably won't hire me. Plus, I've never been the goal-setting type, I just like to do my best and see what happens.

So what are some good-sounding goals for these situations? At this point, I usually make up some nice-sounding platitudes like, "Oh, I want to find a good company where I can really work hard and move up the chain, gain some experience, utilize previous experience, etc." But I don't feel like that's really any good. So, to get to the point, I'd love any suggestions that have worked for you. Thanks!


  • Reply 1 of 10
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    The same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world!
  • Reply 2 of 10
    naderfannaderfan Posts: 156member
  • Reply 3 of 10
    johnqjohnq Posts: 2,763member
    Just lie.

    Lying is the only way to get anywhere in life.

    I would know, I don't lie. And I am relatively nowhere.

    At some point, one has to realize that coworkers/bosses are not friends. You can be friendly. But they will rarely be there for you when you need them.

    That said, they tend to not to want to hear your true opinions. So many people plan plan plan and and any sense that you are living day to day will make you a pariah. (Because it upsets their worldview that all the things that are so vitally important to them just might be unnecessary to still be a happy person).

    Yet day to day is more realistic (with some unavoidable or prudent, planning still being necessary).

    But I have yet to meet coworkers/bosses that actually understand that one can live a wonderful life without having all the typical bullshit plans and "stages" and trappings that they themselves have (or try to have).

    Not sure if I'm explaining it right. It's actually not a negative thing but it sounds like it. There is a certain game to play.

    It is more like I am not wanting to spoil their view of the world.

    Like if someone says "Hi, how are you?" they really want to just hear "Pretty good, how about yourself?" and not "Well, my unemployment is running out, I have a bitch of a zit from stress, my TV is dying and I can't afford to go to see my fiancé."
  • Reply 4 of 10
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    This is the classical question. But for some jobs, I find this question quite stupid sometimes.

    For example, I introduced myself to the president of the university to become a "Chef de Clinique" wich means medical teacher, and he asked me this question. I replied to him, that Chef de Clinique was a necessary step in a career of surgeon (wich was an evidence). He make me a moral lesson about my teacher duties. He also asked me to change my curriculum vitae.

    This is the only time i saw him, and it was sufficiant to me.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Interviews are to a certain extant an exercise in formalism. That is, it's less about the content and more about the presentation. After all, they've seen your resume, so they know if you're technically qualified.

    What the interviewer is usually looking for is how you "come across". Are you well spoken? Do you seem reasonably confident in yourself? Can you think on your feet? Do you know how to be appropriate? Do you give off any scary vibes?

    You'd be amazed at how many people show up for interviews poorly dressed, apparently hung over, and acting like they never gave a single thought to the fact that somebody might be asking them questions.

    That being the case, you should think of the "what are your goals" question not as a solicitation of your actual goals but as an opportunity to demonstrate that you are smart enough, and have taken the process seriously enough, to have anticipated this question and prepared for it.

    A standard rap might go something like:

    "I'm hoping to have a chance to develop my skills as a (whatever), because in the long run I intend to (do thing that is supported by skill). I'm particularly eager to have a chance to (different whatever), which is one of the reasons I'm applying for this job. My understanding is that (this place of business) is a leader/innovator/generally involved in (something to do with different whatever) so it would be a great opportunity for me to work in the field. I think that my enthusiasm for (one or the other of the whatevers, or both, or some new comprehensive phrase) would make me a great fit for this job. I hope to be able to one day (lofty goal with at least a passing relationship to whatever) and I know that (this place of business) would be a great start/real step up/critical component of that goal (depending on where you're at with your career).

    And for God's sake lie about how long you intend to stay.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    giaguaragiaguara Posts: 2,724member
    geeezh, I thought this thread was about soccer ...

    addabox' suggestion to a standard lie looks pretty good...
  • Reply 7 of 10
    naderfannaderfan Posts: 156member
    Thanks for the advice!
  • Reply 8 of 10
    mattjohndrowmattjohndrow Posts: 1,618member
    tell him you are looking for experience, and not a career job, he'll understand

    if that doesn't work, lie.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    curiousuburbcuriousuburb Posts: 3,325member
    I'm going to buck the trend and preach Honesty, if only by selective omission at times.

    "I'm looking to build experience and grow since I see learning as a lifelong process. At some point, I'd like to get my Masters so that I can offer more. I'm eager to see what I can build here to develop my skills further."

    - Dates not specified. if pressed, lean on the 'develop here' more than 'Masters by x date'

    - Everybody likes to think they have some wisdom/best practices to share. This strokes that tummy, yet is truthful insofar as most good employers and employees should mutually grow and improve in the right environment.

    You'll get bonus points for honesty about your long-term goals.

    Some employers might even respect you more if they can see their investment has growth potential (ie. potential managers might have better promotion prospects if they're working towards an MBA too).

    Some of the best employers will even offer to subsidize education that makes you a more valuable employee.

    I wish more were like that.

    As for tips on Interview questions and suggested answers,

    try the Virtual Interviews at Monster

    or check the links at sites like this or that or here

    Do your research. Find out who their clients or competitors are.

    If you're not interested in them, why should they be interested in you?

    Be prepared.
  • Reply 10 of 10
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    I know I would be impressed with someone that wanted to seek more education in a few years. The interviewer may see as building a relationship with someone that in the future will be better educated and willing to come back.
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