Think about your future and where you would like to be in five to 10 years because it's highly likely you'll be asked this question directly. Interviewers are not looking for information about your personal life when they ask about your future plans; they don't want to know if you're planning to have children or get married. They do however use this question to gauge your maturity and your thought processes. In this question, they are trying to glean what is most important to you. You should develop a response that includes continuing education to play a bigger role in the company or about your determination to move into management or become the top salesperson in the firm.
If you are the type of person who prefers an organized way of life, you may find this question a piece of cake to answer. But if you're among the majority of people who let life happen as it comes along, you will probably not have a smooth answer without some forethought.
What are your goals? Think about what you really want. Most successful business people will tell you that a key success factor is the ability to set and achieve goals.
Begin by setting short-term goals. Right now your goal may be to get a job. But what kind of job? And where do you go from there?
Be employer-centered. The employer is looking for someone to come in and solve problems. Since planning is a key factor in this job, think of examples where your planning has affected the results.
Show the future employer that it is not your habit to change jobs frequently. Tell the employer that you are impressed with the team and the work environment. In addition, show that you are enthusiastic about joining the team to meet the challenges and development opportunities in this job. If your CV shows that you changed jobs quite frequently in the past, give reasons and try to ensure that this will not happen in the future.
I have learned that long-term goals are best achieved when I break them into shorter goals. My short-term goal is to find a position that will put me in a forward-moving company with solid performance and future projections. As part of a team, I want to add value and continue to grow the company. My long-term goal will depend on where the company goes. My plan is to move into a position of responsibility where I can lead a team.
Good answer implies, but does not assume that you will stick with the company you are interviewing with, since an interviewer is unlikely to believe that you believe you will be with the company forever. However, the fact that you are willing shows that are you might commit, and the company likes to see people whose short and long term goals have them potentially staying with the company.
My short term goals are to simply break into the field. As a college graduate, I need to start building a strong presence in the industry, working for a company I respect and doing a job that I enjoy. My long term goals are to earn new responsibilities within the company, ultimately reaching higher positions as they open and helping the company succeed in the long term.
Your short and long term goals need to be related. For example, you can't claim your short term goal is to work in technology, but your long term goal is to open your own restaurant. Also, your goals should relate to the job. It's a good idea to focus on intangible qualities of work for example, I would like to work somewhere that makes me happy, instead of more tangible goals, I would like to be CEO of your company.
It's hard to know exactly what someone's goals actually tell the interviewer. Goals are always changing. Most employers ask in order to see if you are going to commit to the company and judge whether or not you have ambition.
I plan to return to school to earn my MBA and have my own consulting business one day. While it pays to be honest, this answer could turn the interview in the wrong direction very quickly. The employer is looking for someone to stick around for the long run, not to stop over on the way to a new career.
Tell the employer how and what you are going to contribute to the company with your career knowledge and experience. You can also mention the achievements and developments you expect in your career. Let the employer know that these can be realized in the job they are going to offer.