Career Goals Interview Questions

Ask career goals questions to figure out if your candidates’ professional aspirations match your open role and company objectives.

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Why career goal interview questions say it all

Drilling down on your candidates’ career goals help you ace hiring decisions, increase acceptance rates, identify candidates for other roles and build complete candidate profiles. 

Pretty cool, right?

Whether your candidate wants to boost their knowledge or build their career path, these questions will help you figure out if they really are your dream candidate. 

Career goals interview questions

  • What do you hope to learn more about?
  • If you could take classes in anything, what would it be?
  • What are your future career goals? How are you gonna ace it?
  • What skills or knowledge are you lacking for your current role?
  • Why did you decide to change roles?
  • What are the ultimate things you’re looking for in your next role?
  • How do you think this role aligns with your goals?
  • Would you rather become an expert in your field or broaden your knowledge? Why?
  • A project with familiar tasks that you get to lead v a team project with unfamiliar tasks: Which would you choose and why?
  • What would getting this job mean to you?

How to ace career goals interview questions

  • Use their answers: Use your candidates’ answers to build employee learning and development programs. You can also use their answers to design career paths based on what motivates them.
  • Make sure their goals align: Some candidates want to improve in what they’re already doing, but that might not be relevant to the new role.
  • Celebrate learning: Some candidates will have a genuine desire to go back into education in the future. Ask them why and share ways your company can help.
  • Be open to unusual career paths: If your candidates’ plans seem unusual, ask more questions to figure it out. Remember, employees with mixed academic and work backgrounds are often superstars.

Candidates to avoid

  • They don’t connect with company goals: If candidates’ career goals don’t align with your company’s, they might not stick around for long. 
  • They don’t have any goals: Candidates who can’t set goals, are unlikely to really care about the role.
  • Quick, generic answers: If a candidate can’t describe specific situations, they’re probably trying to avoid answering the question. Ask follow-up questions to dig deeper. 
  • Unrealistic expectations: Entry-level candidates might have unrealistic expectations, but more experienced pros should know for sure what’s possible.

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