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Job Interview Questions Answered


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The best answers to tough job interview questions for job applicants, and Industrial and Organizational Psychology students.

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Job Interview Questions Answered

  1. 1. JOB INTERVIEW QUESTIONS & ANSWERS The following job interview questionsandanswers have been compiledand modified from: and les/RD017%2520Behavioural%2520Competency%2520Based%2520Interview%2520Question%2520B ank_0.doc+&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us I hopethe answers providedin this compilationwill help youdo yourbest in future job interviews!! XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Job Interview Questions and Sample Answers about: CO-WORKERS & SUPERVISORS For the mostpart, the following questionsmay be askedto determine if youare a teamplayer. Even if youknowthe answer, take a few seconds, when askeda difficult question, before youanswer. An interviewer is notexpecting you to havea ready answer. However, the Boy ScoutMotto - Be Prepared - - certainly applies here as well. Oh, never mentionreal names (it’s unethical without permission...), just say “let’s call him John ” or “let’s call her Jane”. How are youa good team player / worker? I havethe ability to work co-operatively within a groupand acrossthe company toachieve ourgoals in an effective, integrative, and respectful manner. I foster a collegiate environment. I understand andam aware of differing needs and viewpoints. Beinga team playeris importantfor a company: Internally – Employeeswork co-operatively togethersharingbest practice, breaking down departmentalbarriers and communicatingfully andopenly on new initiatives and priorities. Externally - The employees within the company work in partnershipswith other bodiesto develop anddeliver joint programmes, research, teaching & learning, procurementand training& development, inthe interests of increasing efficiency, improvingquality, enhancingflexibility and meeting nationalneeds. I am someonewho: Worksco-operatively andis a supportivememberof the team / group; Contributespositively tothe achievement of team objectives; Fostersa collaborative team-workingenvironment; Actively helps and supportsotherstoachieve team goals; Establishesteams andmanagesthe team process; Is aware of campusdiversity andincorporatesthis into forminga team / team objectives.
  2. 2. Tell me abouta time when youhadto deal witha co-worker who wasn't doinghis/her fair share of the work. Whatdid youdo and what was the outcome? I worked closely with someonewho, for the mostpart, always carried her fair share of the work load. During a stressful time, working on a project with a deadline, I realized thatperson'scontributionsto the project were almost minimal. I made the decision towait until after the project to speak with her. I'm glad I did, because I learned she'd been goingthrougha very toughtime in her personal life and she appreciated my willingness to go the extra mile so the project was completed on time. As a result, our ability towork well together significantly increased. Give me an example of a time whenyoutook the time toshare a co-worker'sor supervisor's achievementswithother? At my mostrecent position, one of my co-workers didan outstandingjobof calming an irate customer, solvingthe customer'sproblemand completinga sale. Whenour bossaskedme how thingswere going, I told him everythingwas going fine and that my coworker hadjust completed calming an irate customer andclosing a sale. It was a win-win-win- for our boss, my co-worker, and the customer. Tell me abouta time that you didn'twork well witha supervisor. What was the outcome andhow would youhave changed the outcome? Early in my career, I had a supervisor(lets call her Jane) whowas in a fairly goodmoodonMonday, butit deteriorated each day until by Friday, the supervisorwasfinding fault with everythingI did. I didn'trealize, until I left thatposition, thatI had been a contributortothe decline in her mood. Judy would ask me how my weekend was (on Monday)andduringthe week she would ask how it was going. I would tell her how muchfun I was having(I was single) and how I was lookingforward to the weekend plans. After I left, I realized my life was in complete contrastto hers and I remindedher of it almostdaily. Whenshe askedthe questions, I shouldhave hada quick answer, andthen askedher how she was doing!! Have you workedwithsomeone you didn'tlike? If so, how did youhandle it? Yes, I'veworked with someonewhom I founddifficult to like as a person. However, when I focused on the skills they broughtto the job, their ability to solve problemsandthe two things I didappreciate, slowly my attitude towardsthem changed. We were never friends, butwe did work well together. Tell me abouta time that you helped someone. Mostrecently, we hada new hire (let’s call him John)that was really struggling with getting to work on time, and I knew the boss(let’s call him Harry) was getting irritated. Over lunchone day I explained to Paulhow importantit was to our bossfor everyone tobe there at least 10 minutesearly. It was personalwith Harry, butyou couldreally get on hisbad side when youwere frequently late. The new employee was grateful for the advice. At his previousemployment, thebosswas only concerned aboutthe work getting doneon time; he/she did not"watch the clock".
  3. 3. Tell me abouta time that you misjudged a person. There was a long-timeemployee (let’s call him George) at my second company whowas very gruff when he spoketo me. At first, I went out of my way towin the George's approval. Then I realized that was compoundingtheproblem. SoI observedhow he interacted with otheremployees and discoveredI wasn't alone. He was gruff to mostpeople. I quit tryingto gain his approvaland, in the process, discoveredhe'd learned his behaviorfrom a former bosshe'd had whomhe admired. How do youget along with older (younger) co-workers? Suggested answerif yourco-workersareolder:Thereare times when I just know thata new way of doingsomethingmakesmore sense to me; but, first hand, I learned that my "better way" may notbe the best way toget the job done. As a consequence, I respect my older co-workersknowledge and I've learned how to makea suggestionat the appropriatetime. Suggested answerif yourco-workersareyounger:I quickly realized it was not my job to "parent" the youngerpeople with whom I work; it was my job to get to know them andfor usto find common groundwhere we could effectively work together. It took time, butthe result was worth the effort. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Job Interview Questions and Sample Answers about your: ABILITIES How goodare you atdevelopingrelationships? I havethe ability to build andmaintain effective relationshipsand networks. Thismay be in relation to contacts, bothinside andoutside the company whocan provideinformation, assistanceand support. I understandthatthe quality of the relationshipswe developwith external contacts andwith colleagues has a direct impacton perceptionsof the effectiveness of ourwork and ourcompany. I understandthevalues of flexibility, diversity, dignity andrespect, andcollaboration’ for professional success. I am someonewho: Buildseffectiveworkingrelationshipsinordertoprovide informationandenhance service; Nurturesrelationshipsandcontacts, bothinternal andexternal,assourcesof information and expertisetosupportworkactivities; Uses internal /external networksandrelationshipstoidentifyanddevelopopportunities whichmay be of relevanttoUL / Department/Division; Buildsandexpandsnetworksandcoalitionstoachieve bothoperational andstrategicgoals. Tell me abouta time that you workedconveying technical informationto a nontechnical audience. The Interviewerwantsto knowhowyou relateto peopleoutsideyourarea ofexpertise. While I worked for [let’s call him] Mr. Smithin the accountingdepartment, I was selected to explain
  4. 4. the financial section of the employee'spaycheck toall new hires. After my first two sessions, I realized I needed to reframe my informationso the new hires would have anaccurate understandingofthe impact of their decisions as it related totheir pay. I workedwith colleagues in humanresourcesand marketing, anddeveloped a trainingoutline that was implementedat the other locationsthroughout the company. Tell me abouta time that you workedwithdata, interpreting data, and presenting data. If you arein a non-technicalprofession, thisquestion isdesigned to seeif you arecomfortablewith information notdirectly related to your position. While at the GHI corporation, oneof my job assignmentswasto work with the IT departmentto prepare the annualmeeting brochure complete with financial data, graphsandrelated SEC requirements. I became proficient at designinggraphsthat gave an accurate picture of the financial data, as well as editing the legal informationinto a more readable format. Why do youthink youwill be successful at this job? The interviewer is concerned asto whetheryou see thisas a career move, or stop-gap employment. As my resumereflects, I have been successful at each of my previousplaces of employment. My research of yourcompany, thejob descriptionoutlined, and the informationwe've exchanged today, lead me tobelieve I havethe skills and experience for which youare looking;and I'meager to be a contributingemployee. Tell me abouta time that you participated in a team, what was your role? Companies, forthemostpart, do notwant"Lone-Rangers"- - they are looking foremployeeswho will adaptto thecompany cultureand getalong with others. In highschool, I enjoyed playing basketballandperforming with the marching band. Each required a different kindof teamplay, butthe overall goal of learning tobe a member of a groupwas invaluable. I continuedto grow as a team member while onmy sorority'sdebateteam andthroughmy advanced marketingclass where we hadnumerousteam assignments. OR On occasions, whenI not havea large numberof cases toreport or any specific task to doat that moment, I to assistother colleagues who have got slammedwith a large numberof cases or with a particularly difficult case. Inthese situations I often walk aroundandask if I can assist. The result is thatthe jobgets done to the benefit of everybody, boththeinternaland external customers. It’sa win-win outcome. How do youdevelop effective partnerships? I strongly believe that, in a partnership, authority andtitle are meaningless in the effective delegation of tasks, decision-making, andconflict-resolution. Instead my personalvisionof successlies on making
  5. 5. all thoseinvolvedin my team to have a sharedmission, andfor partnersto perceive themselvesto be equal in value, contribution, andresponsibilities. What’s your leadership style? Here, you arenotsupposed to knowaboutthedifferentstyles, justsay: I don’tknowaboutactual leadership styles. I like to think of myself more like a facilitator thana banner-holdingleader. I facilitate ideas and the sharingof information with the end goal of arriving at a decision or solution. Withme, the final decision ultimately rests on the leader (whether it is myself or a superior) but all considerationsandfactors of a decision will come from the collective input. How are youa good leader / manager? I havethe ability to lead, encouraging, andsupportingothersto deliver their best. I understandhow individuals, atall levels, operate and howbest to use thatunderstandingtoachieve objectives in the mostefficient andeffective way. I believe in equal opportunitiesandin meritocracy. I ensure thatall my staffs consider themselvesas leaders. One shouldlead by example, by encouraging, motivatingandsupportingindividuals/work colleaguesto use their energy andtalents towardsachieving a commongoal. We are all equally importanttoachieve the company’sgoals. I am someonewho: Uses appropriate interpersonal stylesandmethodstoinspire andguide individualstoward goal achievement; Recognisesownnatural leadershipstyle; Capable of adaptingleadershipstyle; Motivatesactioninothers; Coachesothers; Facilitateschange; Manages upwardeffectively; Persuasive andskillednegotiator. How do youuse initiative toachieve your goals? I havethe ability to focus efforts andenergy onsuccessfully achieving standardsofexcellence in delivery of goals andobjectives. I think ahead, identify opportunities, andtakeaction to influence eventswhere appropriate. I alwayshold myself accountable for meeting objectives to the required standardandoften aim to surpassthem. I am someonewho is: Goal oriented, setsachievable goals; Clear career direction; Personalvalues align with thoseof the organisation; Interestsare aligned with role;
  6. 6. Self awareness; Recognises ownmotivatorsandde-motivators; Self motivated; Self starting; Proactive; Generates creative solutions; Usesdifferent / novelapproachesto resolve issues/ developopportunities; Generates ideas for improvement; Takes productiveactionwithout being asked. How goodare you at decision making and problem solving? I naturally analyse situations, identify the problems andother key issues, I considera variety of coursesof action, consider the outcomeof the different solutions, andproducea practical and acceptable solution. I am someonewho: Undertakesappropriateresearch andinvestigation; Draws on experiences of self andothers; Applies commonsense; Considersalternative options; Is decisive; Able tosolve complex problems. How goodare you atinnovationandcreative thinking? I like to think I have the ability todevelop new insights into situationsandapply innovativesolutions to makeimprovements. I strive to create a work environmentthatencouragescreative thinkingand innovationinthe design of programmesandprocesses. I pride myself on beingsomeone whoknowsthe box and can think outsidethe box. It is importantfor a company todeliver services that are creative, innovativeandappropriate. I like to be and act creatively and be forward in my thinking. I am someonewho: Thinkscreatively and implementssolutionsfor everyday problems; Strivesto continually improveown processes andareas of business; Implementsnew progressiveprogrammes/ processes; Identifies gapsagainst bestpractice (nationally andinternationally); Putsforward proposalsanddevelopsstrategic implementationplans tointroduce new and improvedwaysof operating. How are youable to adapt to a changing environment? I am flexible and comfortable adaptingcurrent work practices andprocedures torespondto changing/different situations. I am always keen to embrace change, take intelligent/measured risks, andsupportothersto engage in the change process. To be able to adapt is aboutmakingchanges
  7. 7. thatincrease the effectiveness of our work as a team. It is also aboutcreating an environmentthat respondspositively tochange and encouragesan understandingthateveryonecan makea difference. I am someone: Successful performance in varyingenvironments; Positiveattitude towardschange; Willing touse new techniquesand / or tackle new challenges; Successfully modifies behaviourtorespondto / embrace change. How do youcommunicate effectively? I can effectively communicate, bothverbally andin writing, with individualsandgroups of the most diverse background. I ensurethere is an effective flow of informationin terms of awareness and understanding., thatiswhy I often ask, “does thatmake sense to you?”. I am flexible and often use varyingstylesand methodsof communication. Theway I see it, effective communication is the ability to communicatewith others in a mannerthat conveysthe key messagesand is appropriateto the audience. Whencommunication is effective it will lead toa highquality andaccessible service. How are youcustomer / patient / user oriented atwork? I understand whothe customeris and am willing andable todeliver highquality services; one which meets the needs andexceeds the expectationsof customers. I constantly striveto find new waysto increase customersatisfaction. The business /clinical environment operatesin an increasingly competitive environment;soit is importantto havethe ability to attract users, staff and funding and it all dependson all the team being focused on the customer, whether internal (staff) or external.The key is to fully understandingcustomerneedsin order to developanddeliver appropriateservices. I acknowledge the customer, actively listen andseek informationfrom customer – displaying empathy;identify customer’sneeds andcheck for understanding, strivetomeet or surpassthe customer’sneeds, assessandconfirm satisfaction, takeresponsibility for my individualand my team actions. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Job Interview Questions and Sample Answers about: YOURSELF When the questionsare "personal", aboutyou, itcan be a very slippery slope. The answers below are guidelines so youcan write outyouranswers long before yougo to the interview. Then, when the questionis asked, youcan take the few seconds(expected by the interviewer) tothink aboutthe questionandhow youwill frame youranswer (which youalready know). What would youdodifferently if youcouldstartyour working life over? The interviewer is looking fora detourthatcontinuesto bea professionalblock in yourcareer.
  8. 8. Lookingback overmy career, I would have returnedto schoolmuch earlier to complete my Masters/PhDdegree. EventhoughI got my degree later thanI had originally anticipated, I never lost sight of the goal. How do youbalance life and work? The interviewer wondersif you'vemadearrangementsforthedayswhen yourchild is too sick to go to schooland/ordaycareorif you're"outofthere" assoon asit's quitting time. Being organized helpsme balance my professionallife andpersonal life. Consequently, I canbe fully engaged while I'mat work. Forthose unexpected times, I have a goodback-upsystem ofchild care for my children / family. How goodare you atplanning and organizing? I am someonewho organisesown time effectively, creates own work schedules, prioritises workload, prepares in advanceand setsrealistic timescales. Monitorsprogresstowardsoperational or strategic objectives. Makes sureall activity andresources are used efficiently and effectively. Inmoving forward professionally, we need to demonstrateafocus on integrated businessplanningandensuring value for money. This meansthat we mustplanand makethe best possibleuse of ourresources in line with the Strategic Plan. I am someonewho plansandprepares for future events, formulatesa clear and structuredplan, effectively coordinatespriorities, tasksandresources to achieve work outcomes; establishesrealistic milestones, reviews progress andadjustsaccordingly;efffectively managesresources (human, financial, physical) andtime, and I am flexible and adaptableto changingcircumstances. What is your preferred way to communicate? This is a good opportunity to showyou understandtheimportanceof adjusting yourpreferenceswhen necessary. At home, I enjoy talking onthe phoneand emails. At work, I follow the established protocols. Each of my bosses, in the past, has hada preferred methodI've followed their lead. Do you check voicemail andemail when on vacation? The interviewer is wondering whetherthey will alwaysbe ableto find you. While onvacation, I can be reached for emergencies; however, I alsoknow thatthe people with whomI work are very capable of makinggooddecisionswhile I'm away. I understandtheimportance of recharging my battery.
  9. 9. What is your favorite book?How about your favorite movie? The interviewer wantsto knowwhetheryou read to stay currentand if you will you fit into the company culture. I read many different kindsof books. My all-time "favourite" book is Jonathan LivingstoneSeagullby Richard Daniel Bach. My favorite movie? The Martian. What historical figure do you admire and why? The interviewer wantsto knowwhetheryou are well read and what characteristicsyou admire. Best Answer (include historical figures you personally admire): Personally, I mostadmireAbigail Adams, JohnAdam'swife, because she was able towork with her husbandtoachieve great changes outof the reach for a womanof her time [you are for equalopportunities];professionally I admiredthe leadership style of RonaldReagan. How do youensure personal and teamcontinuous professional development? I am very much aware thatcontinuousdevelopmentisessential for successin any role, andtake stepsto develop self, andhelps others toexcel at what they do. I communicatewith Human Resources aboutCPDwith the aim to addvalueto the organisationsstrategicgoals within and across all businessareas. Together, by ensuring thatthere is a culture of continuousdevelopment employeescan be encouragedto reach their full potential. Thusensuringmaximumeffectiveness anda spreadof expertise at appropriatelevels todeliver on the key strategic goals of the company. Specifically, I amsomeonewho: Activelyseeksoutopportunitiestoimprove,learnanddevelopself; Respondspositivelytodevelopmentneedsthatare broughtto his/ herattention; Takesa positive approach towardsdevelopmentof self andothers; Providesregularencouragementandsupporttoreinforce keybehavioursinothers; Providesregularinformal constructive feedbackonperformance toothersinorderto improve capabilityandconfidence; Stayscurrent inownfieldof expertise; Activelypromoteslearninganddevelopmentinothers; Leadscontinuousprofessionalandpersonal developmentinsupportof the Department/ Division/team. What did you do during this [six month] gapin employment? Everyone, atsomepoint, will probably havea gap in employment. Do not"wasteit". For the first month, I worked on my "todo list" at homeand accomplisheda great deal. Then I began buildinga planto re-enter the workplace. While it took a little longer thanI'd anticipated, I've learned a great deal aboutmyself, am rested and lookingforward to new challenges in the workplace.
  10. 10. How are youa strategic thinker? I am someonewho understandsthepurpose, context, goals, andobjectives of the company, their own area, andhow there are strategically interlinked. I understand howactions will impact onlonger term businessobjectives. Being a strategic thinkeris importantto understandthecomplex environmentin which the company operates. I am able to think andact uponthebig picture. I create andshape a visionof the future thatfits in with the company’s longterm objectives. Specifically, I amsomeonewho: Understandsandis able tolinkownworkto the goalsandobjectivesof the Department/ Division/team; Understandsthe culture andgoalsof the company as theyrelate toown area; Generatesideaswhichcontributetothe Department/Divisionplans; UnderstandshowownDepartment/Division/teamoperatesanditslinkageswithother areas withinthe company orotherdeliverypartners; Contributestothe developmentof strategyandkeygoals; Implementsagreedprioritiesandcommunicatesthe visiontoothers; Developsandmanagesimplementationplans; Contributesactivelyto corporate strategy. What led youto this point in your life? The interviewer wantsto knowif you areunhappy, frustrated, orlost? My "roadof life" hasbeen interesting, sometimeschallenging andalways rewarding. The steps along the way thathave led to this pointin my life are, in some ways, very different thanI hadimagined; however, I like who I amtoday in part because of my past. An example is when the secondcompany on my resume suddenly closedtheir doorsduringa down-turninthe economy. For a very brief time, the road aheadwas unknown;however, I discoveredI had previously untappedstrengthssuchas perseverance. How do youhandle pressure? I actually work better under pressureand I'vefound thatI enjoy workingin a challenging environment. Also, I find thatwhen I'm under the pressureof a deadline, I focus and can dosome of my mostcreative work. Under stress or pressure, I do the bestpossible job. I make sure I have the correct balance between goodstress andbad stress. I need goodstressto stay motivatedand productive. I deal with the badstress in the gymor going for a longwalk. Prioritizing my tasks sothat I havea clear idea of what needs to be done and when, hashelped me effectively managepressure on the job. If the people I ammanagingare contributingto my stresslevel, I discussoptionsfor better handlingdifficult situationswith them.
  11. 11. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Job Interview Questions and Sample Answers about: YOUR CAREER GOALS The overall theme for each of the answers below is: haveyouthoughtaboutthe impactof your decisions at the time youmade them - or do youhavea reactive responseto mostsituations. Fartoo often, a person'scareer appearsto have happenedby chance. Intodaysfast-paced, ever changing world of work, employer'swant to knowif they can counton youtomake gooddecisions, not knee- jerk reactions. Start withyour graduationfrom college andexplain the rationale behind eachof your career moves. When I graduatedfrom college, I was immediately recruited by the ABC Company. Asmy resume reflects, I received two promotionsandthena recruiter contactedfor the positionatthe XYZ Company. I'vebeenthere for the past 4 years andhave learned a great deal, while makingsignificant contributionstomy department. Also, explain thethinking processthatwentinto makeeach ofthosedecisions. For my first job, I was happy to knowI would be workingin a job thatutilized my education. Itwas exciting to knowthatwithin just a few weeks of graduation, I had my first paycheck. My thinking behindthe XYZ positioncentered on the fact that they have a global presence, it was a definite promotionandpositionedme tobe a viable candidatefor the marketingpositionwith yourcompany. How many hours a day/week doyou need to work toget the jobdone? I use my time efficiently at work and, for the mostpart, it's notthe numberof hoursI work; buthow effective my time has been to accomplishthe job. I'msure my references will tell youI was more than willing to putin the time tobe sure the job was completedas quickly and as professionally as possible. If youstayed withyour current company, whatwouldbe your nextmove? The upward mobility at my current company wouldmost likely be in the clinical management department. How do youmeasure success? I measure professionalsuccess by the standardsof the company forwhich I work, the feedback I receive from my peers, supervisorsandsubordinates. Personally, itis to knowI'm regardedas a good husband, fatherandmember of society.
  12. 12. Describe your dream job. As a child, I dreamed of being the starting pitcher for the Chicago Cubs. WhenI realized I did nothave a fast ball, or a change -up;I concentrated onmy skillsin marketingbecause I realized it is an area where I notonly can make significant contributions, butI enjoy usingmy talent in a corporate environment. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Interview Questions and Answers about: YOUR FUTURE PLANS  What are youlooking for in your next job? What is importantto you? One of the interview questionsyoumay be askedis what youare lookingfor in your next job. The interview wantsto knowwhether your goalsare a matchfor the companiesneeds. What is importanttoyou?Two things are very importanttome. One is my professionalismat work; the secondis my family life.  What are your goals for the next five years/ tenyears? The bestway to respond to theinterview question "Whatareyourgoalsforthefuture?" or "Wheredo you see yourselfin five years?" is to refer to the position and thecompany youare interviewing with. Don'tdiscussyourgoalsforreturning to schoolorhaving a family, they are not relevantand could knock you outofcontention forthejob. Rather, you wantto connectyour answerto thejob you areapplying for. Examples of goodresponsesinclude: My long-termgoals involvegrowing with a company where I can continueto learn, take on additionalresponsibilities, and contributeas muchof valueas I can. I see myself as a topperforming employee in a well-established organization, likethis one. I plan onenhancing my skills andcontinuingmy involvementin(related) professionalassociations. Once I gain additionalexperience, I would like to moveon from a technical positionto management. In the XYZCorporation, whatis a typicalcareer pathfor someonewith my skills and experiences?  How do youplan toachieve those goals?
  13. 13. I plan ongaining additionalskills by taking related classes and continuingmy involvementwith a variety of professionalassociations. I noticed thatXYZ company (thecompany youare interviewing with) providesin-housetraining for employees andI would certainly be interested in taking classes thatwould be relevant. I will continue my professionaldevelopmentmy participating in conferences, attendingseminars, andcontinuingmy education.  Where do yousee yourself 5 years fromnow? They wantyou to outlinea career path. Start With Your Interest in This Job My first interest is to thoroughly master theinitial positionbefore movingon. After all, my managerswill probably wantsomeonewho will be happy andcompetent in thisspecific position. I decided to apply for this job because my interests and skillsequip me to do the job I ambeing considered for. When There is No Clear Career Path Notall jobs are steppingstonesto higher positions. Forpositionslike counselling, sales, event planning, teaching, and computerprogramming, forexample, it will be perfectly appropriateto emphasizemastery of thatjob as yourfive year goal. Think aboutcomponentsofthe job in which youcan excel. For example for a sales job: "Within 5 yearsI would like to be recognized asan expertin termsof productknowledge,have developed very close relationshipswith clients, havesignificantly expanded theclientbasein my region and perhapshavebeen assigned somemajornationalclients". Goals = Results Statingyourgoals in terms of results which youwould like toproduce is anotherangle for responding. So, for example, a prospectiveteacher for a district which is tryingto upgrade performance on standardizedtestsmightsay: "I would like to significantly increasethepercentageofstudentsreading atorabovegradelevel through creativeinstructionalmethods including previousknowledgeapplication and motivation through positiveself-feedback". MovingUpthe Career Ladder There are a few jobswhere youare expected to moveon after a couple of years, including some analystpositionsin investmentbankingandconsulting, aswell as legal assistantsandscientific research assistants(for new college grads). In thosecases, youwill have more leeway in your answers, but youwill still want toestablish how the job at handmakessense giventhe skills and interests youwould bringto the employer.