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Interview Preparation

Short Term Career Goals: Interview Answers

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated June 29, 2021

Guide Overview

Why are short term career goals important?Why do employers ask about short-range career goals?How to answer interview questions about short term professional goals?Example answers for interview questions about short term professional goals

Guide Overview

Understanding short term career goals

Setting career goals for the short term can be necessary for undertaking and completing large-scale work projects or for achieving career milestones. Here we will explore what short-range career goals are, why employers ask about them, and how to answer interview questions about them.

Why are short term career goals important?

Short term career goals are the actions that you must take for achieving your long term career goals. Whatever your career field, you will have to undertake short term tasks and plans and complete them within a stipulated time frame to develop your career and grow professionally. Generally, for most professionals, these plans are concerned with being productive at work, being efficient in work performance, getting the right education to develop relevant work skills, and working on personal development.

When making short term goals, remember that they need to be specific, realistic, measurable, and achievable. You must be consistent too about following up on them to reach your career objective. To stay on track,  prioritize them by selecting the most crucial one for your career and focusing on it first. After you succeed with it, begin on the others on your list. Keep track of your progress and try not to be too rigid with the career goals. Be prepared to review and readjust them to align with other changes taking place in your life.

Here are some examples of short term goals:

  • Improving time management to become more productive at work.
  • Becoming more organized in your work routine.
  • Delivering projects on time to improve work efficiency and ensure customer satisfaction.
  • Taking a continuing education class to learn a new skill needed in the workplace.
  • Attending a seminar to network with industry professionals, improve communication skills, get work feedback, and find new opportunities.

Why do employers ask about short-range career goals?

Employers often ask about short-range career goals to discover if your plan aligns with the company’s current and future goals. It is an indication that you are committed to your chosen profession and expect to continue working in it in the future. By having realistic expectations and following up on your short term aspirations, you will be able to work your way toward your long term career objectives.

They also want to understand the position requirements and how your current and expected skillset will help the company achieve the goals of the role.

Learn more: The Ultimate Job Interview Preparation Guide

How to answer interview questions about short term professional goals?

Follow these steps to answer interview questions about short term professional goals:

  1. Review the company mission statement or its stated goals before the interview.
  2. Align your research about the company with your career goals, experience, and skills, and create a sincere, logical, and satisfactory response.
  3. Consider using the STAR method. It involves describing your current career situation, mentioning the task or short term goal you want to aim for, explaining the action you will take to achieve the objective, and rounding up by stating the result you expect. It will also help to explain that you are seeking a stable job with long-term prospects. Most employers prefer candidates who are looking for long-term employment.

Learn more: Get Interview Help

Example answers for interview questions about short term professional goals

Keep in mind that there are a variety of acceptable ways to answer this question. What the interviewer will be looking for in your answer is confidence, positivity, and strategic thinking, and an understanding of the position requirements. Here are some example responses when interviewers ask about your short-term career goals:

1. One of my career objectives has been to work with your company, and for that, I set up short term goals that allowed me to gain the necessary skills. If hired, my new short term goals for my career will be to do well in the tasks entrusted to me, gain my colleagues’ trust, and put myself in the position to take on more responsibilities.

2. Ever since my school days, I have understood the importance of making short-term goals to achieve my long term objectives. After I began working as a software programmer, I set short-term goals to advance my career. Recently, I have been taking an online class to learn to program in Python. That will enable me to achieve my long term aim of using Python to create Android and iOS apps.

3. After I began my marketing career, I realized that I needed to improve my communication and interpersonal skills to do better in my job. This improvement became my short-term goal, and I took action by volunteering on weekends with a local charity. I met people from diverse backgrounds, and social interactions gradually became less daunting. I am at ease now in my dealings with customers and find I can provide them with much better service than I did before.

4. I hope to have a long career with your company, and so my short term career goal would be to get acquainted with every facet of the corporate environment relevant to my position. I will then move the goal post to learn new things to get ahead in this field and become capable of handling higher-level work responsibilities.

5. While I am applying for a beginner position, I’m aware that your company has branches in several countries in Asia. As I hope to grow my career with you and go overseas at some point, I’m taking online lessons in Chinese and Korean. I study each language for about 10 minutes every day, and I am making good progress. I expect to be reasonably fluent by the end of the year.

6. As I want to have a long career in the artificial intelligence field, I have been trying to get better informed on the subject. I’m taking two online courses on artificial intelligence from reputed universities, and I’ve also been reading articles, papers, and books about it. Expanding my knowledge base in this way is making a difference in my outlook. It will make me a much better data scientist.

7. I always try to make short-range career goals that will let me work towards my long term goal. That has helped me in my career as a content writer. To give you an example, my short term goal of getting better organized has freed up more time for my writing work.

8. As a marketing manager, some of my short term goals examples for work include becoming more proactive in sharing ideas with my team, supervising my team members in their project responsibilities, and providing adequate guidance to recruits. These small actions add up towards the larger project.

9. As a research scientist, my short term career goals include having a well-organized work station, tracking my time, and staying updated on new field developments. These goals have increased my productivity, and that, in turn, has helped me to advance in my career.

10. My short term goal has always been to keep learning, and that has benefited me in my career so far. Given the frequent technological changes in the programming field, it is essential to keep up with new developments. I regularly scan job advertisements to check in-demand skills and make a point of learning them. That way, I will always have marketable skills and will be able to advance in my job.

11. The principal one of my short-term career goals examples is interning at your company. In the short term, I will learn and exceed my job responsibilities. In the long run, it will prove that I can handle higher work duties.

12. I eventually hope to gain a leadership position in the field. To make myself eligible, I have gained more knowledge of our field, refined my communication skills, and worked on my team-building skills.

13. My short-term career goals include getting early to work so that I have 20 minutes to prepare for the tasks ahead, completing my projects on schedule, and learning one new work skill per month.

14. In my previous position, I was in charge of a large marketing project. I broke it down into several short tasks and delegated these to my team members. That enabled us to complete it on schedule.

15. Some good short term professional goals in the marketing field include attending seminars, networking with other professionals, working on personal development, and become a subject matter expert.

Follow these tips to answer interview questions about short-term career goals. Then, discover real interview questions asked for thousands of job titles.

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