Besides your personal experience, qualifications, resume or cover letter, recruiters will ask job applicants one significant questions, i.e., “What are your career aspirations?”
At first glimpse, this may appear easy to respond to as you only have to tell them about your future aims and career goals, right?
Interviewers ask this question to get a clear report about your potential and whether your skillset will be valuable to the team.
Your answer will help them decide whether you fit in their company or not. Therefore, you must answer in a way that explains the alignment of your dreams with the company’s short-term and long-term goals. Introduce yourself as the ideal nominee for the job, not someone who will quit in a year to attend grad or change jobs.
To help you frame an answer to this question, let’s find out what career aspirations are, how they are dissimilar from your personal goals, why recruiters want to learn about them, and how to recognize your own.
What is a career aspiration?
Career goals or aspirations are long-term expectancies and aims. People create them based on personal backgrounds, including skills, values, lifestyles, etc. Instances of career aspirations might include:
- Managing or directing successfully.
- Working in an endeavor that you’re sincere about.
- Utilizing your talents or skills in a position.
- Beginning or maintaining a business.
- Gaining awards for expertise.
To offer an answer regarding career aspirations, take the following example.
Suppose, you desire to become a marketing executive for an organization in 10 years. So, you need to demonstrate how the marketing assistant position you’re interviewing aligns with your aspirations. It indicates a strategic direction for career determination.
Why did recruiters ask about your career aspiration?
Recruiters often question your career aspirations for the following reasons.
- To specify your suitability for the job and how viable your objectives align with theirs.
- To decide if you’re a good fit. The HR could also ask why you want to work in the company or why you showed interest in the job.
- They want to witness how long you intend to work with their company and how dedicated you can be to your job.
- They want to decide if the post you are applying for matches or connects to your long-term professional strategy or not.
The recruiter doesn’t want you to engage for a lifetime in the company unless you wish to work for longer duration and reach an administration position. The company wouldn’t spend resources on your training path if you plan to leave after a short while.
What are some best career aspirations?
Career aspirations cannot be determined as good or bad. However, some relate it to your career development more than others.
Aspiration relevancy depends upon the following:
- The organization
- Your profession paths
- Type of job you are applying
- What are recruiters looking for
A 2020 report on youngsters’ career goals in the UK showed dissimilarities between their objectives and available possibilities.
This is why, your career goal must align with your aim and the company’s future vision.
Identifying your career aspirations:
A variety of factors fuels career aspirations. There are various reasons for a person to be willing to grow in their career. Grinding in on what is essential for you and what you are good at can help you better comprehend your career aspirations and create a plan to ensure them.
1. Value Consideration
Understanding what you care about can help you comprehend what inspires you. By aligning your career goals with your values, you will work hard to achieve them and keeping going even when situations get challenging. Perhaps, it could be time for introspection and self-reflection if you need to figure out where your values lie. Try creating a list of what is important to you and what you value most from a job. Loyalty and flexibility are essential to you. You could admire a loyal friend just as much as a dedicated boss. If there is any overlapping, be sure to note those values.
2. Know where your strengths lie
Work on thinking about what you are good at and enjoy doing. If you can find a role that merges these two, you might be on a path to grow your career aspirations. For instance, you may be good at photography and relish it but want to do something other than work as a professional photographer. Dig a little more in-depth and find out why you enjoy photography. Is it performing with other people or reaching out to trek solo? Do you want the visible factor of developing compositions or the problem-solving required to set up each shot? Responding to these questions can help you discover your career aspirations.
3. Consult a mentor or trainer:
Sometimes, glancing inward is less effective than gathering external feedback. Meeting with a career mentor will provide a different outlook and assist you in seeing options that need clarification.
The best method of answering this career aspiration question:
The best method of responding to this question is to be straightforward: you desire this job, and the position aligns with your selected career roadmap.
Different forms in which this question might occur:
- Where do you witness yourself in the next five years from now?
- Does this position align with your professional goals? How?
- What are your expectations from this role?
These deviations are more specific, so you should craft potential answers for each question.
Here are some steps that might help you in crafting your potential responses to these types of questions-
1. Collect information about the company and role
- The first effort in drilling for any interview is to collect as many details as possible about the position’s needs.
- Learning as much as possible about the company culture and the organization’s plans is also essential.
- Read the job depiction and become aware of the company by reading policy copies, agendas, and reports.
2. Choose and adapt your career goals accordingly
- Determine which of your skilled aspirations and objectives align with what the recruiters have been searching for.
- This stage is essential for successfully replying to questions about them during your interrogation.
- It can take time to determine the relevance of your aspirations to the interviewers. But it would be helpful if you adjusted your aspirations to highlight the factors you think are most relevant.
3. Try to keep your aspirations relevant
- It’s unbelievable to know the company’s plans exactly, no matter how many studies you do.
- Use common sense to interpret the information and make a guess about their plans.
- At the interview, keep your replies relevant and provide only the required information related to the position or company.
- Sidestep the aspirations that might be unrelated to the position, such as your hobbies or family.
- Don’t lie in your interview. However, you can skip details about personal goals that might not be relevant to the company’s long-term plans.
- Try to use this question to highlight your positive traits, competency and career goals.
Examples of career aspirations for replying to the interview questions:
You have two primary purposes when answering the question.
- Explain the alignment of your aspirations with the company’s vision and long-term objectives.
- Show the recruiter how the role will support you in gaining the skills and experience required to achieve your career goals.
Below are the examples to inspire you:
- Become an industry specialist
You should pursue educational or technological expertise in your industry and be able to function in specific tasks. For example, you may be a developer and desire to become a CTO. Therefore, you prioritize creating in-depth learning and competence to pursue scientific or practical initiatives.
Answer Example: I have always wanted to be an industry proficient since I completed my graduation/ post-graduation. I aim to increase my technical mastery in this position while delivering solutions and modifications to common industry concerns. In the long run, I desire to contribute immensely to industry growth and optimization to develop something that truly enhances thousands of lives.
- Reach Executive roles
Another ordinary aspiration is desiring to heighten the corporate ranking, which exemplifies becoming a significant aspect of functions and business. You aspire to acquire power and control over a corporation and become a part of its success. This aspiration shows the recruiter that you’ll be a trustworthy player and stick around for a long time.
Answer Example: My purpose in entering the company would be to develop my skills in a demanding environment, perform within a team, and provide efficient resolutions. Within five years, I desire to reach a managerial role that will permit me to make essential decisions while devoting my leadership skills. Ultimately, I will have achieved an executive place to have an operational and vital role in the company’s overall sensation by forty.
These were the two examples of career aspiration answers. Of course, there can be much more to discuss, but maintaining the content’s overall length, let us wrap up the examples and move further!
Ready to achieve your career desires?
Practice can make all the discrepancies in giving a flourishing response to the question about career aspirations.
Don’t let the question’s simplicity fool you — your reply could highlight the dissimilarity between you and the other applicants. Therefore, only your practice and awareness can help you make that next significant professional move.
Also Read: SMART Goals – Begin with the end in mind!