What Goals Have You Established for Yourself?

Nilda Melissa Diaz
By Nilda Melissa Diaz, Career Advice Contributor Last Updated: October 26, 2022
What Goals Have You Established For Yourself

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It is very common for interviewers to ask the interview question- “What short-term goals and objectives have you established for yourself?” You may also be asked “how do you meet your goals”- “what accomplishments have you met”- or “what career goals do you have.” Interviewers may try to discover specific aspects about you- but much of your answer can be the same. Of course- you should try to read what it is they are looking for so you can give the best answer possible.

When an interviewer asks such interview questions as “What short-term goals and objectives have you established for yourself-” he or she is usually trying to gauge how ambitious you are and how you go about pursuing goals. The best approach to providing an answer is to prepare before the interview begins- as it is very common for this question to be asked. Even if it is not asked- knowing this information will benefit you in the rest of your interview.

How to answer the ‘What short-term goals and objectives have you established for yourself?’ interview question

Describe the process more than the results

How you treat your goals will probably say more about you than what your goals actually are. Instead of simply listing what your goals are- take the time to describe them- why you have set them- and- most importantly- how you plan to reach them. Sometimes this question may be phrased in a way that does not make it clear that this is the most important part- but you should always try to focus on your actions- rather than just ambitions. Anyone can have impressive goals- but a truly qualified candidate will be taking steps to reach his or her goals. The most effective answers will also incorporate the progress you have made toward your goal- which not only shows you are active- but that you get results.

Be ambitious

While the interviewer will learn the most from how you are approaching your goals- do not forget that the goals themselves also say something about you. You want to be seen as an ambitious individual who will not stop until you reach your goals. Additionally- your goal should not be to get the job you are applying for- although it does not have to be completely unrelated. Your goal could be to break into the industry- which being hired would help with. Finally- you should not be dishonest with your goals. If hired- you will likely develop a relationship with the interviewer- and he or she may make an effort to help you reach your goals. Additionally- interviewers are usually quite good at realizing when the truth is being stretched. It is more effective to be honest with simpler goals than to make up elaborate ones to try to impress.

Stay relevant to the job

You should not go off on a tangent when asked “what goals have you established for yourself?” Even if your long-term goals are unrelated to the job you are applying for- there are ways for you to apply them. If you are applying for a temporary position simply because you need money- but are pursuing being a writer- you can mention how you spend time every day practicing your craft to show you are committed and daily take time to work toward your goal. These are qualities that are likeable- but also are appealing to employers in any field. Of course- it is even better if your goals are directly related to the work you are applying for. Think about what the work you would be doing will be like if you are hired and compare it to your goals. How are they similar and what comparisons can you make to help illustrate that you are qualified?

Sample ‘What Short-Term Goals and Objectives Have You Established for Yourself?’ Interview Answers

During my previous job- I realized how important communication is in the workplace. For personal and work-related reasons- I’m really trying to develop stronger communication skills. I’m actually taking a few classes that deal with interpersonal communication. I especially feel like it is benefiting my ability to lead a team and delegate work. I’m not all the way there yet- but I’m improving daily and committed to continuing until I reach my goal.

To start- I’m really trying to establish myself in the production industry- specifically in manufacturing. I’m interested in working in management in this field. After I get started- I really think I will be able to improve efficiency levels and labor costs wherever I’m working. In my previous job- I was working directly under someone that applies these sorts of concepts to everything she did- and it make me want to achieve similar results and gain a reputation for it. I believe I am able to- but I am still working toward it every day.

Make sure you are fully prepared to answer the question- “what goals have you established for yourself?” and similar interview questions before you enter your job interview.

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