Give Me an Example of a Time When You Created a Goal and Then Achieved It

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It can be hard to prepare for an interview because of the different inquires that might be made. Interviewers typically ask traditional or behavioral interview questions. Behavioral-based queries tend to focus on skills you have used in the past in the hopes of getting a better understanding of what you might do in the future. Traditional queries- on the other hand- focus on concrete facts about your past education and experience. Because behavioral queries are used to gain insight into what you might do as a professional- they can be difficult to answer.

One such potentially challenging behavioral question is- ‘Give me an example of a time when you created a goal and then achieved it.’ This particular inquiry is made to get a better idea of your ambition and initiative. The hiring manager is likely trying to figure out if you have what it takes to make goals become a reality. You might want to focus on your planning abilities to showcase just what you are capable of and to help set yourself apart as a solid candidate.

Not all hiring managers are going to use the same phrasing for their inquiries- but this query will likely still come up. You could hear different variations- such as ‘describe a goal you set for yourself recently and what you have done to achieve it’ or ‘can you think of a professional goal you have set for yourself and achieved.’ You can make the interview flow more smoothly by practicing your answers to common questions and looking at solid answering methods for behavioral inquiries.

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How to Answer the ‘Give Me an Example of a Time When You Created a Goal and Then Achieved It’ Behavioral Interview Question

Discuss the Method You Used to Reach Goals. There are a lot of different methods out there for achieving a goal. Many people use a visualization method to help make their goals a reality. However- if you want to impress the employer- you will need an answer that is more than ‘I set a goal and thought about it and it happened.’ Think about the steps you took to achieve a goal. Also think about the schedule you kept to make it a reality. Time management and scheduling can make it much easier to actually achieve the goals you set and are a great detail to include in your answer to show the hiring manager you will be able to achieve other goals in the future. It is important your reply shows you understand the work that goes into the goals you set and your appreciation of the different potential outcomes available.

Focus on Your Answer Organization. To answer behavioral interview questions- you need to have a real-life example from your past. Not only do you have to have an appropriate story- but you have to know how to organize said story in a way that will ensure you give the details the hiring manager needs and wants. A common organizational method is referred to as STAR. This method requires you have distinct details in your response.

What is the STAR method when interviewing?

  • Situation/Task: Talk about the situation you were in or the task you had to do to give the hiring manager the appropriate context.
  • Actions: Emphasize the steps you took to set your goal and ultimately achieve the goal.
  • Result: Make the results you were able to achieve clear.

Keep It Professional. Because this is a meeting about employment, you want to keep all of your responses professional. Even though you may have a personal goal you set and achieved, the hiring manager really wants to get insight into your professional life. To make yourself a clear candidate for the position, you should focus on stories that highlight the skills and abilities needed for the job at hand. Keeping your answer professional makes it more likely you will be able to incorporate these important skills.

Sample Interview Answer:
“Give Me an Example of a Time When You Created a Goal and Then Achieved It” or “How Do You Set Goals and Achieve Them?”

When I first started out in the industry, I did not have a lot of technical knowledge. I thought I would pick it up along the way, but after about two years in the field, I realized I needed to make some changes if I wanted to be able to progress in my career. That is when I decided to pursue a certified financial planner designation. This type of certification often takes two years to complete, but I wanted to be done in a year so I could qualify for a promotion. I looked at the courses I needed to take and created a detailed schedule. Thanks to the small goals I had set along the way and the schedule I had created, I was able to get my certification in a year, and with that certification I was able to get the promotion.

Answering any type of interview inquiry can be a challenge. With the right preparation, you can give standout answers to behavioral interview questions.

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