What Is Your Dream Job?

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Your impulse may be to exclaim “this one!” when an employer asks you the “what is your dream job?” interview question. It is one of the most common interview questions candidates encounter- and it isn’t hard to see why. The inquiry reveals to a recruiter what you value most- how you see yourself in the workplace and what you aim to accomplish in your career. It will- at least if you answer it the right way. Your response should incorporate these elements into it.

You can nail these types of interview questions by discussing the passion and skills that attract you to your ideal position. If you adequately prepare for this question- you should have no problem delivering a response that tells the interviewer more about yourself while also making it clear you are a good fit for the position. Be ready to highlight your enthusiasm and skills as they would apply to your dream job as well as the job you are a candidate for. Overall- your answer should emphasize your value of a great employer as much as your role as a great employee.

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How to Answer the ‘What Is Your Dream Job’ Interview Question

Explain What You Enjoyed About Prior Positions: Never speaking ill of former employers is one of the most cardinal rules of interviewing. Accordingly- speaking positively of your past experiences can make a good impression on a recruiter. You can answer this question by drawing on what you enjoyed in prior jobs you have had and how you hope to have similar experiences in the future. If you regularly received feedback from a supervisor at a prior position- for example- you might note that this is part of your dream job- one in which you have great communication with your employer. This frames your prior work positively.

Emphasize the Role of an Employer in the Equation: While “what is your dream job?” is a question essentially about yourself- your response shouldn’t focus exclusively on that. Your dream job is as much about your employer as it is about you- and this should be reflected in your answer. Discussing the relationship you aim to have with your company reveals an awareness beyond your own satisfaction and can go a long way in showing a recruiter that you’re a good match for the job. You should make yourself the dream candidate if you are serious about snagging your dream job- and answering like this is a great start to establishing yourself as just that.

Don’t Give a Short Answer: The “what is your dream job?” interview question can easily be answered in one or two words- but there aren’t many interview questions you should answer with such minimalism. Instead- answer with an in-depth and exploratory response to show your interviewer why you are the best fit for the job. This means that while the short answer to the question might be “software engineer-” the right answer is one that tells the recruiter why it’s your dream job. You are selling yourself short by leaving those details left unsaid- but in explaining yourself you can show a recruiter that your values align with those that are most important for the job. Brevity may be the soul of wit- but it isn’t always a good quality when it comes to interviews.

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Sample ‘What Is Your Dream Job’ Interview Answers

1. The job description you posted detailed the position and highlighted its emphasis on teamwork- innovative sales techniques and genuine client relations. I am skilled in all of these areas- and I’ve most enjoyed the positions I held in the past where I utilized these abilities regularly. My dream job would be one where I am able to apply these skills in a supportive and challenging environment- while building strong partnerships with my management and coworkers. Ideally I would also have a unique role that allows me to learn and stretch my interests in a way that benefits the company’s goals. A position that entails all of these elements would best fit my idea of a dream job.

2. My dream job is one that includes many of the elements this one seems to. The job description posted mentioned that the position relies heavily on travel and management skills. Those appeal to me because I enjoy being able to apply my skills in new contexts and lead a team to success. My dream job is one in which I can manage a great team- travel to new places and contribute significantly to the success of the company. In the ideal position- I would also have fantastic communication with my own managers- challenging tasks that I can learn from and a clear set of goals to work toward. What I’ve learned about this position so far indicates that it has many of the features my dream job would have- including these.

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