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Job Interviews Finding a Job Goals Self-Insight Honesty

I am beginning my career, and I want to know how to respond to a job interview question about my goals if I don't have a particular objective. I know what direction I want to go in, and I want to do well, advance, and continue to learn, and maybe my goals will crystallize when I join the company.

It sounds like you have more goals than you think. By definition, a goal should be specific, clear, and prioritized. On a near term basis, just as you said, your goal is to get a job. Related to that objective, you want to perform effectively, be promoted, and continue to grow and develop. The fact that you anticipate that your goals will come more into focus after you are employed can actually help that occur.

There is no reason why you cannot express these points during a job interview. If a company rejects you because you do not know exactly what you want to be doing in one year, five years, and ten years, the odds are that you would not be happy in such an organization in the first place.

You could concoct some goals that may sound good to an interviewer, but that would be shortchanging yourself. Not only would this force you to lie in the interview, but if this is what it takes to get the job, you would be entering the company with a false story, and such stories typically have unhappy endings.

Many of today's successful leaders did not have crystal-clear goals at the outset of their careers, and some still don't have them. When it comes to articulating your goals, look to yourself rather than to whoever may be interviewing you.

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