Interview Question: What Do You Want To Achieve In The Next Years?

Questions about your career goals and what you want to achieve in the next years are very common in job interviews. If you don’t prepare for such interview questions, it might catch you off guard during the interview. In that case, it might sound like a trick question. However, questions about your career goals and what you want to achieve are actually a great opportunity to demonstrate your suitability for the job.

The right preparation to this question can help you understand why the interviewer asks you about what you want to achieve. Furthermore, it will help you answer these kinds of questions in a confident way to impress the interviewer.

Related questions about your career goals and what you want to achieve in the next years are, for instance:

In this blog, we discuss how you can explain your career goals and what you want to achieve. We also talk about how you can use these questions to your advantage during your interview. Furthermore, read more about frequently asked job interview questions here and check our job interview preparation checklist. Find out everything you need to know!

Why interviewers are interested in career goals and what you want to achieve

There are several reasons why interviewers are interested in your career goals and what you want to achieve. First of all, they are interested in if you’re going to stay put in the position you’re applying for. Another reason is that they want to see if they can provide you with the challenges that you look for in your career. It’s therefore important that you align your answers to the company culture and opportunities described in the job description and company website. Employers are very interested to hear if your career goals align with those of the company.

Of course, the interviewer knows that you do not have an exact idea of what you specifically will be doing within a certain amount of years. The goal of questions about your career goals and what you want to achieve is about how you see this position and how it fits into your grand plan. Basically, when the interviewer asks you, ‘what do you want to achieve in the next years?‘ they actually mean ‘what are your career goals within this position?

Employers look for candidates who are highly motivated, proactive, ambitious, and likely to stick around in the position that they apply for. They understand that if succeeding in this particular position is important to you and is part of your career goals, you are much more likely to perform well.

Red flags for interviewers when discussing your career goals

There are several things to look out for when discussing your career goals during a job interview. Avoid giving a vague answer about your career goals or what you want to achieve in the next years. Solid preparation can help you do just that. If you have a strong answer prepared, you can use this to your advantage to ace this question and give the interviewer an answer that he or she is looking for.

Relate your answer to the company and job that you’re applying for. Make sure that if you make a certain statement about a career goal, you can explain how it will contribute to your career and why you want to achieve it.

Failing to provide a concise and effective answer is also considered a warning sign for interviewers. To ace job interview questions, you need to be concise and effective. This means that when the interviewer asks you about career goals, you provide a direct but short answer that includes only the necessary details to answer the question.

Tips for answering interview questions about career goals and what you want to achieve

As stated, vague answers are considered red flags. It’s important that you have a solid answer ready. Otherwise, you could give the interviewer the impression that you’re not really interested in the position or that you do not have a clear idea about your career.

The best way to figure out an answer that fits the job and company you’re applying for is to do the right research. Focus on acquiring information about a logical and reasonable career path that could follow from the position for which you’re interviewing. Make sure that you find out how long someone spends on average in that position and what steps logically flow from that position within five to ten years.

Some employers state on their company website what career paths they have within their company. However, this is not always the case. Ensure that you do market research to get an idea of what career paths others have taken. For instance, talk to friends or other people within your network that are active in the same field.

Sample answers to questions about career goals

Some people might find questions about their career goals intimidating. However, it’s actually a great opportunity to demonstrate that you already know what you want and that you have thought about how you’re going to achieve your goals. These types of questions about career goals are commonly asked during job interviews, so prepare well and impress the interviewer!

Below we discuss two sample answers that you can use for inspiration. However, these are just examples. Make sure that you tailor your answers to the position and company that you’re applying for.

Sample answer 1: What do you want to achieve in the next years?

‘I’m really excited about the opportunity to develop my skills as a business analyst. I’ve also noticed that many analysts at XYZ company move from analyst to senior analyst, and eventually move to an associate position.

These development opportunities are part of my five-year plan, and this analyst position is a perfect start to reaching my career goals in the future.’

Sample answer 2: What do you want to achieve in the next years?

‘One of the main reasons why I applied for this position is the opportunity to develop myself as a marketing professional. As a marketing assistant within the XYZ company, I know I will get plenty of opportunities to develop my communication and presentation skills as well as a chance to put my creative skills to use. 

Within the next five years, I would like to progress to a marketing coordinator role to eventually become a marketing manager. The company website shows a clear career path for starting marketers like myself. I feel like this is the perfect opportunity to learn more from one of the major marketing companies in the industry.’

Job Interview Topics – Common Job Interview Questions & Answers

Below you can find a list of common job interview topics. Each link will direct you to an article regarding the specific topics that discuss commonly asked interview questions. Furthermore, each article discusses why the interviewer asks these questions and how you answer them!

  1. Accomplishments
  2. Adaptability
  3. Admission
  4. Behavioral
  5. Career Change
  6. Career Goals
  7. Communication
  8. Competency
  9. Conflict Resolution
  10. Creative Thinking
  11. Cultural Fit
  12. Customer Service
  13. Direct
  14. Experience
  15. Government
  16. Graduate
  17. Growth Potential
  18. Honesty & Integrity
  19. Illegal
  20. Inappropriate
  21. Job Satisfaction
  22. Leadership
  23. Management
  24. Entry-Level & No experience
  25. Performance-Based
  26. Personal
  27. Prioritization & Time Management
  28. Problem-solving
  29. Salary
  30. Situational & Scenario-based
  31. Stress Management
  32. Teamwork
  33. Telephone Interview
  34. Tough
  35. Uncomfortable
  36. Work Ethic