August 5, 2016
Skill-Based Interview Questions
How to Answer: What’s Your Dream Job?
The best way to prepare your answer to this question is to spend a few minutes writing out a description of what your dream job might look like. Be sure to include things like what you’d like to do and who you’d like to work with. Then compare that description to the description of the job you’re interviewing for. Focus on the things that show up in both lists and talk about why those things are exciting to you.
Here are some tips to help you prepare your answer.
Explain your dream job.
This is a great way to start your answer because it will give the hiring manager some insight into your long-term goals and help them understand why you’re applying for the position in the first place. Keep this part of your answer short (one sentence is fine) and be sure to give some context by explaining what part of your dream job appeals to you.
Say something like: “My dream job is to one day be a lead product manager, creating and scaling innovative tech products.”
Mention how your values align with the company’s values.
While your skills are definitely a key part of landing the job you want, your values also play a significant role in showing how the position you’re interviewing for fits into your goals for the future. What are “values”? They can be a lot of different things, including work-life balance, salary, vacation time and company culture. Having values that overlap with those of the company you’d like to work for is especially important for entry-level jobs because hiring managers are looking for candidates who are committed to sticking with the organization.
Say something like: “Because of my passion for digital platforms, I want to be involved in working on projects like the ones your company is working on, especially because I love working in places that put an emphasis on collaborative environments and teamwork.“
Connect your future goals to the position.
Letting the interviewer know that you’re ambitious is great, but in addition to talking about the kind of position you want to have in the future, you should also talk about what you can learn from this role and how this will help shape your career path within the industry. Be sure to mention that you’re interested in the position for the long term. This will show employers that you’re committed to them and will be sticking around.
Say something like: “I know being a Lead PM is a big goal, so I’m ready to do everything I can to develop my skills and work alongside talented people.”
Here’s how to bring it all together:
“My dream job is to one day be a lead product manager, creating and scaling innovative tech products. Because of my passion for digital platforms, I want to be involved in working on projects like the ones your company is working on, especially because I love working in places that put an emphasis on collaborative environments and teamwork. I know being a Lead PM is a big goal, so I’m ready to do everything I can to develop my skills and work alongside talented people.”
Pro tip: Although you may be excited about the job you’re interviewing for, unless it really is your dream job, don’t say it is. Interviewers are much more likely to be impressed by a sincere response related to skills or values that are in line with the position.
Answering “What’s your dream job?” is a great chance to show the interviewer that you’re ambitious and forward-thinking, while also having the skills and values that will make you a great employee. By highlighting your great qualities and giving a thoughtful answer about how the position you’re interviewing for will help you achieve your long-term goals, you’ll really impress the interviewer and get one step closer to landing the job.
Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as What to Do After You Get a Job Offer and find answers to common interview questions such as How to Answer: Tell Me About a Time You Made a Mistake.