What Are You Looking For In Terms Of Career Development? – Interview Question with Answers

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The kinds of questions those the interviewers ask from you vary from behavioral ones to opinion-based questions. Among them lies ‘Career based’ sort of questions. Career based questions are the questions that are designed to get a feel of you that how you are as a professional. It gives an idea to the interviewer about you and what you a looking for in your career in the long run. What you want out of your work and how do you expect that to come to you is very important for an employer to know about.

The question about your expectations regarding career development is one of such questions to gather an insight of professionalism in you. Every employer holds an interest in your career path for certain reasons and that’s why they bring up this question during your interview. If you have not thought about the advancements those you want in your career then chances are that you will not be working hard enough to achieve them. And if you won’t be dedicated enough towards the organization then the company will not prosper in the future. No employer would like to hire someone whose goal is to simply work on his job and retire like all other men. Your chances of getting hired increase if you have considered future career developments, before actually starting your career life.

What Interviewer is trying to judge?

As mentioned earlier, the employer vests his interest in your career developments because he/she relates your advancements with development with his/her own company’s future. The various other factors that make an interviewer ask you this question are:

1. What are your plans: To be specific, the interviewer wants to know about your plans in the future. Are you the one who aspires to be CEO of the company by climbing on the authority ladder? Or are you planning to start your own business after gaining insight into the corporate world by working in the company?

2. Will you stick with the company: By knowing your future career plans, the interviewer would easily get to know whether or not you will stick with their company. And if yes, for how long would you stick around. If you are someone who would go back and continue with his/her family business then the interviewer can make an estimation that you won’t be staying with them for long.

3. Are you a shifter? Shifter? What does it mean here? Well, to explain, shifter here means the one who keeps on changing his job either due to job role reasons or company reasons. If you do not hold any specific career advancement goals then chances are there that you may leave the company just for any vague reason but if you are clear about your goals then you will leave the company only if you find a better opportunity in your career way.

4. Are you crafted for the job role that they are offering: The job role that is being offered to you and your ultimate career goal may and may not be parallel to each other. But make sure that they are not opposed to each other. For example- if a certain company is offering a job in the marketing field to you then you can’t mention becoming a ‘chief financial officer’ in the company someday.

Pre-Requisites:

So, after having an idea about ‘what the interviewer is trying to judge’; the next question that runs down your mind is ‘how to prepare for the answer to this question?’ Some people fear this question because they are not sure as to why they have entered the field that they have entered into. But on the other hand, those who know about such reasons will be able to answer it perfectly. So, this makes the first pre-requisite for preparing your answer to this question:

1. Be sure about your career field: This means that be sure about your reasons that why have you started this journey? Why have you entered into this career field? If you can figure it out, half of your work is done.

2. Think about advancements: So, now after you have reasoned for choosing this career field, think about all the advancements and developments that are offered to you in this career line. If you are being offered a role in a certain department of an organization then being head of the department or the whole division can be your career development goal.

3. About certain skills: This is not compulsory in every case that the person wants to be at some higher position in the company and that’s all that he/she considers being career development. Developing skill sets to come under career development. You can think of inculcating some specific skills in yourself or handling certain activity can too be an advancement in career.

Tips On What To Include And What To Avoid

About What To INCLUDE:

Employers tend to hire those who seem to be highly interested in joining the industry and who then plan to keep moving forward or higher in the ladder. Craft your reply to this question carefully by emphasizing the following points in that.

1. Have specific goals in mind: Do not be ambiguous in stating the answer to this question. You cannot be confused in terms of your wants in career development. Otherwise, this will represent you as a confused personality. Mention about your career and the developments those you wish to seek.

2. Talk of developing your personality: Talking about grooming yourself with experience to be ready for the developments you seek in your career will sound impressive to the interviewer because it will indicate that you are not only the person with high aim but also as a person who is ready to put in efforts to achieve those aims.

3. Near future and long term developments: Most of the time the interviewers do not specify which career development goals they are looking for? For the short term or the long term? Okay! even if this isn’t clear you can mention both of them. Talk about your long term developments in addition to your near future career goals.

Remember that a goal-oriented individual is always more likely to be considered for hiring than those who are unsure about their career.

Things to AVOID:

There are many pitfalls those you need to avoid while discussing your career goals and personal development during an interview. Keep the following points in mind:

1. Unrelated advancements: Some people just think that mentioning some high-level goals will seem cool to the interviewer and will impress his or her no matter what it relates to. But, you are making fool of yourself by doing so. How can you mention something to be your goal if that is not related to your career at all.

2. Talking more than just salary: Yes, some people hold some salary expectations when they will attain a specific age. That can be a motivating factor in doing your job but that cannot be your career development goal. You cannot just say that earning this much amount per annum is your career goal.

3. Just focusing on the job: Do not just mention that you want to hold a particular office in the future or you want to sit on the chair of a specific authority but you also need to mention what are you doing to be there. What are your efforts in developing yourself for developing your career?

Preparing your answer:

This question can be asked in several ways, some of the ways are:
– What are your career development goals?
– What do you seek from your career?
– How would you like your career to be in the future?
– What have you thought about your career advancements/developments?

Be it any way, the structure of your answer should in the following flow:

1. Mention why have you chosen this career line? Okay! Start it from the beginning. Beginning means the time when you thought of choosing this line as your career field. State why you did so? Why not any other field? You must have seen some prospects in choosing it, talk about that.

2. State the skills those you hold: Explain the skills those you have already acquired either through your experience in the industry or those you acquired during your college days. And how those have helped you to reach till the position that you hold today and how can these be useful in taking you to the place where you want to be.

3. Your efforts: Don’t just about your ultimate goal but also about the journey. Mention what new you are learning to reach your goals faster. In case your career demands something from you, are you ready to do that at any point in the future.

From past to present and then to the future, this pattern should be followed in answers to the above-mentioned questions.

Sample Answers:

EXAMPLE: 1

Talking about my needs in terms of career development I would like to mention that my primary focus is on developing my leadership skills. My goal is not just to acquire such skills for once but I want them to develop and update continuously. The best way to do this, I believe, is to keep challenging myself constantly and at every junction in professional life. For this, I always strive to take bigger and greater responsibilities. For all the companies that I have ever worked, my vision has always gone towards the big picture. And I want to develop my talent to the best of the abilities.

EXAMPLE: 2

My vision for career development does not go for acquiring any certain position in some specific company in the future, rather I aim to earn more and more responsibilities progressively over time. I started my career by being at the position of salesman in my previous company and the position of sales executive attracted me for applying to your company. I believe I will encounter bigger and better responsibilities here, in this new position in your organization. I plan to further increase my managing skills over time by proving myself worthy in every challenging situation and earning newer responsibilities every time.

EXAMPLE: 3

While working with earlier organizations, I have managed many teams. Be it small or big, the team members being novice or veteran; I have worked as a team member of such all teams and also I have worked as a leader of those teams. So, when I see further development in my career and consider my goal in this field, I will say that running or leading a bigger team that would be working on a big project of the organization is what I want from my career. And I am ready to work hard to realize this goal. My duties till now have given me the skills that I will need to achieve that sort of development in my career.

EXAMPLE: 4

After completing my MBA from one of the B-schools, I got the opportunity to work with one of the banks through campus placement. I worked as an investment advisor to that bank. My work was quite stressful in itself but the desire and zeal to move ahead in my career path always kept me motivated and so if you ask me about what advancement I want in my career it would simply be gaining a higher position of management in the organization’s hierarchy. I am and I will work diligently to get at the position that would interest me in your organization.

EXAMPLE: 5

I had worked at the lowest of the position in my previous organization and have worked so hard to gain at-least 2 promotions throughout one and a half years. And that is why I moved up to the position of the departmental head within 3 years of starting as a simple lower-level employee at my previous organization. So, earning fast track promotions on my way to higher and better responsible positions is what I look up to in terms of career development. I hope your company will help me grooming myself to be ready to take on such opportunities.

EXAMPLE: 6

Career development in my terms does not only mean earning higher by being at some higher job position. For me, it is gathering skills and knowledge as much as you can. These skills and knowledge sets will help a person a lot in building a better career in the future. Everything, every personality trait, every skill set that one acquires over time and that proves to be beneficial in building up the career of a person is career development in itself. For now, my focus is on enhancing my knowledge and for this I looking for some courses that will help me later during my job.

EXAMPLE: 7

I am very much dedicated to building up my career in the stock market or any other related field that can be investments as well. This is what I see for myself in terms of career development and advancement that I will be working as an agent or at some other position in the stock markets. For this, I am building up my knowledge and capabilities. I am working on gaining knowledge of every bit and every concept of this market so that I will be prepared for the challenges that I may face further in my career.

EXAMPLE: 8

Regarding career development, I would like to gain experience as much as possible in my field which is marketing. For me, career development is taking advantage of all the opportunities that I will come across in my work sphere. Furthering my career means, experiencing, learning, and then using that learning to tackle the challenges that will come in your way to success. The better you tackle a situation; the better it will be an opportunity next time. I take challenges very positively. I believe in handling challenges up to my best ability. And this will surely help me in advancing my career.

Bad Examples:

EXAMPLE: 9

I have not thought about such long term prospects about my career yet. I would like to think about it once I join the organization and understand working completely. I think working at some position that will help me in earning more will ultimately be my choice regarding career development because earning more means that you are advancing in job-position and this is what I understand by the term career advancement.

EXAMPLE: 10

I got my previous job after so much of struggle and hard work. I am very happy to get an offer letter for that. I am applying to your job because I resigned from my previous job due to personal reasons and so I needed a new job. The job role that your company is offering is more or less similar to my previous job. So I don’t think I will face any trouble in working here. I do not have any specific demands in terms of career development. I just want to stick to a job for financial security reasons.

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