Best Answers To "Career Aspirations" Questions, And How To Map Out Your Career

Published Dec. 3, 2020

Most interviewers will ask job applicants questions regarding their career aspirations. At MentorCruise, a thriving community of outstanding mentors and mentees, we understand how mapping out your career aspirations and being capable of relating them to any position you’re applying for can boost your chances of being hired.

Best Answers To "Career Aspirations" Questions, And How To Map Out Your Career

Your career aspirations include career paths you want to follow and what you want to professionally do in the long-term. When you’re being examined for a fresh job whether for a management role or as an intern, employers will seek to determine if the position you’re applying for will be a good fit considering your projected career path.

Therefore, when you’re preparing for an interview, it is critical to consider how you would respond to this traditional question on future goals and occupational aspirations. Here, we’ll explain the logic behind this interview question and present the simple ways you can follow to design your own impactful answer.

In this article, you’ll learn the following.

  • What are your career aspirations?
  • How to answer questions on career aspiration during an interview.
  • Sample interview answers that can help you win a job.
  • How to map out your career aspiration.

What are your career aspirations?

Career aspirations refer to those long-term career goals, plans, and/or dreams that are far away in the future, rather than the short-term ones in the present.

Employers often ask about your future career aspirations to get to know you and to understand the career goals and occupational aspirations you have from that moment until a few years into the future.

Your occupational aspirations, in turn, get to define your short-term career choices. In the process of your career development, your education and career choices should ideally reflect what you want your career to become in the longer-term.

How to answer interview questions on career aspiration during an interview.

To answer any interview question on career aspiration and career development during an interview, you need to understand exactly what the interviewer is asking.

After all, it’s a question that remains popular, including careers in traditional paths, when hiring short-term contract workers, or even when getting interviewed for leadership positions.

What the interviewer is really asking?

Interviewers will often ask about your career aspirations for the following reasons.

  • To determine your suitability for the job and how feasible your goals align with theirs.
  • To resolve if you’re a good fit, your interviewer could also ask why you desire to work at the organization or why you picked interest in the job.
  • They want to detect how long you plan on working with their companies as well as how devoted you can be to your job.
  • They further want to determine if the post you are applying for matches or relates to your long term career strategy.

The interviewer doesn’t demand that you engage for a lifetime in the organization and eventually get into a leadership position (unless this is what you want), they just don’t want you to exhaust resources on your training path to success if you’ll leave after a short while.

How do you answer this interview question?

To be able to provide the answers your interviewer really wants to know, go for the interview loaded with whatever information you can find about the company. Once you must have done an in-depth study, you can adequately answer the questions.

  • Try to be honest, still, strive to unite your interests with the organization’s needs. You may want to consider the following to ensure you provide satisfactory answers.
  • Answer based on the specific requirements in the job descriptions, your relevant past experience and education.
  • Before going to an interview, be conscious that the interviewer may ask you questions on your career plans and aspirations as related to the job.
  • Prepare your answer to such questions and or related varieties. Once you re-read the job description, try to see how you can tie some of the tasks of the job to any of your career goals and aspirations.
  • Speak about your strengths that lie within the job skills. This will increase your case before the interviewer.
  • Reassure the interviewer that you want to grow within the company. Your interviewer definitely wouldn’t want to invest the company’s time and resources in you if your career goals are to work with them for a short period and then move on. So endeavour to reassure the interviewer how much you’ll want to grow within the company.
  • Tie in the functions of the job with your lifelong interests, career goals and aspirations. It would be best if you explain to the interviewer how the job relates to your lifelong interest, career goals and aspirations and how you plan to commit yourself to it.
  • Tell personal anecdotes that differentiate you from your competitors. Competition is high in the job market, and there is the possibility that you aren’t the lone one seeking this job. So before you go to your interview, pick a peculiar, unique quality that you believe aligns with your potential career path. Tell personal goals relevant to your job. Tell a story about surmounting some of your biggest challenges. Emphasize this aspect to your interviewer, as this might provide you with an edge over other applicants.

What not to say

  • Avoid specifics and do not talk about compensation packages. Never inquire about job location, salary or other specific information during an interview. Remember that you’re interviewing for a post and try to keep the conversation solely on the job except the interviewer tilts it towards something else.
  • Personal issues. Don’t talk about personal issues, like family or private health issues, in your job interview. For instance, avoid things like, “I would love to relocate to the United States, where my doctor lives.”
  • Don’t talk about what you want to achieve after this job. Focus on your interest in the job.

Sample career aspirations answers that can help you win a job.

Speaking about your career aspirations can be a challenging task, particularly if you’re still examining different career choices. In your job interview, remain focused on how you’ll profit from the job and vice versa. This is your unique opportunity to show the interviewer how this job will help you accomplish your career goals and aspirations and where you view yourself in the future.

Below are remarkable sample career aspirations answers that may ease your own response.

Example 1. I’m seeking a way to transfer my public relations, writing, event planning skills and media relations expertise to a position in healthcare tech. I’m intrigued by the bearings in healthcare and hold a family and educational background in medicine. The possibility of working on a product that can help save lives feels very fulfilling to me. Eventually, I have excitement in operating as a communications expert and really influence how people see this amazing industry.

Why would this work? You hold an education, family history and interest in medicine. You’ve operated as a communications operator and would like to handle the same task in a hospital eventually. These details reassure the interviewer that you are the perfect fit for the job. It is essential to understand that interviewers are usually interested in where applicants perceive themselves several years from the present, and this response would fit for that question. If you have STEM career aspirations, it definitely pays to come from a technical background. But if you don’t have that, you need to communicate your specialties in other domains, such as communications.

Example 2. I’ve often loved sales and flourished on the thrill of landing new clients for my company and competing with my rivals. Your position is charming as it would present the opening for me to intensify relationships with prevailing major clients while further pursuing new clients. I desire to remain in sales for the foreseeable tomorrow. My goal will be to emerge as one of the chief account managers in your administrators, referred to as a product specialist with a powerful track record of satisfying clients.

Why would this work? Because you’re devoted to sales as a career, the interviewer can recognize that your goals for the future are harmonious with the job.

Example 3. As you can see from my experience, I’ve spent 3 years after graduate school as a Human Resources generalist in an enterprise-level company. Through this period, I did enjoy my commitment to recruiting. I am looking forward to specializing in the employment department with an organization like yours with a larger recruitment operation.

Why would this work? Considering that you’re recently out of graduate school, you’re still starting to map out your career plans and work in human resources.

How to map out your career aspirations

Providing a timeslot to appreciate your long-term career aspirations alongside the role would equip your interviewers with the key to assess your suitability for the job. The following top ways by which you can easily map out your career aspirations, regardless of career stages.

Get mentorship help from experts who have your dream career

The path to career success is undoubtedly a rough one. Yet picture how much easier it would be if you had an expert management leader accessible anytime to offer professional advice and guidance to fill up your competency gaps.

  • With a direct one-on-one link to your career mentor, you’ll be free to discuss your progress and career ambitions, ask questions, or kick the wheels on a fresh idea.
  • Do you have an upcoming interview you want to nail? By simply dropping a message to your mentor, you secure better chances of performing exceptionally at the interview.
  • Limitless messaging to your career mentor means you can ask them anything, and they’ll answer as soon as they can.
  • Your mentor can fix challenges and goals to keep you inspired throughout the week and fulfil your long-term career ambitions. And by steadily building the bar with each task, your mentor will help you advance personally and professionally.

Whether you’re a fresh college graduate or in upper management, at whatever career stages, mentorship helps you have clarity on what to do next.

The 70-20-10 model for learning and development

The 70-20-10 model is a popular learning and development model that states that a whopping 70 per cent of learning occurs via experience, 20% from interactions with friends and colleagues, with 10% coming from formal training experiences.

The model is a regularly used formula in the training field to define the optimal sources of learning by thriving managers and to supplement competency gaps by even the most experienced employees.

It is thought to be of the highest value as a comprehensive guideline for companies trying to maximize the effectiveness of their learning and development programs.

The model’s authors maintain that

  • The 70 per cent hands-on experience is the most profitable for employees since it permits them to explore and sharpen their job-related skills, address challenges, make decisions, and interact with prominent personalities like bosses and mentors in the work settings.
  • Employees gain 20 per cent of knowledge from others by a range of activities including, mentoring, people development skills, collaborative learning and different methods of interacting with peers.
  • The code holds that merely 10 per cent of professional development comes from formal courseware instruction, university and various educational experiences.
  • Motivation and feedback are the top benefits of this important learning approach.

70-20-10 model

The 70-20-10 model is a recipe for career success and to widen your career opportunities. Understanding the 70-20-10 model is crucial to attaining your goals and career aspirations as it explains how you build your skills and knowledge.

Efficient learning comes down to blending formal and informal learning in just the right proportions_ Informal learning (70 per cent for experiential learning and 20% for social learning), and informal learning, which is based on theories and facts, constitutes 10%.

A better perception of how learning occurs will empower learning and development, thus building a high-performance learning culture. Therefore with the 70-20-10 model at your disposal, be sure to easily attain your learning goals and thus career aspirations.

Base your aspirations out of your personal interests, your current expertise and what people pay you for.

Career aspirations can be affected by factors which are quite important to you.

People realize their career aspirations on the basis of their abilities, interest, ideal lifestyle, personal values and other factors. Take your interests and values, as well as what people pay you for, into account when brainstorming opinions for your answer to questions on your career goals and aspirations.

Venn diagram

This Venn diagram allows you to effectively map out that perfect intersection and find the dream jobs that accomodate to your wants and skills. A high-paying career is great. But a high-paying career that you love is even better. If your career ambitions detract from common career aspirations, then you can effectively specialize yourself in a way that can be very lucrative.

Define your career aspirations with MentorCruise

Discoursing your career goals and aspirations can be overwhelming, especially if you’re first starting out or still experimenting with diverse career options. However, finding a mentor or interview coach can help lead the way.

They wouldn’t only take the pressure off your neck but also, shorten the learning curve. You’ll get firsthand knowledge of great resources, advice, tricks and explore ways to generate viable goals that can make an impact on the career path you’ve chosen.

Define your dream jobs, your long-term career goals, and the career stages necessary to achieve your ambitions. The career aspiration question during interviews is to ensure that the career path you currently are in is the one you want.

Do you desire to drive your career aspirations and goals into tremendous success over just a few years? Professional guidance is the fastest way to propel your career to the next level. Professional guidance is at the heart of our career goals at MentorCruise. We aren’t only interested in meeting your career expectations but surpassing them_at MentorCruise, we thrive when you succeed.