Congratulations! You’ve landed yourself an interview after weeks of job searching.
The only thing left to do is make a good impression.
The key to a successful interview is preparation. To avoid making common mistakes that leave impressions awkward or bad, it’s best to prepare ahead of time.
Getting Into the Interviewer’s Head
To start preparing for an interview, put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
An interview is the beginning of a professional relationship.
Both you and your interviewer have taken time out of your day to meet and negotiate your needs. You both are seeking something to gain, and want those to align.
So what is an interviewer seeking when they ask, “What are your career aspirations?”
They may ask this question in a variety of manners, including:
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
- What advances are you looking to make in your career?
- What are your goals for your future?
These questions share a common goal: to identify if you are a good fit for the company.
Defining Career Aspirations vs Goals
While the terms are used interchangeably, an aspiration and a goal aren’t the same thing.
Looking at your career in length, aspirations are long-term goals, a marker or destination rather than a journey.
Meanwhile, goals are short-term action items. Goals make up the to-do list that lead you to fulfilling an aspiration.
An example of an aspiration is to use your skills to help others. To help fulfill that aspiration, one of your goals could be to get a job with a non-profit organization.