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Interview Answers: What Are Your Career Expectations?

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"What are your career expectations?" or "What are your career goals?" are common interview questions. An effective answer illustrates how your recent background led you to the interview, and how you intend to grow your career in the short-term.

Interviewer Motives

Another common variation of the "expectations" question is, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" Generally, interviewers want to know whether your career passion lies in the industry and whether you would commit to the organization if hired.

An effective response is, "I'm excited about this job because I spent the last few years honing my journalism skills through school and internships. Now I have the chance to develop my abilities and cover exciting stories with one of the top publications in the area." This answer avoids putting a time stamp on a commitment, but it shows sincere interest in the position and company.

Add-On Value

Connecting your personality and skills to those needed in the workplace and position is helpful. For a company known for its fun culture, you might say, "My current plan is to become the best salesperson possible. In the long run, it is also very important to me to build a career in an organization that is supportive and a fun place to work."

Researching the company and position allows you to fine-tune your answer. The hiring manager can easily see from this response that the cultural fit is present.


Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.

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