Leaders should know how to set goals. It does not matter if we talk about personal goals, or those you’ll set for a team of people you’d lead. Setting goals is simply important, and interviewers try to:
- Understand if you really care about the job offer. If you do care, you have likely already thought about things you’d want to achieve in your future job.
- Understand if your goals match their ideas. Your goals should correspond with the goals of their company. In an ideal case, you should speak about their goals (e.g. increasing profits, getting new customers, etc.), not about your personal goals as an employee.
- See how far do you look thinking about the future, and how big do you dare to dream. Do you set goals for two, five, or for ten years? Are you brave enough when setting your goals, or do you prefer to stay close to the ground with your ideas?
Leaders should have big goals, and know what they want to achieve in both short and long time horizon. What is more, speaking about long term goals you send a clear signal that you plan to stay for a long time with them.
You should always have some goals, either the same as they have, or closely related. Good answer differs for each job interview, as conditions are different in each company. However, let’s have a look at one sample answer, just for your inspiration.
I have made my research and thought about the position of your company. My first goal will be to make the processes more effective and ensure the quality control staff works well. I will work on the improvement of inter-departmental communication as well. Once everything is ready, my goal will be to improve our market share, and implement innovations, in order to become number one in the market. I know it is possible, but it will take at best a few years to accomplish this goal. Your brand is underdeveloped and we need time to change this.
- What was the toughest decision you made in your life?
- Based on your point of view, what characterize a good leader?