How should you answer the pesky interview question that discusses what you are looking to get out of your new position?
Of course, you would probably enjoy an outstanding salary, and perfect job security, but there are other elements of the job you should consider. Ultimately, this question is about you and your wants/needs.
However, it is still important to examine this question from your employer’s perspective. They essentially want to know if they will be able to provide you with what you need.
For instance, if you explain you are hoping to improve your communication skills, but the position does not have you communicating very often, the employer might decide against hiring you simply because they do not believe they can help you.
On the other hand, this company also likely wants to analyze if you understand the details of the position. Knowing this, the manner in which you answer this question is crucial.
There are many things to consider when answering this type of question. Depending on the level of passion you have for the job, you may be carried away with effect that you respond to this question in a rather inappropriate manner.
Fortunately, we have devised a framework you can follow in order to answer it properly and professionally. There are three key things to focus on when answering this question: your skills, your motivation, and the company.
Incorporate Your Skills
Being asked what you wish to get out of a new position is a wonderful opportunity to further assert that you have the skills required to do an excellent job. A simple, professional manner in which you can do this is explaining that you wish to further develop and master these skills while working for the company.
For instance, if applying for a leadership position, you might state, “I have been working on my leadership skills for a while now, and would really like to learn more and develop them further.” Embedded within this answer is the fact you have leadership experience.
In addition, it connects your skills specifically to the nature of the job.
It is also important to ensure your answer is specific. Avoid giving a very generic answer that will simply blend you in with the rest of the crowd. Answers such as, “I am looking to gain more experience,” and “I hope to succeed” are overused and unoriginal. Instead, personalize your response, and tailor it specifically to the essence of the position. Specifically discussing your skills gives the interviewer something interesting to consider, and further highlights your competencies.
Describe Your Motivation
Another easy way to add substance to your answer is to include what motivates you. It is wise to weave this motivation into the discussion regarding your skills. For instance, you may add to the aforementioned statement,
“I have always been motivated by helping others, and I find leadership positions to be excellent avenues for doing just this!” This sort of statement demonstrates you are not merely pandering to the position, but that you are also being genuine. It also demonstrates that you are putting yourself out there for more than just the salary.
Employers typically do not wish to hire those simply looking for a paycheck. They want to hire those who want to work for them.
More specifically, they want to hire those who actively know why this company will be special to them.
In addition, as mentioned, it is important to tailor your answer to the position, but that being said, you do not want to appear artificial and as though you are simply explaining what they want to hear. You should not simply list the traits the company desires.
It is wise to select one or two of the desired traits to discuss, but it can also be beneficial to include the unique skills you offer the company; the skills that none of the other candidates possess.
Moreover, your response should signal that you have reflected on why this specific position is correct for you. It should also straightforwardly inform the employer that the position will, indeed, satisfy your desires.
Mention the Company
That’s correct; it is appropriate, and usually advantageous, to outwardly mention the company in your response.
After you have discussed your skills, and your motivation, it is wise to summarize your answer by explaining that you contend this specific company’s mission and available position align directly with your goals.
For instance, you may conclude your response with, “In summary, Company XYZ’s mission and available employment position align directly with my goals, and I look forward to collaborating with you all in the very near future.”
This type of statement demonstrates you have performed research beforehand, and are knowledgeable about the company. A conclusion of this nature concretely wraps up your reply, and can make you stand out among the candidates.
It is also perhaps wise to mention that the company will satisfy your long-term goals. You may directly state something such as, “I have the long-term goal of mastering leadership while working with this company.”Furthermore, it is very unlikely companies will want to hire somebody who cannot envision themselves working at the company for an extended period of time. It is wise to straightforwardly announce you plan on committing yourself for a sizable amount of time. In order to achieve this, you may include a statement such as this into your conclusion: “I look forward to developing these skills throughout my years at Company XYZ.” This fine example ultimately asserts that you are looking to develop your skills further, which answers the original question, as well as informs the company you plan on working with them for years to come.
As seen, answering the interview question that asks what you are looking for out of a new position can be tricky, and it is important to consider you answer carefully. While you likely desire a high salary, plenty of benefits, and wonderful security, you should ultimately describe the strengths you possess that you know will benefit the company, and inform your interviewer that the company can absolutely satisfy your wants and needs. Whatever you decide to reply, ensure your answer is both appropriate and professional!