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Interview Question: What is Your Dream Job?

How to Answer Interview Questions About Your Dream Job

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Interview Question: What is Your Dream Job?
Image Copyright iStockphoto Nigelcarse

"Tell me about your dream job?" can be a tricky interview question. Even though your dream job might have nothing to do with the job you're interviewing for, don't mention it if it's not related. Instead, you should make an effort to connect your answer to the position you're interviewing for.

In the interview, your potential employer will likely focus on figuring out whether or not you have the right skills to be successful in the job you are applying for. However, they'll also be interested in how motivated you are to perform the job, and whether or not you will be satisfied with the position.

What to Mention

Ideally, your response to the question should reference some elements of the job you're applying for. For example, if the position is a customer service job, you might say that your dream job would have a high level of interaction with customers.

In order to prepare your answer, brainstorm what appeals to you in the job at hand. Do you enjoy solving problems, or mediating conflicts? Do you thrive under pressure? Do you consider yourself a “people person” who likes to engage with clients or with the larger community?

Create a Job Profile

Think of what you want in a job, and create a “profile” of your ideal job that includes some of those functions. Your “dream job” doesn’t have to be a specific position, like “Account Executive” or “Public Relations Director,” but can instead include different responsibilities you would enjoy having as part of your position.

Share Examples

Your answer can be more convincing if you reflect on why you found these types of activities rewarding in the past, and how your skillset matches the type of job you're after. Be ready to share some examples of how you have enjoyed utilizing those skills in the past.

Other Options for Answering

Another way to answer the question is to mention a certain goal you would like to reach through your “dream job.” For example, if you're applying for a job with a non-profit environmental organization, you might mention that an essential element of your dream career would be a role that advances the green agenda.

Best Answers

Ultimately, the key to answering “Tell me about your dream job?" is to convey your long-term interest in a high-level position, without overshadowing your interest in the job you’re applying for.

For example, even if you are applying for a job as a customer service representative, you might share your future goal of being a customer service manager or a salesperson. Make sure you express a reasonable time frame and set of expectations for advancing towards your dream job.  You might say something like "Down the road, after becoming an expert in your product line and developing strong relationships with your customers, I would love to work in sales."

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