If you set out professional goals for yourself and fail, it’s easy to be discouraged, blame others, or simply give up. But employers love those that are able to adapt to these setbacks. Peoples who set professional goals and adapt to achieve them show they are not afraid of hard work and have a lot of resilience.
Interview questions about professional goal setting come up in many management or leadership job interviews and are a great chance to wow an employer.
Interview Questions About Setting Professional Goals
Behavioral Interview Question: Tell me about a professional goal that you set that you did not reach. How did it make you feel? What did you do?
There are two important things to think about when answering this type of question.
- The first is to choose a professional goal that does not make you look bad. In the example below, you’ll see that we managed to still integrate positive information about the applicant.
- You must follow up your failure to reach the goal with a new goal or a follow up of some kind. This shows that you never really give up.
How to Answer:
“Sales is about numbers and those numbers are sometimes affected by the companies you work with. When I was working at a small sales company in the SMB market, there were very few large scale sales contracts. Often we were contracted to make phone calls and manage sales pipelines for very small businesses. These included psychologists, web designers, and mom-and-pop type grocery stores. But one of my goals was to help one company – and only one company – achieve $5,000,000 in sales.
I came close. I helped a local pest control company grow to be a 2.3 million dollar company and expand into neighboring cities, but I just wasn’t able to reach the dedicated sales goal. Our company wasn’t designed for that market. As a result, I tried to reframe the goal into total yearly sales, and focus instead on what was both possible at that specific workplace. I managed to exceed sales goals for 2 years in a row after that, and was very proud of what I accomplished.”
It’s tough to turn a negative into a positive. But if you can do it, and show that you’re someone that can overcome adversity and still reach amazing career goals, you’re going to find yourself in a much better position to get the job.