"Future Plans" Job Interview Questions

Comments (20)


"Future Plans" Job Interview Questions

By: Scott Brown

This week's topic deals with interviewers asking about your future plans. As we'll see in addressing the question a subscriber wrote in with, interviewers use the "future plans" question to screen people out. Read on to find out how to make sure you're not eliminated from consideration with a question like this.

Question from a Subscriber:

I've had a lot of interviews lately, and they all go well until the interviewer asks about my plans for the future. I reply by explaining my hopes in obtaining an advanced degree. Then the interview suddenly turns sour. What I saw as being ambitious and trying to illustrate my worth has instead had a reverse effect. Jobs now see me as "temporary". Even though graduate school would not start for another year or two and I could manage a job and classes, interviewers assume I will leave early and don't give me the chance, even though I am a loyal worker. Any advice for this predicament? Should I no longer appear so ambitious? Should I seem more "under qualified" than I am? Thanks so much.

Sincerely,

S. M.

Dear S.M.,

It is admirable that you're planning to go to grad school. It's obviously something that's important to you and your sense of who you are. But for the purposes of job interviews, you need to become a little more objective about who you are and what your qualifications are.

Here's the bottom line: whenever you see a particular thing you're saying in interviews is turning people off, stop saying it. If you were selling Cadillacs and you discovered that telling people about the OnStar system to get help in the case of a catastrophe was turning customers off, the sensible thing to do would be to stop talking about it. There are lots of other great things about the Cadillac you can talk about. Who knows why talking about the OnStar is a turn off. Maybe it's because people don't want to imagine themselves in a catastrophe. Likewise, maybe an employer doesn't want to think of the possibility that you could get a degree that would make you eligible for better jobs and leave them with the disaster of having to hire a replacement for you. There are many types of positions where getting an advanced degree would be in both your interest and the employer's. It seems like in your case they don't see it that way.

You have no obligation to tell employers about your plans for grad school if it wouldn't interfere with your job duties.

Employers Not Really Looking for Ambition (Per Se)

It's important to keep in mind that the goal of an interview should not be to show an employer how ambitious you are. The goal of an interview is to discover what the employer is looking for and then to show them how you fit that. Being someone who is passionate about doing a good job is a quality employers generally look for. Loyalty is a quality most employers look for. Ambition is not necessarily something employers look for -- it's often a side-effect to the qualities they want. An employer wants someone who's motivated enough to accomplish their job duties, but not so ambitious that they'll get up and leave at the first opportunity.

Don't Say Things in Interviews for "Selfish" Reasons

You need to take a look at your own motivations for telling employers about your grad school plans. Is it just to illustrate that you're a motivated person, or is it also because you want to get their blessing/approval to show up late for work after taking a test or studying, potentially missing work when there's a big paper you have to turn in, etc.

Employers may interpret your mentioning you grad school plans as another way of saying "hey, if you want to hire me, you're going to have to put up with the side effects of someone who's preoccupied with something more important than their day job"

About The Author

Scott Brown is the author of the Job Search Handbook (http://www.JobSearchHandbook.com). As editor of the HireSites.com weekly newsletter on job searching, Scott has written many articles on the subject. He wrote the Job Search Handbook to provide job seekers with a complete yet easy to use guide to finding a job effectively. To download your own free copy of the Job Search Handbook, visit http://www.JobSearchHandbook.com.

Comments

jello336 17.03.2009. 17:25

How many questions should you ask at an interview? How many questions should you/ do you ask at a job interview? Whaat questions have really impressed the interviewer?
I see a lot have said at least three, Ive asked about 10-15 in the past and my friend said its way too much and that he asks exactly three. So is 10-15 too much?

jello336

Admin 17.03.2009. 17:25

Hey,

From my experience with multi-nationals, you may want to ask at least 3 questions.

First, I would ask about the company culture...things like if there's a casual Friday and flexibility (work from home, taking cigarette breaks, etc).

Second, you may wanna show interest in the company's well-being in face of the current economic situation. Ask about their profitability levels, future plans for growth / expansion, etc.

Finally, and this usually wows the interviewer(s)...ask them "Is there anything I said that may have cast doubt in you hiring me". This not only enables you to have feedback, but also a sort of 2nd chance for you to "fix" any negative perceptions they have of you.

Hope this helps and all the best!

Cheers,
J

Admin

Renee 25.10.2012. 01:36

What questions should I ask the interviewer in a job interview? I know that asking questions in a job interview shows initiative but what questions should I ask? It's an office job if that helps
This is a first interview. Not sure I want to be asking about pay

Renee

Admin 25.10.2012. 01:36

Ir you already have asked your specific questions about the position:

Ask how they got started at the company

Ask what the best and worst thing about their job is

Ask what happened to the last person that had your job and ask if you can talk to them

Ask what an average day is like in your position at the job

Ask what the company culture is.

Ask how the recession has effected their business and how they are coping with it.

Ask who their biggestcompetitorr is and how they are striving to outsell/out produce them

Ask about their strategic plan for the future (the methodology they are using to improve their business in the future).

Ask how they are marketing themselves and what professional organizations the business orindividualss in the business belong to.

Ask what the biggest problem/issue facing the org is now.

Ask what the biggest issue(s) are with you position- Do you have to constantly multi-task? Are you expected to travel with certain upper level execs?

Ask about the organization's hierarchy, get a physical job description if you don't have one already.

Do you have an employment contract?

If it is FT are you offered benefits?

Admin

Steve B 18.01.2009. 23:54

What questions do you ask during an job interview? Usually, at the end of an job interview, you have an opportunity to ask questions. What questions do you ask during an job interview?

Steve B

Admin 18.01.2009. 23:54

How long has this company been at this location?
How many people current work here at this location?
What are the normal working hours for this position.
Is there on the job training? Are you the person that would be my supervisor?
Does this company have plans to open up other branches in the near future?
Do not ask about the starting salary until you have been offer the job.

The link below will give you questions that you should not ask during a interview.

Admin

mikey1 02.07.2013. 03:39

How do I answer the job interview question, Tell me about yourself? I got this job interview at american eagle, I have no retail experience so this will be my 1st job If I do get it. Can anyone give any examples of how it would be answered and I just put it to my words.
some details about me to help make this easier is that I volunteered for "god's we deliver" and "new york road runners".

mikey1

Admin 02.07.2013. 03:39

I'm gonna take another approach with what the other poster wrote. Here's how I think you should say it:

"I'm a senior (or graduate) at ABC High School with a 3.5 GPA and want to gain some work experience. I've volunteered with the Main Street Humane Society for the last 5 years and love it, I've also done babysitting work for neighbors. But now, I would like to get real job experience and since I love shopping at American Eagle because of the excellent quality and style that you offer, I thought that this would be a great place to apply to work!"

The key is to work the employer in there somewhere after you're done giving info about yourself. It also answers the tough question "Why do you want to work here?" So, in a nutshell, you've told them your status at school, what you've done in the past and what your plans are for the immediate future and WHY you want the job. Now, go get em! Good luck!

Admin

Mrs S 29.05.2007. 13:40

How to prepare for a very important Job Interview? What is the best way to prepare for a job interview where you will meet with several people at the same time asking you a set of questions already prepared? I do not know the questions I just know how it is set up. I have all of the qualifications so how can I stand out and show them I am the one for the job. I really want this job and I do not want to be nervous!!

Mrs S

Admin 29.05.2007. 13:40

I recently had an interview with Canon (yes, the camera company) and I met with several different people... mainly the HR and managing director, and the head of department.

Here is what I did and would recommend you do, because I got this job on the second try.

- Research the company ( who they are, future plans, the industry there are in, products, services, clients,etc) Preparation will eliminate your nervousness. Trust me.

- Purchase a book on common interview questions or look online for common interview questions such this one http://www.quintcareers.com/interview_questions.html

- Practice with a friend, family, colleague, or in the mirror.

- Make sure that you are not intimated (remember they want you just as much as you want them)

- Treat the interview as an informative conversation instead of an interrogation.

- Make sure you are in control of the inteview by asking "intelligent" and "relevant" questions to the position. Whih would derive from your research.

- Never ask about salary unless they bring it up.

- Bring your resume of course, along with any other materials that might makes you stand out from the crowd( well I am a marketing major so I brought writing samples, graphic design works, photographs etc)

- Show up early (i.e. 15 minutes before the interview)

Admin

mingmong 19.01.2009. 08:31

What do i need to prepare for a job interview? It's a job interview for sales at a bookshop! btw im only 17,graduated high school and it's my first job interview..what are the needed answers i need to give for a job at a bookshop?

mingmong

Admin 19.01.2009. 08:31

Job Interview Questions About You
?What is your greatest weakness?
?What is your greatest strength? .
?Describe a typical work week. .
?Do you take work home with you? .
?How many hours do you normally work? .
?How would you describe the pace at which you work? .
?How do you handle stress and pressure? .
?What motivates you? .
?What are your salary expectations? .
?What do you find are the most difficult decisions to make? .
?Tell me about yourself. .
?What has been the greatest disappointment in your life? .
?What are your pet peeves? .
?What do people most often criticize about you? ?
? When was the last time you were angry? What happened?
?If you could relive the last 10 years of your life, what would you do differently?
?If the people who know you were asked why you should be hired, what would they say
?Do you prefer to work independently or on a team? -
?Give some examples of teamwork. -
?What type of work environment do you prefer?
?How do you evaluate success?
?If you know your boss is 100% wrong about something how would you handle it?
?Describe a difficult work situation / project and how you overcame it.
?Describe a time when your workload was heavy and how you handled it.
?More job interview questions about your abilities. .
?More job interview questions about you. .
Job Interview Questions About the New Job and the Company
?What interests you about this job? -
?Why do you want this job? -
?What applicable attributes / experience do you have? -
?Are you overqualified for this job? -
?What can you do for this company? -
?Why should we hirBest Answers
?Why are you the best person for the job?
?What do you know about this company?
?Why do you want to work here?
?What challenges are you looking for in a position?
?What can you contribute to this company?
?Are you willing to travel?
?Is there anything I haven't told you about the job or company that you would like to know?
Interview Questions: The Future
?What are you looking for in your next job? What is important to you?
?What are your goals for the next five years / ten years?
?How do you plan to achieve those goals?
?What are your salary requirements - both short-term and long-term?
?Questions about your career goals.
?What will you do if you don't get this position?

Joseph, MBA
mbacalculator.com

Admin

Alex A 15.11.2009. 13:58

any tips for going to job interviews? im planning to go to a job interview, any tips? what questions will i get asked?

Alex A

Admin 15.11.2009. 13:58

Be ready to answer:
why do you want to work here?
What do you think you can offer this company?
What are your strengths?
Weaknesses?
Where do you see yourself in this company in the future?
-say you want to actually keep working there

And dress suitably!
Good Luck

Admin

tito 04.07.2008. 22:39

Does failing your oral private pilot exam more than twice have an affect on future plans of being a pilot? I just failed my second oral exam and I am wondering if it will affect my future plans of being an airline pilot. I score a 93 on the written exam (1st try) but I had a very hard examiner. Now that I failed twice without even doing the checkride, I would like to know if it will affect my future plans of being an airline pilot.

tito

Admin 04.07.2008. 22:39

Most airline pilot job application have a question like "Have you ever failed a test for a certificate or a rating, a proficiency check, upgrade etc? If yes explain". Many smaller employers - charter, corporate, cargo etc - do not have that question on their application (if they have a written job application to begin with), but you still occasionally may be asked about it in your interview.

So the employers (at least the airlines) do ask. However, answering 'yes' does not automatically disqualify you. Why? Pilots have to take a lot of tests. Before I even got my first flying job I had taken, let me count, about 9 FAA written exams, and 6 practical exams. Working for an airline you take at least one proficiency check a year as a f/o, and two + a line check as a captain - and this does not count initial, upgrade, and transition courses. So there is a lot of exams, and lots of chances to fail one or two along your career.

What the prospective employers are trying to determine if you have a pattern of failures, too many failures, and if you blame everyone else but yourself for your failures.

So your situation does not destroy your chances of being an airline pilot. However, you should take extra care not to have many more failures in your further training.

Admin

Gemma 28.12.2011. 03:46

What to expect/wear at a job interview for a swimwear shop? I have a job interview next week for a local swimwear store. It's very popular. I'm nervous :/ I'm turning 18 in three months and this will be my first job if I get it. What should I wear? What questions should I expect? What should I say if they ask why I want to work there? HELP!

Gemma

Admin 28.12.2011. 03:46

All job interviews no matter what place you go to, employers will expect similar characteristics from candidates. For example, here are job interview tips to consider.

Before The Job Interview:
1) Research the company, and learn more about it.
2) Do a drive to the company you are going to interview at.
3) Print out few copies of your resume.
4) Dress in professional attire, and have great Hygiene.
Men interview attire:
Solid color conservative suit, white long sleeve shirt, conservative tie
Plain dark socks, professional dressy shoes, very limited jewelry
Neat professional hairstyle, easy aftershave, neat trimmed nails, & portfolio/ briefcase
Women's interview attire:
Solid color conservative suit, coordinated blouse, moderate shoes
Limited jewelry, neat professional hairstyle, tan or light hosiery
Sparse make-up/ perfume, manicured nails, and portfolio/ briefcase
5) Practice basic interview questions like the followings:
--> Tell me about yourself?
--> What is your greatest strength and weaknesses?
--> Why should we hire you?
--> Why do you want to work for us?
--> Tell me a situation, where you provided great customer service?

During The Job Interview:
1) Be 10 to 15 minutes early.
2) Sit up straight.
3) Turn off all mobile devices.
4) Look the interviewer in the eyes.
5) Ask questions at the end of the interview. At the end, the interviewer is likely to ask you, "do you have any questions for me?" Here are questions to ask the interviewer.
---> Outline what your typical work day will look like based on the job description.
---> How is work performance evaluated and judged by the employer?
---> What is the plan for the company in the future?
---> Ask questions pertaining to goals or expansion plans the business has planned.
---> When do I expect to hear back from you?
6) Ask for the interviewer's business card before you leave.

After The Job Interview:
1) Write or email a thank you letter within 24 hours or less after the interview.
2) If you don't hear back within a week, give a follow up call to the interviewer.

Admin

Melia Hawk 05.03.2012. 00:01

What is appropriate attire for an interview at Vanity clothing store? I'm 16 and it's my very first job interview. I have no idea what to wear or what kind of questions they'll be asking. What do I say? And what do are helpful tips I should say, ask or do while interviewing? Any help would be MUCH appreciated! Thanks!

Melia Hawk

Admin 05.03.2012. 00:01

All job interviews no matter what place you go to, employers will expect similar characteristics from candidates. Treat an internship interview just like a job interview. For example, here are job interview tips to consider.

Before The Job Interview:
1) Research the company, and learn more about it.
2) Do a drive to the company you are going to interview at.
3) Print out few copies of your resume.
4) Dress in professional attire, and have great Hygiene.
5) Practice basic interview questions like the followings:
--> Tell me about yourself?
--> What is your greatest strength and weaknesses?
--> Why should we hire you?
--> Why do you want to work for us?
--> Tell me a situation, where you provided great customer service?

During The Job Interview:
1) Be 10 to 15 minutes early.
2) Sit up straight.
3) Turn off all mobile devices.
4) Look the interviewer in the eyes.
5) Ask questions at the end of the interview. At the end, the interviewer is likely to ask you, "do you have any questions for me?" Here are questions to ask the interviewer.
---> Outline what your typical work day will look like based on the job description.
---> How is work performance evaluated and judged by the employer?
---> What is the plan for the company in the future?
---> Ask questions pertaining to goals or expansion plans the business has planned.
---> When do I expect to hear back from you?
6) Ask for the interviewer's business card before you leave.

After The Job Interview:
1) Write or email a thank you letter within 24 hours or less after the interview.
2) If you don't hear back within a week, give a follow up call to the interviewer.

Admin

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