So, I'm preparing for job interviews and I need to have a good answer on what my aspirations for my life is. Questions like:

  • What would you like to achieve in life
  • How would you achieve this
  • When do you want to achieve it by

But at this moment, I'm pretty satisfied with how my life is. I got a house. Payed down the mortgage on the car and the house. My kids are doing well in school and basically I only want to work to have some kind of sosial life and something interesseting to do.

So I'm not sure what I should answer in case I get questions like these. If I answer "I'm satisfied with how things are now" I might look like a person without any ambitions in life - while I feel I've reached them already.

On the other hand, If answer "I'm only looking for a job so I won't get bored" they might think of me as someone who might not be a "secure employee" because I dont actually need the job for economically reasons.

Any good suggestions what to answer on these kind of questions?

  • 1
    @JoeStrazzere My company would NOT hire someone who openly admits they want a job to pass the time. The big thing in my field right now is having "Passion" for the field- or at least pretending to have it. An answer related to how Mr Zach wants to improve their skillset to bring real benefits to whatever industry he works in would make for a much safer answer
    – chevybow
    Mar 13 '19 at 18:54
  • @JoeStrazzere Why risk guessing whether a company cares about passion, dedicated employees, etc. Surely they won't penalize you for having answering the question in a positive way but answering in a way that's unfavorable for at least some companies will surely limit your options. Is obtaining a job not the point of a job search?
    – chevybow
    Mar 13 '19 at 18:57
  • @chevybow the point of a job search is to get a job that will work well for you. In some cases, that's "get any job you can, whatever the cost". In other cases, though, intangibles matter more. The OP isn't sounding like someone who's desperately hungry. In his case, it might be worth spending a bit more time looking and possibly even taking a somewhat smaller paycheck in order to get a workplace that would accept and appreciate him for what he is. Self-selection via honesty in interviews can be really useful for stuff like that.
    – Ben Barden
    Mar 13 '19 at 20:22
  • @BenBarden I can see your perspective. It can be advantageous if you are not pressured to get a job- though if OP is asking this question I assume they at least hope to eventually land a position. If that's the case- they might need to rethink their strategy if they do not get far with the accepted answer approach. I agree that ideally they'll find a company that does not mind their reasons for finding a job.
    – chevybow
    Mar 13 '19 at 20:26
  • 1
    The answer to all three questions is "That's none of your business." Word it any way you choose, but these kinds of questions have no place in an interview nor in the workplace. I'm trading my time for your money. Nothing more, nothing less. I'm not going to put my hopes and dreams on parade for you because frankly, it isn't any of your concern and it is completely irrelevant. Companies for far too long have had too much over-reach into the lives of their employees. I work for you. You don't own me. You don't hold any sway or have any input into my life outside of the context of this job.
    – joeqwerty
    Mar 13 '19 at 22:26

You can straight-up say the truth. "I'm not terribly ambitious. I've reached a point in my life and career where I can do interesting work and make enough money to support myself and my family. That's all I'm really looking for."

Some people like worker bees, and right now, you don't have much in the way of ambition. That's okay. If the company you're looking at thinks that it's super-important that you grow into a higher role so that they can bring in people under you, then it's probably not a good fit for your needs anyway.

  • I think this answer is on the right track, but I might rephrase it ("not terribly ambitious" just doesn't sound good) and might emphasize positive traits like loyalty and hard work to make it clear that you're not a slacker and you're not a drifter.
    – bob
    Mar 14 '19 at 16:22

Tell the truth, but make sure you also communicate the truth...

If you just say "I'm not ambitious", you're telling the truth, but there's a decent risk that the interviewer will hear "I'm lazy, I'm not loyal, I'm a drifter", which of course is not the truth. So it's important to make sure you not only tell the truth, but that you do it in a way that communicates the truth. What can you say?

My goal is to find a job that I love and can work hard at for a company that I can stay with for the next 20 [or whatever number] years.

This communicates stability, loyalty, hard work, and passion for the job you're applying for, which are all very good things. It communicates the truth, which is critical.

  • I think this is a good answer, and I would take it one step further: The fact is, Mr Zach IS ambitious, he's just already accomplished many important goals. That's a big deal. @MrZach can speak to the fact that he's been able to plan for and achieve major things in life. That's way more meaningful than some fresh inexperienced youngster talking about all their big ambitions, IME.
    – dwizum
    Mar 14 '19 at 17:55
  • Definitely true! I think the only challenge is that his ambition may only be defined with respect to things outside of the workplace, which is totally ok, but which may not translate well to an interviewer. Any thoughts on how to frame that well? I had thought about going that direction, but couldn't think of a good way to put it into words.
    – bob
    Mar 14 '19 at 19:02

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .