How to Prepare for the “What Is Your Dream Job?” Question
Updated 13 August 2022
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When you face a job interview, a panel member may ask you a tricky but popular question, 'Tell me about your dream job.' Even though your dream job might not have anything in common with the actual position, the interviewer may ask you this question to ascertain your passions, goals and motivations. In this article, we talk about how to answer “What is your dream job?” with some example responses.
Why Interviewers Ask “What Is Your Dream Job?”
As an interview is an attempt to secure the maximum amount of information from the candidate concerning the suitability for the job, employers try to find out whether you have the right skill sets to be successful. They like to know whether you will be satisfied with the position. This interview question gives them a good idea of your motivation. Your response may reflect your passions, values and priorities as an employee. This question is important because every employer wants to retain the candidate longer in the organisation.
Related: Interview Question: "How Would You Describe Yourself?" (With Examples)
How To Answer “What Is Your Dream Job?”
Here are some steps for answering this question effectively:
1. Talk about the skills you want to use
You could start your answer by talking about your current strengths and abilities and how they are relevant to the job. The employer may not expect that you possess all the skill sets for a dream job, so this question also offers an opportunity to point out areas in which you would like to grow. Use this opportunity to highlight your skills and experience and how the employer will benefit from your recruitment. Align your skills to the qualifications mentioned in the job posting.
Example: “I have six years of experience in the hospitality industry, by and large as a chef. My dream job would be to continue working in hospitality as a manager. My previous employers told me that I am great at preparing recipes, and I have great management skills, so I would like to capitalise on that by advancing into management. I also want to improve my sales skills by learning more about branding, marketing and sales.”
2. Instead of a specific job title, talk about a job in general
Instead of talking about the title of your dream jobs such as a doctor, engineer, journalist or pilot, discuss the general duties and responsibilities of that position. Ensure that you talk about work conditions and functions relevant to the job. Describe your dream job in detail. For example, you can say that you love a job that makes a difference in the lives of other people.
Example: "My dream job would be an opportunity to work for the betterment of society. I would like to work for a company that produces life-saving drugs used by thousands of people every day. I would love to be a part of a team that innovates ways to make cost-effective drugs in the interest of larger sections of the society.”
3. Modify your answer as per the job
Make sure you orient your answer towards the target job profile. For example, suppose you describe your dream of becoming a pilot in an accounting job interview. In that case, your interviewer will presume that you are not much interested or passionate about accountancy. When you show that you possess the qualities and skills that the job requires in abundance, you demonstrate that you are an excellent fit for the position.
Read the job description and include those qualities in your answer. For example, consider that your job involves leadership or project management skills where you would be leading a team. In that case, you can say that you enjoy working with teams to complete a project and mention any previous success you had in project management.
Example: “I love challenges and enjoy working with team members guiding them and working on time-bound projects. My dream job would be in a project management role. I love the execution of projects on time and celebrating everyone's hard work at the end.”
4. Talk about your values
Employers usually prefer candidates who share the vision of their companies, so try to find similarities in your values and the target company values, as it helps the employers to evaluate your motivation and know whether your objectives and the company's goals conform. For instance, your values could be freedom, wellness, work culture or work-life balance.
Example: "I believe that freedom of expression is the core of a progressive society. Media provides a platform for airing our views, and the major reason why I opted for journalism as a career is my belief that I can work for the betterment of the society under the guidance of some great journalists in your company."
5. Explain why you want the job
The interviewer will be assessing your interest and commitment to the job, so conclude by showing that you have researched their company and position, and explain why you're interested in the position. You can say how you were interested in the excellent company reviews on various job sites or how something about the job got you excited.
Example: "The reason I applied for this job is that I read a lot of good reviews and high opinions among your employees about your company, but what got me excited was that this research and development team is working on life-saving medicines. That's something I'm deeply interested in and motivated to work on.”
Related: Top 16 Interview Questions and Answers
Sample Answers To The Question “What Is Your Dream Job?”
Here are some additional sample answers to help you compose your answer to the question, "What is your dream job?":
“I think my dream job would be an opportunity to produce affordable, life-saving medicines and getting a chance to work for the benefit of society. I was excited about this position because I found that a lot of people use your prescription medicines each day, and it appears that the work you're doing is having a big impact on healthcare.”
Note that you're not talking about your dream job in terms of a job title. You're only sharing job characteristics, like inexpensive life-saving medicines and a large number of people using the product. Try to include two or three characteristics to make the answer more effective. By concluding your answer with a statement relating it to the job this company is offering, you also indicate that you have researched about them.
"My dream job involves teamwork and project management, such as regular staff meetings and team projects. I love that this job emphasises team spirit and communication among colleagues and management staff. My previous job was 60% project management, and I am excited to carry on that kind of teamwork with two-way communication here."
This answer is good because the candidate has aligned the response to the job, offering examples of awareness of the teamwork skills that the position demands.
"I chose engineering as a career intending to reduce carbon footprints via the use of technology. Solar energy is a sustainable and renewable source of energy. We can bridge demand-supply gaps of the Indian energy sector through greater usage of solar energy, which is available in abundance. My dream job will be an opportunity to work for a company that shares the same belief and is willing to create a better future by reducing carbon footprints."
This example is a good way of showing the employer that you share the same values of the company.
Related: Interview Question: “Why Should We Hire You?”
Additional Tips For Preparing The Best Answer To The Dream Job Question
The "what is your dream job?" query not only allows you to demonstrate your ambition and passion for realising your future goals, but also helps the employers to understand your personality. Try to go through the job description and the necessary skills required to find what excites you the most about the position. In your answer, refer to the skills you have, the skills you want to use and the ones you'll be able to develop in the position. Research about the company and prepare a list of your unique selling points to showcase in the interview and use them to explain why you are the best candidate for the job.
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