BlogJob InterviewsHow to Answer “What is Your Dream Job” Interview Question

How to Answer “What is Your Dream Job” Interview Question

what is your dream job

At first glance, “What’s your dream job?” looks like a straightforward and informal question during an interview, where you can talk to recruiters about your drive, passion, and life goals. However, there’s an intent behind it, and your answer can set you apart from the competition and improve your chances of progressing in the hiring process.

In this article, we’ll explain what you should say when recruiters ask you what your dream job is. We’ll give you tips and pointers on how you can provide an outstanding answer and a couple of examples that can help you come up with your own narrative. Without further ado, let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • To decide what your dream job is, you can assess your skills, passions, and values, ask others for feedback and advice, and picture your ideal work day.

  • When talking about your dream job during an interview, you should be genuine, honest, and enthusiastic.

  • Your answer should be relevant to the job that you’re applying for but not too specific.

  • When answering the question, mention a couple of your key skills and values.

  • You shouldn’t discuss other companies and unrealistic goals, focus on negative aspects of your career, or emphasize money as the main motivator.

Why Are Employers Asking “What’s Your Dream Job?” Question?

When employers ask candidates about their dream jobs, they primarily want to find out whether the professional’s goals and aspirations match the company’s mission and objectives. By understanding what the candidate aspires to, employers can determine whether they’ll fit into their organization and stay in it long-term.

Your answer to this question also gives insight into your interests and priorities. These can further help employers determine where in their organization you’d be most efficient and where you can thrive.

Finally, as you explain how your skills fit into your plans and how you’d use them in your dream job, you’ll show whether you have the necessary qualifications to do specific tasks that the role requires.

5 Tips on How to Decide What Your Dream Job Is

Before you can say what your dream job is and why to the recruiter, you first need to determine that for yourself. This process is complex and challenging but also highly rewarding and beneficial for your career, as it gives you a clear goal to work toward.

Here are some tips on how you can decide what your dream job is:

Tips on How to Decide What Your Dream Job Is

  1. Assess your skills and qualifications. A good starting point is to evaluate what you’re already good at. This includes taking into account your hard skills and technical competence, as well as soft skills like communication, organization, or leadership. Understanding your strengths tells you which careers you can excel at.

  2. Recognize your passions and interests. Look at your hobbies and things outside work in which you’re involved, including the topics you like reading about or activities you enjoy doing. All of these can steer you toward a job that you’ll find fulfilling and that will likely lead to long-term satisfaction and great work-life balance.

  3. Consider your values. Your dream job is one that also aligns with your personal beliefs and values. For example, some people focus on sustainability and the environment, while others strive for progress and innovation.

  4. Seek feedback. No matter how good you are at introspection, you can always benefit from someone else’s perspective. They can be more objective about your strengths and weaknesses or have insights that you might’ve never considered in the first place.

  5. Picture your ideal work day. This goes beyond just regular tasks and assignments. Consider who you want to interact with, how you want to feel at the end of a workday, whether you want stability or challenge, etc.

How to Answer the “What’s Your Dream Job” Interview Question

resume action verbs

Every person's reply to the “What is your dream job” question is going to be different. While there’s no exact formula for coming up with the perfect response to this tricky interview question, there are guidelines that can help you devise the answer that best suits your situation. Let’s find out what those guidelines are:

#1. Be Genuine

Being genuine is one of the best things you can do when recruiters ask you what your dream job is. Interviewers will recognize the authenticity and sincerity of your answer, which will make it resonate with them.

This is much better than coming up with a perfectly tailored response that you think recruiters want to hear, as it will likely come off as artificial and dishonest. An honest discussion about your drive and interests will make the conversation more compelling and help you stand out among the other candidates.

#2. Make the Answer Relevant to the Job

While your answer shouldn’t be artificially designed for the interview, you can always make it relevant to the job that you’re applying for. This includes making connections between certain aspects of your dream job and the role that you’re after. That way, you’ll make a strong case for yourself and highlight how you’d be a good fit for the company.

For example, if you’re applying for a marketing position, you can emphasize that your dream job involves working in dynamic environments with creative teams to solve complex problems. This doesn’t explicitly match the job description but is highly relevant to the role.

#3. Display Enthusiasm

Displaying enthusiasm in your answer has multiple positive benefits. It’s something many candidates overlook during interviews, even though it can be a decisive factor in helping you progress to the next stages of the process and landing a job.

Passion and devotion are infectious and can transmit that positive energy to recruiters, which will, in turn, help you leave a more memorable impression. Additionally, employers like driven candidates, as that’ll likely translate to more efficient and higher-quality work.

That’s why it’s important to be deliberate when displaying enthusiasm. To ensure that interviewers see it in your answers, use positive body language and speak with energy to accentuate your eagerness.

#4. Don’t Be Too Specific

Instead of talking about a specific role, your answer should be general enough to cover a range of jobs and responsibilities. If you’re being overly precise when describing your dream job, it might end up being too different from the role that you’re applying for and the recruiters’ expectations.

Instead, you should focus on broad concepts, such as your desire to implement the latest technology in your workflow, lead teams, manage projects, contribute to improving people’s lives, and so on.

#5. Mention Skills

You should underscore your skill set when talking about what your dream job is. This includes everything from field-specific abilities, such as proficiency in software, to interpersonal skills.

A candidate’s skills are one of their most valuable assets in the realm of job hunting. The skills section is also one of the main sections on a resume since recruiters always look for candidates with abilities that match the role.

That’s why you should research the company to prepare for an interview and carefully examine the job advertisement and role to figure out which abilities recruiters want to see. Then, incorporate those skills into your answer to explain that your dream job is not just a long-term plan but that you’re already prepared for it.

#6. Discuss Values

Apart from your skills, experiences, and enthusiasm for the job, you also want to share your core values and overarching principles that guide you on your professional journey. The more these values match the company’s culture, the higher the chances of getting the job and contributing to the organization in a significant way.

As many as 32% of job hunters leave their company in the first three months if they dislike its culture. Recruiters even have cultural fit questions to determine whether a candidate is a good match. When employees and organizations share values, this leads to better efficiency, work enjoyment, employee retention, and reduced company losses.

#7. Talk About Future Growth

Show that your dream job involves opportunities to learn, grow, and advance further. This demonstrates ambition on your end and highlights that you’re someone who has long-term goals.

Every employer wants someone who is committed to personal and professional growth since that signals they will keep improving over time. That makes investing in these professionals potentially very lucrative for companies, as they can both prosper together.

5 “What’s Your Dream Job” Answer Samples

executive resume

We’ve prepared several sample answers to the “What is your dream job” interview question to give you an idea of what it should look like.

#1. Sample Answer

Let’s see how a graphic designer with marketing skills would give an answer to the “What is your dream job” question. In addition to their profession, this response also highlights the candidate’s creativity and collaboration skills.

Here’s an example:

Graphic Designer With Marketing Skills Example Answer

“My dream job would be creative and in a collaborative environment. I enjoy tasks where I need to think outside the box and brainstorm inventive solutions in communication with like-minded individuals. A position that requires a blend of my graphic design competence and digital marketing experience to devise exceptional marketing strategies would be ideal.”

#2. Sample Answer

In the following example, a candidate leverages their leadership and managerial skills to talk about their aspirations to become an executive.

Let’s see that in an example:

Executive Example Answer

“As someone passionate about growth and innovation, I envision my dream role as a team lead. I am drawn to positions that allow me to help and mentor others while using their feedback to solve intricate problems and come up with long-term solutions. With a knack for strategizing, organizing, and budgeting, an executive role would suit me best.”

#3. Sample Answer

This answer to the “What’s your dream job” question underlines the candidate’s autonomy and proficiency. It’s perfect for those who prefer to work focused and undisturbed for prolonged periods.

In the following example, the candidate highlights a role in data science as their dream job:

Data Science Example Answer

“I am right at home when trusted to work independently on solving complex problems that require my expertise. As such, my dream role would involve deep analysis that requires extensive periods of focus. That’s why I gravitate toward data science, as I thrive when extracting valuable insight and producing reports that guide business decision-making.”

#4. Sample Answer

Here’s an answer where a candidate wants to accentuate their enthusiasm for technological innovation, along with their desire to be a product manager:

Product Manager Example Answer

“My passion for technology and progress matches my fascination with consumer products. As a result, my dream job would be in project management within a large tech company. I am passionate about piloting projects from their inception to market launch, and I thrive when collaborating with multiple interdisciplinary teams.”

#5. Sample Answer

Finally, let’s finish with an example of an answer where a candidate wants to point out their passion for positive change and inspirational influence:

Passion For Positive Change And Inspirational Influence Example Answer

“My dream job is the one where I can work on environmental policies on a global scale. This includes being a part of international organizations, like global NGOs. I would like to develop sustainability-based programs that would result in a positive change in awareness and practices.”

How Not to Answer “What’s Your Dream Job?” Interview Question

job scams

Let’s see what you shouldn’t do when answering the question about your dream job:

How Not to Answer “What’s Your Dream Job?” Interview Question

  1. Don’t mention a job at another company. This tells recruiters that you don’t see yourself in their organization for the long run, which will make them less inclined to invest time and resources in you.

  2. Avoid being too unrealistic. While there’s nothing wrong with aiming high and having far-fetched aspirations, you should remain grounded during the interview and discuss attainable goals to show that you’re keeping both feet on the ground.

  3. Don’t focus on money. Financial compensation is one of the driving factors in the professional world, but it shouldn’t be your main focus, as it shows a lack of true passion.

  4. Steer clear of negative statements. You should avoid mentioning bad experiences you had in your previous jobs or with previous employees and instead focus on the positives.

  5. Don’t contradict your resume. The skills and experiences that you talk about while answering the question should match what’s stated in your resume. Otherwise, your answer can come off as dishonest and artificial.

Final Thoughts

Understanding the nuances of the “What is your dream job” question can help you successfully navigate the interview. You can think of it as an in-depth investigation into your work history, career goals, and passion.

By answering honestly and thoughtfully while emphasizing those aspects of your personality and professional identity that align with the company’s mission, you’ll remain one step ahead of the competition.

You’re now ready to impress recruiters and potential employers, and your dream job is one huge step closer. Best of luck!

Kervin Peterson
Kervin Peterson
Career Coach
Whether you need help preparing for an interview, optimizing your LinkedIn profile, or creating a resume, you can rest assured that our dear Kervin Peterson can help! Kervin is a man who can turn obstacles into experience with his eyes closed, always striving to bring the most to the table. Other than being a career coach, he’s a new dad and loves nothing more than hitting the gym and spending time with his family!

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