Let’s say you’re in an interview and the hiring manager asks you what is your dream job.
It’s a tough situation. You don’t want to tell a bold-faced lie and get caught.
But in the back of your mind you’re worried about saying something different than this job, right?
First things first: Doesn’t the hiring manager want to hear that their job is what you dream of doing?
Not quite… What hiring managers really want to find out is what you’re passionate about and what you enjoy. That’s why they ask this.
They want to figure out whether you’ll be happy in this job, or whether you’re bail after six months!
But they realize most people aren’t doing their exact dream job each day and you don’t have to lie. Here’s the best method:
The first trick to answering this question without raising any red flags is to NEVER give a job title. You’re going to describe your dream job with characteristics.
Characteristics are things like this: a job that involves helping people, a job that will let me work with cutting edge technology, a job that is meaningful, etc. And you want to combine multiple characteristics, at least two.
I’ll give you a full example below if you’re still not sure exactly what i mean. But for now, the important thing to understand is that you do not want to name a job title when describing your dream job. So don’t say things like “Pilot, Doctor, Director of Sales, etc.”
Then adjust your answer to make sure you’re showing some overlap between the qualities you want and the position you’re interviewing for. The more overlap, the better.
If the job you’re interviewing for is focused on managing a team and you talk about how your dream job would involve working independently and only being responsible for your own goals, that’s going to kill your chances of getting hired.
So if you’re interviewing for a leadership job, talk about what type of leadership your dream job would involve. If you’re interviewing for a highly technical role, talk about what types of technical challenges you enjoy.
Hiring managers get excited when you show them an overlap between their job, and what you enjoy doing. Because that means you’re more likely to be motivated and stick around longer if they hire you.
So always wrap your answer up by telling the hiring manager what you read or saw about their company that excited you. That’s how to put their mind at ease in terms of why you wanted this job.
“I think my dream job would be a combination of creating products that are making a difference in the world and getting a chance to share them with as many people as possible. I was excited about this position because I read that millions of people use your company’s products each day and it seems like the work you’re doing is having a big impact in the world.”
Notice you’re not giving a job title, like I mentioned earlier. You’re only sharing characteristics… like making a difference, and having a large number of people seeing/using what you create (remember… you need at least two. I would say two or three is the ideal amount).
And then you’re completing your answer by relating it back to what the company is offering, and showing you did a bit of research about them!
So here’s a quick recap of the method I shared above. If you follow these guidelines you will have a great answer to this question every time:
And if you want 7 more questions and answers in similar format, check out this page.