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Interview Questions #1-#4 on Virginia Tech’s Career Webpage

What are your long-range goals and objectives?

With this question, you want to be specific and genuine. Don’t tell the interviewer what you think they want to hear. Tell them your goals; don’t be hesitant to. However make it pertinent to the job you are interviewing for. For instance, if you are interviewing with a publishing firm, don’t tell the company you like technology.

Answers to avoid at all costs:

“I want to open my own business.”

Employers don’t want to hear that because saying this means that you may potentially leave the firm after they spent time and money training you.”

“I want to make money.”

Yes. Everybody wants to make money. This is nothing they haven’t heard before and the answer isn’t too impressive.

Some examples of viable answers:

“I want to be challenged. I want to wake up every day and feel as if I am not only making a difference in the company which I am with, but also in the community. I cannot give you an exact title of the position I want because, unlike others, I am more into being a team player than just having aspirations to be in a company which deems me the {CEO}. Either way I want to be in _____________ (the industry in which you are interviewing with.”

Every now and then, you get what I call the what I refer to as, “why interviewer.” Their interview style is quite weak and they like to ask “why” to dig deeper into any question. Don’t ever fall victim to this game. If they continuously ask “why” to your answer, then the answer to your answer, say that you feel that it is as much as you can elaborate on.

What are your short-range goals and objectives?

Make this relevant to the position which you are interviewing for. Therefore, an effective answer to this question would be:

“I want to break into ______ industry. Out of all the different industries which are hiring, this is the most attractive to me because ________________. I also feel that if I work hard and leverage my passion for the industry, I can be capable of achieving great things.”

Have roughly 3 or 4 supporting answers for this. These answers should not be memorized either. It is best to memorize concepts for any interview. If there are a lot of reasons, write them down on a well formatted piece of paper (not looseleaf), print it out but include a logo of both the company you are working with and your college, hand the second sheet to the interviewer and go off of that.

When you’ve done a lot of work, it does not matter whether you have to refer to a sheet of paper, it looks a lot better than some other answers the person is going to receive.