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Tell me about your ideal job

 

Disciplines > Job-finding > Interview questions > Tell me about your ideal job

The question | What they are looking for | How to answer | See also

 

The question

Tell me about your ideal job.

If you could have any job, what would that be?

Tell me about the best job you have had.

What do you like doing most?

What have you liked most about jobs you have had before?

What they are looking for

This question is used when looking for what is really attracting you to the job and what motivates you most.

The order in which answers are given is likely to be taken as indicating your priority.

How to answer

Think first about what they are looking for. Think about the job you are applying for and think about key aspects of this -- are they seeking teamwork, technical skills or leadership?

A simple approach is to take what they seem to want and polish it up a bit to make it seem like an idealized version of what they want.

I would love to work in a situation where I have full responsibility and authority to lead a department of very smart people who could develop my ideas into world-beating products.

Do not talk about the benefits of the job. Having a great pension fund or after-work parties may be very nice, but talking about anything that is not adding value labels you as lazy. You can talk about companies that look after their people, but do not major on this.

It always helps, of course, to have a good benefits package, but that's not really why I choose to work somewhere.

Likewise, do not talk about how much you are paid. If asked about this, say that you like to be paid fairly, getting a reward that is appropriate for the value you add.

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