During the interview process, the hiring manager will ask you several common interview questions to assess whether you meet the requirements of the job role. With this particular question, you need to show you have the right skills to perform the job well, the right motivation to stick with the job, and that the job aligns with your career goals.
Here are tips sample answers to help you create your own answer to the dream job interview question.
5 Tips for Your Answer
- Highlight your strengths and best skills that would be needed in the job.
- Do your best to relate your answer to the potential job and the company’s values.
- Brainstorm what interests you in the industry and use this in your answer.
- Illustrate your answer showing how you used your skillset in the past. Make sure that your skillset relates to the potential job.
- Mention some of your future career goals that match what the company offers. Show how this job is an essential element of your dream career.
5 Mistakes to Avoid
- Don’t lie. If you say that “this job” is your ideal position, it doesn’t sound sincere.
- Don’t be too ambitious. Make sure your long-term goals and your career path are not too far off the job for which you are interviewing.
- Use the job description as inspiration but avoid mentioning any specific position or a specific role. Also, don’t mention any specific title. Instead, focus on the necessary skills, responsibilities, and other parts of the job that you might enjoy.
- If the job you’re interviewing for is not your dream job or your real goal right now, don’t mention that. Keep a positive attitude and talk about what got you interested in the job offer.
- Don’t let your tone of voice or body language betray you. Show enthusiasm when talking about your dream position.
Example Answer #1: Describing Your Ideal Job Without Mentioning a Specific Job Title
I am a people person. I love interacting with other people. The job that I find most fulfilling is the one that allows me to help my customers achieve their goals or solve their problems. Even in stressful situations, I thrive when I use my skills and abilities to help other people.
Key Takeaways: The answer highlights skills of the candidate that would be a match for what the company is looking for, according to the job description or the type of job. It is a great answer for jobs in customer service, for example.
Example Answer #2: Mentioning Why You Are Interested in the Job You Are Interviewing For
That is a great question. The main reason I applied for this job is that it would be a unique opportunity to work with a leading-edge tech product line. I aspire to work with the best solutions that can make a positive impact on people’s lives.
Key Takeaways: It connected an interest from the candidate to what the job offers. It also shows they know the company and its products well.
Example Answer #3: Using an Example That Shows Some of Your Strong Skills
My dream job is to lead a diverse and thriving team. In my last job, my team members had varied backgrounds and work experiences. Leading them was one of the most challenging and fulfilling experiences I’ve had in my whole career. I know that your company values diversity, so I would love the opportunity to be a part of it.
Key Takeaways: It highlights the experience and strong skills of the candidate and what they know about the company.
Example Answer #4: Talking about Your Ideal Work Environment
My dream job is to work with talented people in a respectful work environment with mutual trust. I value teamwork, and I look for a job that offers a collaborative environment where I can be part of a team, help my teammates, learn from them, and where we can hold each other accountable.
Key Takeaways: It is a good answer that can fit many different situations.
Example Answer #5: Talking about Your Values
The most important things in my life are my family and my work. My ideal job is one that allows me to grow in my career and have time for my family as well. That’s why I look for a company that values a healthy work-life balance, like this one.
The most important things in my life are my work and my values. My ideal job is one that allows me to grow in my career and know that I am contributing to a company that helps make the world a better place. That’s why I look for a company that supports the communities of which they are part.
Key Takeaways: The best approach for this kind of answer is to make sure that the company’s values match yours. This example is a great answer if the company is public about offering work-life balance for the employees. Do be careful though, as many companies publicly state they value work-life balance, but your interviewer might want a workhorse who sleeps at work.
The second example would be a great answer for any company that cares about any charity or giving back to society.
Example Answer #6: Explaining How This Job Matches Your Ideal Career Path
I’ve worked as a team leader for five years at my current job. Now, I am pursuing a new job that offers a leadership position and the possibility of getting a higher management position down the line. I want to continue growing as a leader and help the company by managing efficient and innovative teams.
Key Takeaways: The candidate mentions their current role, experience, leadership qualities, and career plans. Everything must match what the company is offering.
Example Answer #7: If This Is Not Your Dream Job, Say Something Good about It!
My dream job is one that allows me to use my talents and experience to give customers excellent service. My main motivation is to know that what I do is useful for them and their business.
Key Takeaways: This example is the right answer if you are applying for a job you don’t love, but that you need.
Example Answer #8: Giving a General Description of the Job You Consider Ideal
An important factor for me in my dream job is being challenged. My ten years of experience have taught me to adapt and stand out in different jobs and environments. This type of work requires someone who excels in challenging situations, and that’s what I do best.
Key Takeaways: It highlights a skill set that can be valuable in many different situations.
Example Answer #9: Talking about What You Are Looking For
The first thing that comes to my mind when talking about my ideal job is to work with a variety of customers. I love the idea of having different challenges each day, so my work is not limited to a strict daily routine. Knowing that your company offers services worldwide and each customer brings different needs is exciting for me.
Key Takeaways: In this kind of answer, the candidate’s expectations must match the job description.
Example Answer #10: Talking about the Parts of the Job That Motivate You
My dream job would allow me not only to make a living but also to help bring positive change to my community. I want to know that what I do makes a real impact on the lives of people in need. That’s why I am so excited about this job.
Key Takeaways: This is a great answer for a charitable organization or a range of companies that make local communities a better place. It is a good answer because it connects the desire of the candidate to the job they are interviewing for.
During the hiring process, the best way to deal with common interview questions like this one is to prepare and practice an effective answer beforehand. A good starting point is to think about your dream role and match it with parts of the job listing. To do this effectively, you may also need to spend some time on the company’s website reviewing how they give back to society and their mission statement or core values. If they are important to the company, these things should be obvious from their website.
The pitfalls of this question are that if you haven’t prepared, it will be a tough question to answer on the spot, and you might end up looking like you don’t care enough about your career to a potential employer. Use the tips and examples above to draft and rehearse the best answer you can, so you have a great way to show that you are a great fit for the job.
Keith Miller has over 25 years of experience as a CEO and serial entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. As a writer, Keith's work has been mentioned in CIO Magazine, Workable, BizTech, and The Charlotte Observer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our content editing team a message here.