We all have goals.
We set goals for the next five minutes, for the next couple of hours, for the next few days and so on.
When I walk into my local Barnes and Nobles’ book store, my goal is to peruse through a couple of books I haven’t read yet while I savor a mocha Frappuccino.
When I start a new week of work, one goal I’m definitely pursuing is to produce more than I did the previous week.
To varying degrees, I think we all have these short term goals. They may not always be clear in our minds, but goals kind of move us along from one episode in life to the next.
Many of us have longer term goals. What do we want to be doing in one year? In five years? In twenty years?
Or we may express this as something we want to have. What do we want to have in a year’s time? In 5 or 20 years time? A really nice house. An expensive car. A family with wonderful kids.
Some of us set very long term goals that span a lifetime. Along this line are:
• I’d like to be remembered as someone who…
• I want my legacy to be…
So, short term goals, long term goals and all kinds of goals in between.
If it is important for you to know what your applicant’s goals are, here are a few questions you could ask:
“Mary, what are your goals for this interview?”
“Mary, if hired, what would be your goals for your first thirty days here?”
“From a work perspective, where do you see yourself in five years?”
“How long do you see yourself working with us?”
“Are you looking for a long term position with us, and, if so, how do you envision that working out?”
I’m sure you can come up with other questions.
You may find the person in front of you says he doesn’t have any goals other than to get hired, do a good job for someone, get paid and keep his options open for the future. Fair enough. And good to know.
Or the person may say she absolutely loves what you do, has had a burning desire to work for a company like yours and would love to make a career of it.
And of course everything in between.
Asking your applicant to discuss their goals with you is a legitimate way to find out more about them and whether they’ll be a good fit for your company.
But you may also find out their goals are not well established…now…but after six months working with you, they may become well established.
So, for me, it’s somewhat of a toss up. It’s good to delve into this area, but don’t make it a deal breaker.
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