Job Interview Questions and Answers Designed to Test Your Ambition

Career AmbitionAs a job candidate, there are potentially hundreds of different interview questions you may be asked. The good news is that a lot of these questions are trying to get at the same point. In certain job interviews, you will also find that you are repeatedly asked the same question in different ways. That's because the company really cares about one specific characteristic, and they are trying to determine whether you actually have this characteristic or are just providing answers that say what they seem to want to hear.

For certain jobs, the company may care about your level of ambition. Some jobs, like investment banking, have a hierarchical structure, where the people at the lower rungs may not have the sexiest, most enjoyable work. Because people might not enjoy their day-to-day experience, the company wants to hire people who will work exceptionally hard because they are excited and hungry for the future. For these types of jobs, below are a few of these ambition-related job interview questions and answers examples, as well as relavent strategies.

How long do you plan to stay in your next job?
Where do you plan to be in five years?

Giving a longer time horizon is generally better, since hiring and training new employees is expensive for a company. "I would like to be a part of my next organization for the long haul. I am looking for an opportunity where I can provide a really valuable contribution and where I can continue to learn and grow. What kind of career path can I expect when I join this company?"

Overall, how do you feel about your career progress to date?
Do you feel that your past work reflects the best you can do?
How do you feel about your contributions to XYZ Company?
(Somewhat similar: How would your boss rate your performance?)

This question tests you on two fronts: Are you a slacker? Are you all washed up? Show that you have a healthy sense of self-esteem and that you are hungry for more. "I am proud of what I have accomplished so far. I feel that on a daily basis, I've had the opportunity to learn and grow, and make valuable contributions to my organization. And I am excited about now taking on new challenges and making even more significant contributions."

How long would it be until you were able to make a serious contribution to your organization?

"While I intend to start adding some value from day one and will do everything I can to get up to speed as quickly as possible, I'd like to give you a more specific answer about a timeline for making a real contribution. Can you tell me what projects you were thinking I would work on?"

Do you want your boss's job?

This is like asking, "Do you lack drive or are you blood thirsty?" Don't let yourself get caught in this trap. "I want my manager to be someone who I can learn from and who I can help to become more successful. If I can help my manager get promoted and the opening seems like a good fit for me at the time, then I would obviously be interested."

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