Interview Questions and Answers: Goal setting questions

The goal setting interview questions can be trickier than they look. Goal setting is based on a series of decisions and judgments. Your interview answer has to clearly set out basic concepts, to be understandable.

Your interview answer has to define:

  • the basis of the decision process
  • long term goals
  • short term goals
  • how you organize your goals

The Basis of the Decision Process

Explain how you decide your goals. The interview answer is about structuring your goals. Remember this interview question is all about planning, so you need to define how you establish goals.

Long Term Goals

The interview question requires you to define the long term goals. Your interview answer should refer to long term goals as your major strategic goals.

Short Term Goals

Short term goals are normally the specific steps taken to achieve long term goals. This is the organizational part of your interview answer. Keep it simple and clear, because it's an important part of your response to the interview question, the 'how' factor, showing how the goals relate.

How you Organize Your Goals

The interview answer must show you have a system for achieving your goals in an organized way. Explain how short term goals are used as milestones for the long term goals.

Quality Control for Your Interview Answer

This interview question requires you to concentrate on giving a clear interview answer. Think about how you want to express your interview answer. Does it give the four points you have to define in your interview answer? Does it explain how you set goals in an integrated way?


The question is 'How do you set goals?'

'I start with the big picture, and define what I'm trying to achieve on the long term as the strategic goal.

Then I define what needs to be done, in working stages, to achieve that goal.

These stages are short term goals, which are integrated steps to achieving the long term goal. They're also a measure of progress to achieving the long term goal.'


This interview answer demonstrates:

  • clear goal setting methods
  • integrated long and short term goal setting
  • structured approach to achieving goals
  • use of measures of progress in goal setting

The interview question has been fully covered.