Goal Question During An Interview

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admin in Bay Area, California

74 months ago

Okay, I'm in my 50's, actually 57 and been an admin for 10+ years except temping that last 2 years.

Now going out for an interview and getting the question "What are you goals for the next 5 years"?

How does one answer that kind of question at my age? I dont really have a career goal. Though I'm being very picky where I apply and want to only work at certain companies and location, I need a job to pay bills.

Any help on how to answer this kind of question?

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Sheribow in North Andover, Massachusetts

74 months ago

I've got the same problem with that question I'm 54 and still looking for work. I've been a admin forever and like you....want a job to pay bills. Yes I am particular to what type of company I work for also. I wish I new how to answer it. Seems like whenever you are honest....that's not a good thing for some. I'd love to answer "to retire".....not working anymore, living a good life....I have an interview on Monday. Hope there is someone who can give us a good answer.

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admin in Bay Area, California

74 months ago

Good luck Sheribow with your interview on Monday. I have a phone one later today and hopefull if I pass this one I can have a face to face one next week.

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Patricia in Ottawa, Ontario

74 months ago

I read this comment while at work today and made a mental note to go on the site today to give you my take on it. Here is the way I would tackle the question "What do you see yourself doing five years from now"?

What are your goals? In my position I am seeking to acquire greater knowledge and skills so I can better assist the professional I work for. You have to personalize where you see yourself. You can also say that you hope you are effective in maintaining the high standards of this office and that you hope to gain the trust and respect of your supervisor and the department.

Hope this helps and possibly helps you to come up with an answer customized to you and where you are at.

I have a few interview questions and answers on my blog at this link:
secretaryhelpline.blogspot.com/search?q=interview+question+and+answer+series

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admin in Bay Area, California

74 months ago

Hi Patricia - Thank you for responding. Thats kinda the answer what I have been giving and also saying that I'm always looking for new opportunities to learn new skills so that I can give my manager what he or she needs to be successful.

I just always thought maybe they were looking for something about 'what do you want to be when you grow up'.

Thank you so much for your help with this.

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Patricia in Ottawa, Ontario

74 months ago

I am not sure about "What do you want to be when you grow up?", but they could mean "Will you still be with us in five years"?

I think you are on the right track.

Patricia

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admin in Bay Area, California

74 months ago

Thats true, they might mean that to make sure you're going to stick around for awile. Thanks and have a great weekend!

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kim in Columbus, Ohio

74 months ago

I'm in the same position. Question.. How many of you have had interviews with"headhhunters" for a particular advertised position only to find out AFTER you're in their office that the postion has been "filled"?

Credibilty in that area is non-existant.

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Admin in Bay Area in Columbus, Ohio

74 months ago

I don't even consider them anymore. And I agree with you, I think they DO want to see what you look like, age, ect. I wish I was clever enough and the funds to do a dog and pony show in Washington DC to bring focus to their unlawfull practices.

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amber in El Paso, Texas

74 months ago

no le entendi ni papas

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Cheryl A. Price in Tell City, Indiana

73 months ago

kim in Columbus, Ohio said: I'm in the same position. Question.. How many of you have had interviews with"headhhunters" for a particular advertised position only to find out AFTER you're in their office that the postion has been "filled"?

Credibilty in that area is non-existant.

Many, many times. Here in Evansville the entire clerical field is so competitive I've been looking for a full-time job for over a year and working temp jobs just to pay the bills. Now even the temp jobs are running out. I'm listed with 5 temporary agencies. None of them have any work for me and at the end of the month I'll be losing my apartment with nowhere to go. I'm darn good at what I do, I love the work for its variety, and I don't even mind picking up the dry-cleaning and walking the dog. I even make great coffee. I've been on a few interviews, never make it to the second one and I'm so frustrated with not being hired. All I need is for someone in the area to give me a chance!
(I left my last position not because of the job or job performance; but because my husband had an affair with my boss. Try using that in an interview!)

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Cheryl A. Price in Tell City, Indiana

73 months ago

admin in Bay Area, California said: Hi Kim, Yes that has happened to me with the temp agencies around here. I look up their website or get job alerts that they have an opeining. I send in my resume. They call me to go in take a test and probably want to see what I look like before they could send me out to companies. But after I go in, get really great high scores on my test, they say, "well we dont have anything open right now, but keep calling to check in and see if we have something". I give up on then. Not going to waste my time with them anymore.

This is how I got signed up with so many temp agencies. The only good to come out of it is that when I'm in an interview, I have the statistics (test scores) to let people know my skill levels. Actually, the only assignment I've had in a year was three months at the Food Stamp office, and I don't even remember signing up with that agency. I was hired sight unseen off of the internet.

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kim in Columbus, Ohio

73 months ago

I'm in the same boat. Have you thought about relocating? I know it costs to move but if you could stay with someone (for free) store your furniture, etc. it might help.

Did your last employer fire the person that was having the affair with your ex?

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Cheryl A. Price in Tell City, Indiana

73 months ago

I was working at an apartment complex. The affair was with the property manager. They fired me, demoted her to leasing agent, fired the current leasing agent and hired a new property manager. As far as I know, no one even knew about the affair. She (the property manager) fired me before the shake-up happened and I didn't tell anyone.

I've considered relocating, but I was born and raised here, and I love this area. Plus my elderly parents are here with no-one but me to help and I can't leave them. I do have a sister living in Kansas (sorry, but I don't like Kansas)but I really need to stay here.

I trust things will look up soon.

Thank you for your encouragement.

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kim in Columbus, Ohio

73 months ago

I have been in the same situation as you. Very difficult. I would have explored legal options.

I wish you the best.

Kim

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Irene in Fresh Meadows, New York

71 months ago

This is a very bad world - nobody cares about others; nobody cares if you have bills or a sick child or an ederly to care; they only care about themselves. They are never satisfied and nothing can satisfy them, not even money. The more they have, the more they need and treat people like bag of rotten potatoes. We have to suffer and pray that one day, we wont have to be anybody's slave. God will help us.
love,
Irene

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Deborah Grimes in Cleveland, Ohio

71 months ago

admin in Bay Area, California said: Okay, I'm in my 50's, actually 57 and been an admin for 10+ years except temping that last 2 years.

Now going out for an interview and getting the question "What are you goals for the next 5 years"?

How does one answer that kind of question at my age? I dont really have a career goal. Though I'm being very picky where I apply and want to only work at certain companies and location, I need a job to pay bills.

Any help on how to answer this kind of question?

You can always say ( working for you, or being your assisting) in the next 5 years or more. good luck

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Cheryl in Evansville, Indiana

71 months ago

I, too, believe in a magnanimous creator, and sometimes because of my situation (like yours) I long to be with HIM instead of here on this earth, but I'm too cowardly to do anything about it.

You sound as despressed as I am. Please try to keep plugging along. I just tell those who ask that question that my goal is to find a position that will let me learn as much in the next 5 years as I have in the previous five.

Education is very important to me.

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Cheryl in Evansville, Indiana

71 months ago

I'm 51 and have been temping (with more than 15 years as an admin assistant) for over a year now. The job situation here is horrible. When people ask me what my goal is for the next five years, (I admit I lie) I tell them I'd like to complete my Associoates Degree in Office Administration. I really have no desire to go back to school yet again at my age, and I think I have very valuable skills, but no-one wants them. My goal is just to get a job that someone will let me keep for the next 15 years until retirement. which will probably suck anyway, with no money saved.

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Sandra in Baltimore, Maryland

71 months ago

well to be frank I am not yet 50 and have a bachelor's degree and still cannot find a job after 2 years of searching and working with the agencies. Yes most of those agency only want to see how you look and then it is back to the gutter to dig for grime.

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KRISTINA HOPE in La Grange, Illinois

71 months ago

admin in Bay Area, California said: Hi Kim, Yes that has happened to me with the temp agencies around here. I look up their website or get job alerts that they have an opeining. I send in my resume. They call me to go in take a test and probably want to see what I look like before they could send me out to companies. But after I go in, get really great high scores on my test, they say, "well we dont have anything open right now, but keep calling to check in and see if we have something". I give up on then. Not going to waste my time with them anymore.

I am the owner of a staffing firm and I do not have people come in if there is not a job available. Unfortunately, when I am telling candidates that I don't have anything right now it is because they probably were not dressed professionally, or did not have the personality the company desired. Good candidates are always placed. I would take a better look at yourself and make some changes. Also, do not have a resume that is more than one page and goes back more than 10 years.

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kiana in Bay Area, California

71 months ago

Thats great you dont have people go in but some agencies around here (Manpower, Office Team, etc) want you to go in if you've never worked with them before. They make you take a test on the computer and then have a short interview.

I dont know if you're talking directly to me but I don't need to take a better look at myself. I go into interviews dressing with a very nice expensive suit, always make sure my gray hair in colored, get a manicure and I'm always told I have a very impressive resume (1 page). I cant help it if I do have a few ugly little tumor bumps on my face which some people think its acne which I know it probably has alot to do with first impression looks. I am 58 but dont look it. I walk into the interview with smiles.

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KRISTINA HOPE in La Grange, Illinois

71 months ago

I suggest if you think your "little ugly tumor bumps" are holding you back, I would invest in a good dermatologist.

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kiana in Bay Area, California

71 months ago

I have something called Neurofibromatosis. Its not that easy to go have removed. Dermatologist dont take care of this. I would have to go to a Plastic Surgeon and back in 2004 they were 200 dollars each to have removed and I'm sure they cost more now. With no job and no insurance its a little difficult to do.

Are you one of those people that looks at someone and if they dont have a clear perfect fact you wont send them out on a job?

What is your problem!

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KRISTINA HOPE in La Grange, Illinois

71 months ago

I am sorry to hear of your condition. I am sure it is difficult for you. I was only defending temporary agencies, as I operate in a totally legal and fair way.

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Susan in San Diego, California

71 months ago

Listen up Ladies! Two months ago I moved to San Diego from Denver due to the terrible job market. Yesterday I had another interview. The office manager I interviewed with was very pleasant and had been with the company for 18 years. One comment she made during the interview was how most of the "young" women she has hired (and then fired) in the past didn't have the right attitude when it came to "duties as assigned" or taking inititive on their own (common sense) plus they are lazy! to put it bluntly. So don't dwell on that "age-thing" because "times-they-are-changing. Smart employers do recognize the advantages of hiring a "mature" and experienced individual rather than someone right out of high school or college students - in San Diego anyway. Don't be discouraged. Go to a website and get help with your resume and cover letters - VERY IMPORTANT! Spend some money on yourself and get a great new youthful hair style - VERY VERY IMPORTANT. Always put your professional looking foot forward at any age and for any job. Oh, by the way, I will be 61 in November.

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Admin Assist in Newark, New Jersey

71 months ago

I am 56 years old, and considering relocating to another state. I have been employed at my current job for 25 years, and kind of nervous about relocating and finding a new job. I've been told by several people that I shouldn't have any problems finding another job, however that's easier said than done, after reading others comments and responses. The reason I'm contemplating the move is that housing and taxes are so high in this area, whether you're buying or renting.

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JulesM in San Jose, California

70 months ago

Last week I was watching Project Runway and they were designing clothes for college kids getting a job. A remark that a couple of the judges made was something about wearing a suit was 'old school'.

Is that true these days? I am interviewing this week at a high tech company where I have temp in the past so I know working there they are very casual in clothes (wear jeans, shorts, etc)

So do you think suits are 'old school' these days? I was wondering if it would be okay to wear a nice blouse and black slacks. I am 52 years old. I have also seen young girls at places going in for interviews and they didnt have suits on.

What are your feelings? My interview is Tuesday and I dont know if I should stick with my suit or not. By the way, the interview will only be with 2 EAs that are screening everyone first.

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Cheryl Price in Clifty, Kentucky

70 months ago

First interview or not, your image and first impression are important! It's difficult to dress appropriately anymore. I don't agree that capris are proper business attire, especially for those of us "older" Americans. It depends on the type of job, of course, but I always try to dress one degree up from the people who are coming in to work everyday. But make it subtle. If a suit is not right, try a slack set or separates. That's my opinion.
Cheryl in Evansville IN

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JulesM in San Jose, California

70 months ago

Thank you very much for your replies. I will stick with my suit then.

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Noelene in Tauranga, New Zealand

69 months ago

Cheer up everyone..its happening all around the world, I live in New Zealand and moved from the sunny Bay of Islands to the Bay of Plenty in the North Island of NZ. Larger population and more job opportunities, I had a great job with the government in the Bay of Islands, since moving I have not found full time work and my bills are screaming at me..I have decided which ever comes first a great full time job I am happy with or taking up full time studies in NZ Dipl in Business for 1year come 2009. I leave that to the universe..corny yep! but all of you sound like you are doing everything you know how and I say keep up your positive attitudes and don't loose sight of your strengths..

Noelene of Tauranga NZ

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Bridgette in Lewisville, Texas

68 months ago

I had a great interview and was asked that question, where do you want to be 5 years from now. It was asked by a younger woman, probably in her late 20's, I am 60. I've been an EA to CEO's for years, and had asked my assistants and people I hired the same question. But now at my age, it sounded so ridiculous. My quick retort I kept to myself, although I almost burst out laughing. Mentally, I thought, LIVING.

When I was younger, the answer was, "working and thriving with your company."

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Deborah James in Alameda, California

68 months ago

Bridgette in Lewisville, Texas said:

When I was younger, the answer was, "working and thriving with your company."


___________________________________________________________________

I like that, excellent answer. I had an interview yesterday with a financial services company. When asked why I wanted to get out of the legal field, I had to really think to come up with a tactful answer, instead of blurting out "because I think that most of them are lunatics."

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

68 months ago

Deborah:

A tactful answer is, "I've had a wonderful career in the legal field; however, I feel as though I've reached my full potential. I am so full of energy. I want to move my career ambitions to a position where I can use my past experience and knowledge, with the opportunity to reinvent myself, learn new skills, and develop potential in the X field. And I think I am a good fit for this position because ____

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c1040 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

67 months ago

Personally, I think it's a shame that professionals like you are overlooked. I have been looking for 8 months here, sending out resumes nearly every single workday. I have had only one interview in all that time. The interesting thing is that I keep seeing the same positions for the same employers after a period of time, which makes me think that the person who initially was awarded the job either didn't measure up, or there is something wrong with the employer that is not being addressed. I don't know about you, but I do not resend a resume in that case. And yes, I do think that mature ladies are outdone by the young ladies, because they are generally screened by men. I just turned 59, by the way.

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PK in Southlake, Texas

66 months ago

I have not been in the professional work force for 15 years because I was decided to be a stay-at-home mom. I've done significant volunteer work for the school and my church. Should I include this on my resume? Yes I know this is a lousy time for someone with no current professional experience but I am totally competent to perform most admin jobs. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

66 months ago

Yes, include your volunteer work for the school and church. It's work - even if you didn't get paid, and it's part of the skills you have accumulated.

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Rich in Hinsdale, Illinois

66 months ago

Mary in Tampa: Don't mention working for a church. Churches take anyone who works for free--in other words, your time is worthless. Plus you should leave religion out of business. There are a lot of people who think that belonging to a religion is a sign of inherent stupidity.

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

66 months ago

Well, it should be obvious I don't go to church.

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PK in Southlake, Texas

66 months ago

Thanks for your helpful comments!

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PK in Southlake, Texas

66 months ago

That's discouraging to hear about the age thing. I guess because as a former manager it just never crossed my mind when interviewing people. If they had the skills needed they were hired. I keep seeing articles about age being less of an issue these days. Guess it's not true huh? I may never find a job with two strikes against me...lack of current experience and age. Anyway I wish you good luck with your hunt.

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Jan L in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

66 months ago

Resonding to those 50+ who are asked in interviews where do you want to be in 5 years...

My reply is... "to be in a position where I have honed my craft - where I have not only mastered the responsibilities I have been given, but enhanced the position, made improvements to the position that have benefited not only myself, but the company.
Have proven that I can take on new responsibilities and continue delivering outstanding performance."

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Sharie in Bowling Green, Kentucky

66 months ago

Thank you for your reply! I LOVED that answer and you expressed it perfectly. I'll be more prepared next time. Thanks for your help in this discouraging job market.

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Sharie in Bowling Green, Kentucky

66 months ago

Rich in Hinsdale, Illinois said: Mary in Tampa: Don't mention working for a church. Churches take anyone who works for free--in other words, your time is worthless. Plus you should leave religion out of business. There are a lot of people who think that belonging to a religion is a sign of inherent stupidity.

I disagree. I have only had respect when I've mentioned my work at a church. Being the "campaign manager" for a financial drive indicates that I have a lot going for me ... religion aside. I've had employers identify with me regarding what a tough job that is (they've done it) or I should be commended that we surpassed our goal. It also indicates that I have some moral values and won't be stealing the petty cash.

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Kareny@comcast.net in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

66 months ago

I think that reply was the best one, too. I am new to this group. I'm actually a Paralegal that can't find work in the Philadelphia personal injury field. I also have a BS in Marketing Management, but when I went to school, they didn't have the internet. It seems I can't find anything with my marketing degree because all the jobs have something to do with search engine optimization, CRM, email traffic. So now I am trying to apply for an Administrative Assistant job. I'm not even sure exactly what is expected of an administrative or Executive Assistant so anyone who can give me advice how to better make travel arrangements besides looking for flights on the internet or calling a travel agency, please respond. Anybody have any ideas what else I can go into. Oh, and how much do Admin. or Executive Assistants make?

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Rich in Hinsdale, Illinois

66 months ago

Going to church means you'll never steal or misappropriate funds? Where did you ever get that idea? Guess you never heard of Rev. Ted Haggard, and the other fakes. Just last week a priest got arrested for stealing over $300,000 of parish funds---he had a gambling and party problem. At least he did not molest any kids. So, don't be so smug about "moral" matters being an automatic with "church" people.

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Rich in Hinsdale, Illinois

66 months ago

You entirely missed my point.

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Comment-asaurus in Orlando, Florida

66 months ago

Putting volunteering experience on a resume is only appropriate if it relates to the job you are applying for in some way, shape or form. Meaning, if you had been retired and are coming out of retirement you could use the volunteer work as a reference/explanation of how you've spent your time. Or, say if you are applying for a job that involves event planning/coordinating and you had done just that for your church recently. then use it.

Otherwise it is more resume fodder that the HR manager will just skip over. Save some ink. ;)

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Sharie in Bowling Green, Kentucky

66 months ago

Exactly. The volunteer experience I had related to the job I landed. Actually, I never applied. They sought me for those organizational and planning skills after a vendor friend of mine recommended me for an open marketing position in a corporation he called on - the manager was struggling to find the right person. It proves, once again, that networking can seriously help you find the right job. The old saying applies, "Never burn your bridges."

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Sharie in Bowling Green, Kentucky

66 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: You had said religion equates to stupidity. Again, your point does not relate in any way to volunteerism.

I agree. The comments are off course. Religion had nothing to do with my very first comment about voluenteerism. Apparently, Mary and Rich moved in a different direction. The skills learned and used as a volunteer provide you with something to put on a resume if you have nothing else! That was all this was about. Staying home with children is an honorable job. If you volunteered during that time home, it can be helpful later on when re-entering the corporate world. The the accomplishments need to be specific in order to be job-related. "Served as Chairperson of XYZ building campaign; exceeded fund raising goal by 75%" says more about you than "XYZ church volunteer" - meeting goals and working with groups of people to meet those goals, indicates interpersonal skills, organization, meeting deadlines and leadership. This entire conversation was related to a "mom" who needed something for her resume. There will always be crooked people, in churches or elsewhere, but they seldom put the church down on their resume and apply for an office position!

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