Interview Question: What Are Your Career Options Right Now?
After graduating from school, the next facet involves choosing and focusing on a career and having career options. Having relevant career options is essential; most firms, companies, and enterprises are interested in hiring visionary employees, and individuals that have a lot to offer. Therefore, when applying for a job or preparing for an interview, be ready to have answers to questions about your career options.
When you come across this question during an interview, you are expected to elaborate on your market value and self-worth/ perception. Also, recruitment managers and potential employers are interested in knowing if your expertise or services is highly demanded by multiple employers. In relation, the question is meant to let interviewers have an idea about what you are focused on; be it concentrating on a particular or specific sector/industry or a general position. However, this question should not be misunderstood for the question- what are your future career goals? While the latter question is meant to find out what you intend to do and the career path you hope to follow in the future, the former question is interested in your present or current career options and opportunities.
Job seekers and applicants who discuss a variety of diverse career options might inadvertently make their potential employer or recruitment manager develop doubts about their focus generally. On the other hand, when you lay emphasis on just a few career options, your interviewer(s) might sense and feel that your services are not in high or sufficient demand due to a lack of proper/adequate training or insufficient skills. Therefore, you should strike a balance in order to convince your interviewers and answer the question positively. Hence, this article will provide guidelines to applicants on how to answer the question what are your career options right now?
Answering The Question “What Are Your Career Options Right Now?”
Answering the question shouldn’t involve unnecessary over-elaboration; you are merely required to show the interviewers that you possess unique marketable and employability skills. Your response should be genuine, sincere, and honest. Most Organizations, employers, or recruitment managers ask this question with the aim of knowing or finding out more about your capabilities in a broader sense. They want to see if you have a good sense of your own abilities and worth. Thus, showing that you have solid knowledge and familiarity with your options is a great way of accomplishing this. Therefore, the following tips should be considered when preparing and/or answering the question “what are your career options right now?”
- Stay focused on similar industries
- Mention key skills and experiences that make you stand out
- Be confident yet humble
- Maintain a positive tone regardless of how diverse your options are.
- Don’t consider the question a challenge
Stay focused on similar industries: More often than not, applicants try to convince interviewers that they are a “jack of all trades” when asked this question. In as much as it is good to show diversity in career options, maintaining focus and being decisive is arguably more important. You should stay focused by mentioning and emphasizing one or two similar industries to avoid appearing indecisive. When faced with this question, show your potential employers that you are an asset in the role, sector, or industry that is similar or closely related to the one you are interviewing for. Most employers are after candidates with marketability value and career options in a defined field or area, and not applicants that appear to neither be here nor there. However, it is important to make your answer in sync with the role you applied for. You shouldn’t be talking about being a marketable asset in retail when you are interviewing for the role of an engineer.
Mention key skills and experiences that make you stand out: Generally, interviewers are on the lookout for highly skilled candidates to hire. Even as fresh graduates, making reference to the skills and experiences you garnered during Industrial Training or volunteering is another way of answering the question. Therefore, highlight some of the key and essential skills and experiences that make you a quality candidate when talking about your career options. Make sure you elaborate more on the skills that are essential for the role you are applying for.
Be Confident yet Humble: Confidence and humility are two core values employers look out for. Your qualifications, skills, achievement, expertise, and experience will amount to nothing without confidence. When you can’t defend your qualifications and express your career options confidently, your chance of getting hired reduces. In contrast, when you show confidence when discussing your career options, you invariably boost your chances of standing out and subsequently getting the job. Relatively, you don’t want to sound arrogant before interviewers when discussing your career options. Don’t make them feel like you’re doing them a favour by applying for the role even if you are overqualified.
Maintain a positive tone regardless of the situation: When talking about your career options, it is crucial to remain positive even if the situation on the ground doesn’t warrant it. Always keep a positive tone regardless. Most candidates make the mistake of dwelling on the negatives when talking about career options. For example, an accountant might allude and dwell on the fact that restructuring in the banking sector has reduced his/her options and opportunities. This will definitely not go down well with your potential employers. Instead, the accountant can emphasize the positives by saying “despite the loss of jobs in the banking sector, my career options spread across NGOs, Private firms, and private businesses that require the services of an accountant to run their enterprise and organization smoothly”. With this, you have successfully discussed your career options in a positive way.
Don’t consider the question a challenge: More importantly, don’t see the question as a challenge. Rather, see it as an opportunity to show your desire to work at the organization you are interviewing with, in spite of the demand for your services that may exist elsewhere.
Example Of An Answer To The Question
A Computer programmer can say “I have received call-backs from two other firms that are in need of an experienced programmer, although this job is the one that interests me the most. I know I could always go back to database management as well, which there is currently a high demand for, but programming is what really engages me the most.
Mistakes To Avoid When Answering The Question
- Keep your answer(s) relevant. Don’t talk about bars and restaurants that want to hire you if you are interviewing with a hospital.
- Refrain from taking an arrogant disposition in describing your career options.
- Don’t dance around the question; failure to provide specifics makes you appear unprepared or disingenuous.