Answer the Interview Question: "What Is Your Dream Job?"

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 10, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're interviewing for a new job, preparing for the interview can help improve your chances of receiving the position. One way to prepare is to research potential questions the interviewer may ask ahead of time, such as, "What is your dream job?". Learning how to answer this common interview question can help you highlight your interests and strengths to impress prospective employers. In this article, we explain why interviewers may ask this question, discuss how you can answer it effectively, offer example answers, and give you tips to improve your chances of getting your dream job.

Why employers ask, "What is your dream job?"

Interviewers may ask the question, "What is your dream job?" to get to know you better. They want to learn about your passions, interests, and values to see if you might be a good fit for the company. They also want to ensure that you're interested in the position for a specific reason so you can remain engaged and happy with your work. Employers may not expect you to say the position you're applying for is your dream job, but they want to ensure that your dream job involves the responsibilities they offer.

Related: How to Find Your Dream Job in 5 Steps (Including Tips)

How to answer the interview question, "What is your dream job?"

If an interviewer asks you what your dream job is, here are the steps you can follow to answer the question effectively:

1. Describe a job in general

Instead of discussing a specific job title, discuss the general duties and responsibilities of that position. For example, you can explain how you might love to have a job that helps people and makes a difference in their lives. You can also mention that you want to work with the latest technology because you often spend your free time researching the newest trends and products in the industry. This ensures you're not limited to a specific position in case the employer thinks another job within the company may suit you better.

Related: 20 Dream Jobs to Consider (With Salary information)

2. Discuss your values

Discussing your values can help the employer assess what motivates you and whether you have the same goals as the company. Answering this question is most helpful when you can relate it to the reasons why the company can hire you. You can say that it's important to be accountable as an employee so others can depend on you or that you always keep a positive attitude. If your answer matches the interviewer's values, it can help you advance in the hiring process. Assess the company's values before to ensure yours align.

Related: Core Value Examples for the Workplace (With Tips and FAQs)

3. Mention your strengths

Discuss your current strengths and skill set and relate them to the job to show employers why you may be the best fit. If you mentioned this earlier in your interview, you can still go into more detail when asked about your dream job. The employer may not expect you to have every skill you need for your ideal job immediately, so this question also gives you the chance to mention areas in which you might like to grow.

Related: How to Get That Job You Want (A Step-By-Step Guide)

4. Tailor your answer to the job

While it's important for your answer to reflect your general skills and values, also ensure it relates to the position. When you show a match between the job you want and the qualities and skills you already possess, you're demonstrating why you may be a great fit for the position. Read the job description before your interview so you can include specific keywords in your answer. If you see you might be working on a team, for example, mention that you enjoy working with others to complete a project, and list any previous success you have had in this area.

Interview tips to get your dream job

Here are some interview tips that can help improve your chances of getting your dream job:

Determine your short-term and long-term goals

Before the interview, determine what your short-term and long-term goals are and assess how the position you're applying for can help you reach those goals. This can help you prepare for a number of interview questions, including ones about your dream job, where you see yourself in five years, or what you hope to achieve at the company.

Related: What Are Sample Goals for Employees? (And How to Set Them)

Research the company and position

Researching the company and position can help you tailor your answers to the employer, which is especially beneficial when interviewing for multiple jobs. Research the company's history, goals, and values to ensure your own goals and values align. Learn more about the position, such as its average salary and common responsibilities. This can help you determine whether this is the right company and position for you.

Make a list of questions to ask the interviewer

In addition to asking you about your dream job, many interviews include the employer asking if you have any questions, typically at the end. Interviewers ask this question to assess your level of interest in the position and engagement with the interview. Having questions prepared ahead of time can show the interviewer you're curious about the position and company and want to learn more about it. Try to listen actively throughout the interview as well to ask questions about topics the interviewer mentioned. Here are some examples of questions you can ask at the end of an interview:

  • What's the biggest challenge I might face in this role?

  • What would a typical day in this position be like?

  • How would you describe your leadership style?

  • What skills or traits are most important to be successful in this role?

  • What would the onboarding and training process look like if I were hired for this position?

  • What are the company's goals for the next five years?

  • What would you expect of me in my first three months in the role?

Practise your answers with your family or friends

Research potential interview questions the employer may ask you to help you prepare. They may ask a mix of role-specific questions and general ones to get to know you, your skills, and your experience better. Preparing your answers ahead of time can help you feel more confident during the interview and helps ensure you don't forget any important details.

Hold a mock interview with your family or friends so you can practise reciting your answers. You can also focus on maintaining the correct body language to show the interviewer you're engaged in the conversation. Your family and friends can offer honest feedback to help you improve.

Example answers for "What is your dream job?"

Here are some example answers you can use to inspire your own answers when interviewers ask what your dream job is:

Example 1

Here's a general way you can answer this interview question:

“My dream job would allow me to make a positive impact on people every day. I would love to work for a company like yours that makes time-saving and life-enriching products that thousands of people use. I would love to be part of a team that finds innovative ways to make products more efficient and effective.”

Example 2

Here's an example of a way to answer this question by highlighting your values:

“I value teamwork and communication, so I would love to work in a job setting where everyone works well together and holds themselves accountable. I always make sure to finish my assignments on time, and I would love to depend on my coworkers to do the same. I have always been a positive person, which translates to my work as well. Even when working on a challenging project, I find it essential to stay positive about it. I believe this could influence my coworkers to act similarly.”

Example 3

Here's a way to highlight your strengths when answering this question:

“As I mentioned earlier, I have five years of experience in the food industry, mostly at bakeries. My dream job would be to continue working in bakeries as a manager. Many previous employers told me I work well with people and have great communication skills with my coworkers, so I would like to build on that by advancing into management. I also want to improve my financial skills by learning more about budgeting, payroll, and sales.”

Example 4

Here's a way to tailor your answer to a leadership position:

“I enjoy guiding other team members on projects and making sure everything goes smoothly. My dream job would be a leadership position where the other team members are active participants and communication happens daily. I love seeing a project through to the end and celebrating everyone's hard work.”

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