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The "Describe your Ideal Job" interview question

By silvioandpauly ·
Made it to the "phone Interview" - think I aced the technical questions. Then they asked "Describe your Ideal Job" Don't know if I blew it!

My first thought was a resort owner on a tropical island, but hmmm...just kind of stumbled through it. I didn't want to tell him I'd rather eat glass than work for my current employer.

What are they really looking for?

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ideal job

by ITgirli In reply to The "Describe your Ideal ...

describe a job that has the same basic functions that they are looking for. I usually answer with something like "My ideal job would be working for a company where I would be encouraged to continue my education, there was job security, and the work was something that I enjoyed doing." Evasive, but hasn't failed me yet.

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What I would be looking for

by JamesRL In reply to ideal job

I don't ask that question, but I think its a "fit" question. In other words, is there a match between what the candidate wants to grow into, and what we might have available. If the candidate wants to run a team of 20 and there will only ever be 5 team mates, its probably not the right place to be.

I have been asked, and do ask, Why this company? That reveals alot - if they know nothing about the company, then they aren't serious and are wasting your time. I knew that I wanted my current employer for a number of reasons - right industry (software), right size, stable and established.

James

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James has got it right

by j.lupo In reply to What I would be looking f ...

This is one of those fit questions to see whether you are just looking for any job or will really want to work for this company and are you a fit.

For me, this question usually means I describe what they want me to do with emphasis on what I can add to the position if they want.

It is important before any interview to research the company, know as much as you can including any recent press releases if possible. If there is time and you can go to the area where the company is, check the local restaurants and see if their employees eat there and how the neighborhood views the company.

This may be strange to some, but I have done this and it turned out that the hiring manager and I liked the same type of restaurants. When he needed a good team event, I suggested a favorite place that he ended up bringing business to for the company and they catered to the company. (not sure that made sense).

At any rate, it gives you and idea as to how community minded a company may be as well as finding out who their competitors, mission, vision, etc are from other sources.

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Are you interesting?

by robert.engle In reply to James has got it right

This is one of those open ended questions that everyone hates to answer. My opinion is, generally speaking, the details don't matter so much as the overall job. For example, if your ideal job is to be on the bleeding edge of technology, developing new products, software or whatever, you better be interviewing for a job at a high tech, heavy R&D budget company. If your interviewing at a non-tech company, bleeding edge probably isn't their thing. At this type business you should be interested doing more with less, outstanding customer service, or being innovative with what you've got to work with.

I view it as two broad categories; Are you customer service focused or are you out in the wild frontier forging new territory. I agree with the earlier post about, "if your goal is to manager a 20 person shop...".

At the end of the day for most people looking for a job the ideal job is the place that will hire them. The real question becomes what will your ideal job be a year from now. Will you be happy doing the job you are interviewing for or will you be bored out of you mind. This is what the interviewer is trying to find out.

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It's often the little things...

by RoguePope In reply to James has got it right

James & j.lupo,

You have good points. So often it's the little things that separate one candidate from the pack. This is often a good behavioral question to see if you are going to be a cultural fit with something exta to bring to the table, should they hire you!

The more info that you have on a company and their surrounding community, the better. If you're hearing some bad things across the board, you may want to reconsider if these are big dtractors from YOUR employer selection criteria.

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Yes James - and humour is part of the fit

by J Alley In reply to What I would be looking f ...

I would have gone for the manager of the tropical resort if that is your ideal (for me it might be ski instructor) with a tongue in cheek voice and then quickly follow up with the real job.

Injecting humour into an interview shows me that you fit. We work in a high pressure team and I need my team to be able to use humour to keep the team spirit when the going gets tough. It also shows the life-work balance that makes us human. And it makes it personal, showing some of the things you value in a way that interviewers are not allowed to ask.

You can also use this type of question to sell your strong points. "I dream of managing a tropical resort because I like serving people, I am good at it, serving people is easier when they want to be happy with the product (be that a vacation or using the excellent products of your company), and I would have a huge investment in keeping them happy that way."

And then you can follow up with reality and continue to sell your skills and abilities. "I do love vacations, but you can only stand so much sand between your toes, and I really love ...."

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Fit over Function?

by Too Old For IT In reply to What I would be looking f ...

I tend to avoid "fit" questions like the plague. Everyone wants to be a good fit, everyone is a team player, blah, blah, blah. I am looking for someone who can do the job, rise very far very fast in a pure meritocracy, belives in capitalism, and has eschewed PC-speech in his thoughts and words.

For instance, I heard a candidate answer the "how do you fit in the team" question (not from me!) with an answer that indicated he didn't believe in teams, as they just held back superior talent and made mediocre managers look good. He will go far, and I hope we can interest him with an offer.

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re:ideal job by ITgirli

by macghee In reply to ideal job

Thanks! I like that answer and am going to use it.

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Must have worked

by silvioandpauly In reply to ideal job

Well, I told them that I like what I'm doing, but want to move on due to the market conditions of the field I'm in.

I guess it worked - they want to see me for a personal interview.

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Nice Answer

by vasanthraj In reply to ideal job

Thanks to ITgirli,
Now i have an answer to this tricky question, I may need to modify it, but the idea is good.

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