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  • #2182720

    The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

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    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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    • #3239001

      ideal job

      by itgirli ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      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.

      • #3238995

        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

        • #3235719

          James has got it right

          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to What I would be looking for

          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.

        • #3171183

          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.

        • #3171028

          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.

        • #3171166

          Yes James – and humour is part of the fit

          by j alley ·

          In reply to What I would be looking for

          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 ….”

        • #3171157

          Fit over Function?

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to What I would be looking for

          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.

      • #3171934

        re:ideal job by ITgirli

        by macghee ·

        In reply to ideal job

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

      • #3172243

        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.

      • #3169678

        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.

      • #3169594

        BS at your own risk

        by michaelpo ·

        In reply to ideal job

        As a hiring manager, I tend to stay away from these generic questions. However, if you told me your ideal job “was continue my education, there was job security, and the work was something that I enjoyed doing”. My response would be to ask you how you felt our company would support each of these goals.

        Sometimes you ask questions just to see if you will receive BS answers.

        Best answer is honesty. Do your homework on the company. These goals are fine, however after stating them, add that you found the company has a tuition reimbursement program and have not reported a RIF in some time. Then state you would like to discuss specific duties to see if they aligned with your third objective.

        Now I know what you want and you are serious about the company. Now I can be serious about you as a candidate.

        • #3171197

          RE: BS at your own risk

          by alnikolov ·

          In reply to BS at your own risk

          In my company I make the interviews but I do not sight the contracts 🙂 And I would appreciate “tropical island hotel owner” type of answer. A candidate that is honest stands out from the crowd. In fact I always ask this type of generic questions just to see who is going to give me an honest answer. Most of these questions have been answered long time ago and you can find a lot of BS answers in the discussion forums. So it will be very easy to filter the valuable individuals from the crowd.

        • #3171168

          bs or humourous>

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to RE: BS at your own risk

          after all, talking through thier hats is bs.
          saying they want to get paid to beat on people that are chained up is humourous.

          ie:
          my perfect job would be to get paid to use whips on chained females!!
          ( true even )

        • #3171368

          Having been on both sides

          by donweb ·

          In reply to RE: BS at your own risk

          I used this question to see how the person reacted. I didn’t really care about the answer but I wanted to see if they hmmmm’d and hawwwwwed around or had a ready answer.

          When I decided to quit being a consultant and be a (sob sob) employee again, I tried all the tips here. Researched the companies etc.

          Finally, I was asked this question and threw caution to the wind.

          I said “My ideal job would be sitting on my butt having money flow in so I could focus on my first love, programming. However, my WIFE’S idea of an ideal job is one that brings in a steady paycheck, has good benefits, and pays the bills.”

          I got that job.

          The questions like this should just be used to throw somebody off track from canned remarks. I used to throw one in like this “Do you ever lose at solitaire?”

          How do you answer that one? 🙂

          The point being, it breaks their focus and I want to see how they think.

        • #3171209

          I never!

          by jessie ·

          In reply to Having been on both sides

          …lose at solitaire! I don’t play it. I prefer freecell and I never lose at that either… That’s what Ctrl+shift+F10 is for!!!

        • #3171610

          because both sides need to check the fit

          by jerry~beans&bytes ·

          In reply to Having been on both sides

          i, too, like to use these kinds of questions to check out the people on the other side of the table.

          as someone who has had to do a lot of hiring, i know the costs to the company when you make a bad hire, but i have also felt the pain in my life after taking a job where i didn’t fit the company.

        • #3170949

          RE: BS at your own risk

          by dats_ripe ·

          In reply to BS at your own risk

          I couldn’t agree more with MichaelPO and some of the other responses.

          The best anwser is honesty. Your lies will catch up with you soon or later. You should want to further your education, want job security, work you enjoy doing, and an atmosphere that you enjoy; otherwise you want be a good candidate, but a risk for the company.

        • #3171797

          Honesty !!!

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to BS at your own risk

          No one else gave me an interview
          You are nearer home
          You pay more
          My mates work here and they said it was a laugh.
          I want your job.
          LOL

        • #3179059

          Crashing Cars

          by brj1980 ·

          In reply to Honesty !!!

          The best job in the world has to be those lucky people that get to crash those cars for testing. That is the best job.

      • #3171145

        Depends what you are looking for…

        by tlea ·

        In reply to ideal job

        The “correct” answer to this question really depends on the type of employer for which you want to work. Do you want to work for someone who is looking for a canned answer that you can find on the internet, an answer pertaining to the company and position for which you are interviewing, or a relatively honest answer?

        Personally I like to work for companies looking for the honest answer as they are looking for individuals who are not afraid to express their ideas.

        Companies looking for answers pertaining the themselves and the position for which they are hiring are also good choices, because it shows that they are concerned with and willing to put effort forth in making a good match with a prospective employee.

        The “canned” answer company in the worse, because it shows a lack of effort to find the best solution instead of just an adequate one. If this is they way things are done when hiring prospective employees, then it stands to reason other decisions are made this way.

        That said, in my opinion if you have the luxury of taking time looking for the “perfect” position, be honest. You want an employer who is going to listen to your ideas. If you don’t have this luxury, I think mixing an honest answer with a little song and dance is probably the best solution. Just be prepared to back up your BS.

      • #3170893

        How bout?

        by jkaras ·

        In reply to ideal job

        How does this rediculously large salery, company exotic car, and personal ex super model secretary over looking the greater metropolis area sound to you Mr.Karas? Priceless. sigh….back to my drab little cube.

      • #3191148

        I like what ITGirlie said.

        by subdie ·

        In reply to ideal job

        I have an interview today and if the question comes up I plan on using that response. I also agree with James reply but the only problem with that is most of the time (at least for me) I’m doing my initial interviews with recruiters and not the actual company that is hiring. This makes it difficult to research the hiring company. If you make it past the recruiters and they give you the company info then I would do the research. Anyhow, both are excellent answers.

      • #3191963

        What is your ideal candidate?

        by john.thomson ·

        In reply to ideal job

        The interview is a two way process – are you right for each other, and if one of you answers no, then ideally you should not engage any further as the benefit to one or other will be limited at best.
        My advice is to be positively honest, your last “ideal opportunity” is the one you are looking to leave – correct? use their company culture to slant your answer regardless of whether you give a “billionare dreamland” or “your advertised position” by all means. Reflect this “very astute question” back to them (as a mark of respect do this after you answer thiers)- what is their ideal candidate? they want to know if you will fit and I repeat, this is two way – are they good for what you want.
        This is not a question for a short term (<15 month) duration within an organisation so they are looking for commitment, you are looking for your reason to stay. I pick 15 months as a duration based on the fact that less could border on being a contract position and greater than 12 months certainly means vesting an amount of Intellectual Property in someone.

        I wish you and any readers the very best in your career advancement search because, when you get it right its fantastic, wrong is not somewhere anyone wants to go.

        OK - I have not answered the question, the answer really lies in X months time i.e. did you get the position, are you both happy. If you did not get the position then you gave the right answer, as your prospective employer realised something about you that would not work or visa versa. Either way, this is good news.

    • #3238990

      When answering this question…

      by salamander ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      …remember that it’s not all about what you desire from the job. To answer this question well, you have to work in what you can give your employer. That varies according to the situation, but your response should be tailored as to how you can meet their present and future needs.

      • #3169600

        Agreed

        by gauravbahal ·

        In reply to When answering this question…

        Its a good question to see how you fit in the current profile and also to gauge what you can offer to the client. Also, shows how interested you are in the job (because if you are, then you ought to know all about the career path, the roles and responsibilities). It would be a good idea to get a hang of what the compaby expects at different levels (deignations), it might so happen that you may be over qualifed for the current position and might as well fit in a higher role (I have seen that happen sometimes). And if God favors you, there might be a vacancy at the higher level 😉

      • #3169585

        Reply To: The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

        by m_cg ·

        In reply to When answering this question…

        I think Salamander is on the right track. By definition all of their questions are how you fit within them.

        However, they may also be interested in what growth path you wish to take. Do you want to be technical or managerial?

        A third idea, is that it may be okay to be vague. Such as, I really enjoy wroiting code, but I also enjoy working with customers.

      • #3171506

        I’ve taken a different direction

        by stan20 ·

        In reply to When answering this question…

        Years ago when I would apply for a job, I would show why I was the best person for the job, listing applicable skills, similar projects that I worked on in the past, etc. And I nearly always got the job.

        As I got older, that seemed to be less effective, and the percentage of job offers dropped below 90% then below 80%. So I decided to use proven ability alone. I would only consider companies that could convince me that they had projects that I was interested in. And made no secret of the fact that I would leave the day they no longer had anything of interest.

        While I wouldn’t recommend that as a strategy, I got an offer everywhere I applied.

    • #3235918

      Basically, it’s a loaded question

      by itgirli ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      You had better give them what they want to hear.

      • #3254799

        So shoot blanks.

        by absolutely ·

        In reply to Basically, it’s a loaded question

        Remember, the truth doesn’t matter here. There’s no chance that your interviewer will notice if you’re bullsitting. As long as you give the expected answer, you’re fine. You should never bother with something honest if that answer would place you at an island resort. Even if you have specific visions of how your resort would be unique, you should never give the impression that the job you are seeking is anything but your ideal job.

        • #3169606

          I disagree – be honest

          by talentonloan ·

          In reply to So shoot blanks.

          If I was an interviewer I would want to hear about the resort. While at first it might seem from left field, it may be an extraordinary opportunity to explore some things that get to the real heart of the interview process – hopes, goals, dreams.

          There is nothing wrong with a goal that doesn’t seem at first to ‘match’ the company. But if the resort operation has similarities to the current position – ie. need for a challenge, people oriented, dynamic environment, challenge of learning new skills, etc. it can turn into a positive. Furthermore, it establishes from the beginning that you are not just a ‘yes man/woman’ who will say anything to please, just to get what you (think) you want. It also shows that you are willing to take a reasonable risk and think more deeply about your own life and goals.

          tol

        • #3171789

          Your kidding right ?

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to I disagree – be honest

          As an interviewee, it’s my job to convince the interviewer I’m the man for the job.
          As an interview its my job not to be fooled by an idiot.
          My ideal job would be landscape gardening, it wouldn’t be the response if I was applying for an IT job though. You might as well blow your nose on the hirer’s shirt.

        • #3173071

          no – not kidding

          by talentonloan ·

          In reply to Your kidding right ?

          Greetings Tony

          I see the interview process as a dialog. You share with your perspective employer some things about yourself (only part of which is your skill set) and and listen to them and their presentation of the job and then join with them to mutually decide whether or not there is a good fit. Mutually in the sense that the decision is theirs to hire, but yours to accept. Have you ever been offered a job and realized that, for certain reasons, it is not for you? I used to be in sales, and I can usually spot the ‘sales approach’ and will try to get behind the pitch to the real person who is seeking the job – their motivations, skills, interests, etc.

          I know the shortcoming of the hard sell approach personally. I once ‘sold’ myself quite well into a job, and what I ended up doing was missing all the important clues as to why simply my passionate desire to acquire that position blinded me to why it was NOT where I needed to be.

          A listening, relaxed and personally engaging approach actually ends up helping immensely in building confidence in the inteview team in you as a person. This means that they can trust all the high power verbiage in your resume and trust you with their business.

          If I was on an interview team and you told me that you were interested in landscape gardening I would probably ask you whether you found it to be just a welcome respite from all the cerebral or interpersonal stresses of IT work, or whether you found some connection to the kind of approach you have in your IT work. If you honestly said you did it because you like to see things grow or you like to structure environments to enable growth to happen I would be far more impressed with that than with some blurb on a technical resume. It might imply a willingness to interact with an ‘environment’ – a truly valuable skill. It also tells your perspective boss something about what might make a appropriate holiday gift – like a unique plant or something. A relationship is forming. Then when it comes to deciding who is hired, someone with a positive ‘relationship’ in the works is always a stronger candidate.

          BTW – Best wishes to you when you elect to pull the IT plug and pursue the landscaping work!

        • #3183484

          The worst career advice I’ve ever heard…

          by mrfurry ·

          In reply to So shoot blanks.

          “Remember, the truth doesn’t matter here. There’s no chance that your interviewer will notice if you’re bullsitting. As long as you give the expected answer, you’re fine.”

          First, the truth always matter in a job interview, you won’t get a job offer if the interviewer knows your not telling the truth… or BSing, as the case may be. And the whole point of this discussion is… what IS the expected answer? Telling someone ‘as long as you give the expected answer’ is useless.

      • #3170783

        Give THEM what they want to hear???

        by leoxx037 ·

        In reply to Basically, it’s a loaded question

        Why would you want to give THEM what they want to hear? Wouldn’t you want a job where you feel good about? It?s important to understand that the ?describe your ideal job? is to help you too. Sure it could cost you the interview, but then it?s better to have lost the interview then to be unhappy doing something you really don?t want to do.

        Granted, the ?describe your ideal job? is not 100% reasonable but the truth will help everyone. If you are interview with a company, you better ?really want to be there? or else you are wasting your time and theirs. Trust me I have been there. It?s a hard road out there and sometimes we need to get the job just to pay the bills but if it cost your happiness then it?s not worth it!

        The bottom line, you got to love what you do, if not, it?s time for a change. The interview and the ?describe your ideal job? question is the first step in weeding-out the ?hell? jobs.

        • #3172083

          I’m always amused at the “say & do the exact ‘right’ things” approach.

          by sjohnson175 ·

          In reply to Give THEM what they want to hear???

          When I interview I always try to show the real, professional “me”.

          I want the company to know exactly what they’re buying. Everyone is happier in the long run.

          Of couse, this does mean it sometimes takes me longer in my search. I have been hitting it hard since 12/04 and finally just got an offer yesterday off a 15 minute interview two weeks ago.

        • #3169596

          Be real

          by propellerheadus ·

          In reply to I’m always amused at the “say & do the exact ‘right’ things” approach.

          The questions might be bogus sometimes, but in the end I have to agree that honesty is the best policy with the impossible to answer questions.

          I’m currently working my ideal job, and I took this approach in the interview.

        • #3171600

          Honesty

          by dats_ripe ·

          In reply to Be real

          Again I agree, honesty is the best policy. If I were the interviewer, honesty and integrity would be some of the qualifications I’d be looking for.

          It’s true you should try to sell yourself but not at the expense of integrity. Dishonesty is a red flag.

          If I blow the interview because of these two elements of morals, then I will keep looking; happy hunting.

        • #3193370

          Ah but you are only dishonest

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Honesty

          if you get caught not being honest.
          If you are in a job and under no financial pressure to move, you can afford to be honest. If you are out of work with bills piling up lie like a mother….
          I once told someone what my ideal job was, got the job and then found out they’d lied their ass off, so it works both ways.

        • #3169589

          agree!

          by sorincom ·

          In reply to Give THEM what they want to hear???

          “Sure it could cost you the interview, but then it?s better to have lost the interview then to be unhappy doing something you really don?t want to do”: the most reasonable phrase in this thread.

        • #3171138

          the bottom line

          by ctos ·

          In reply to Give THEM what they want to hear???

          Give them what they WANT…is the totally correct perspective to have IF you wish to take any old job, in any old location.
          If you wish to get the job YOU REALLY want, LEOxx037 is totally right. When you have a lot of experience in different jobs/settings/positions like I do, you get tired of playing around and want to focus on what you REALLY want. When that is true, you do not want to give them what they want, but what YOU want. Saves a lot of time and aggrivation. Good luck!

        • #3171007

          DingDingDing We gotta winner!

          by roguepope ·

          In reply to the bottom line

          CTOS, you are so right. It depends on what YOU are looking for. A quick hit to pay the bills, or a long-term gig that you can be happy with. Personally, I prefer the “Happy Path”

      • #3171018

        …Potentially Overloaded

        by roguepope ·

        In reply to Basically, it’s a loaded question

        If you have a good interviewer, this is potentially an overloaded question. The interviewer can derive a substantial amount of information. So as its already been stated earlier: don’t BS, it’s easy to detect, honesty is the best policy… and creativeness, as long as it’s tempered, used to reflect your attributes and not a diatribe will probably provide good information to the interviewer about yourself.

    • #3254837

      When I get asked that, I usually say

      by jck ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      Bill Gates’ job. I want to make technical trends happen and get paid billions for it.

      • #3181190

        If I was a hiring manager…

        by montgomery gator ·

        In reply to When I get asked that, I usually say

        …I would say you gave an excellent response. That showed honesty and imagination. Most people give BS responses about a “challenging job”, etc., since most normal people would want a job where you get a lot of money, lots of vacation time, short days, short work week, etc. If I were a hiring manager, I would prefer such honest responses over the usual crap people say in order to get hired, and I would know the applicant was up front and told the truth.

        My ideal job would be one where I “get paid billions for it”, don’t have to do any actual work, and my pay would be by direct deposit, so I don’t even have to show up to collect my paycheck. 🙂

        • #3170842

          What if that isn’t the case, Tom!

          by kiths05 ·

          In reply to If I was a hiring manager…

          Tom, I totally agree with what u said. Honesty is the best policy!
          But, what if you come across a somewhat idealistic candidate ……..for instance he says that his ideal job would be the one that doesn’t cramp his style. He’s willing to work efficiently in a disciplined but friendly environment. He seeks a routine so that he doesn’t sacrifice his desires (may be sports or any other recreational activity). If all these conditions are met he is the best employee in your firm.
          This sounds a bit idealistic, however, it must be true.
          So, your verdict may go wrong in this case thinking that the candidate may not adapt to changing working environments.

        • #3171105

          Context, not Content

          by ngit ·

          In reply to What if that isn’t the case, Tom!

          It’s not the actual words that are said, it’s the way it’s delivered.

          In your example, I could say that I want to work efficiently in a disciplined environment with a set routine so that I can still explore my extracurricular activities fully.

          As the interviewer, it’s your job to tell when I’m telling you the truth and when I’m BSing you.

          If you really get into it, it’s not that hard to tell when someone’s giving you BS, even for the people who claim that they gullible.

          On tip: maintain eye contact. You can see a lot by how often and when they break it. You can find out a lot about yourself when and how often you break it.

        • #3171100

          The real answer

          by bfilmfan ·

          In reply to If I was a hiring manager…

          I want to wake up as Bill Gates.

        • #3171792

          nah man

          by jck ·

          In reply to The real answer

          I don’t wanna be Bill Gates…I’m far better looking than him, I don’t have the yelling screaming fits he does in presentations (yes…I’ve had it confirmed by 5 people now…3 have seen it…he hates colored Powerpoint slides and screams in design meetings), and I wouldn’t want a house the size of his.

          I just wanna be able to create and expand technology and make loads of money for it.

          I’m saving my genius ideas for the right time, then I’ll release them 🙂

        • #3171793

          hahaha Tom

          by jck ·

          In reply to If I was a hiring manager…

          I leave out the “don’t have to work hard part”. Kind of like the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy? They don’t ask if I’m a hard worker…I don’t have to tell them I don’t want to be 🙂

          Still looking at jobs in Ireland…looking good for a programmer with 10+ years experience 🙂

        • #3171582

          RE: If I was a hiring manager

          by jtm811 ·

          In reply to If I was a hiring manager…

          Honesty will take you a long way…but if you give a response such as, “I want a job that pays a lot of money, short days, short work week, etc.” what does that say about your work ethic?

          This may be honest, but do you REALLY think that a company that is making a decision whether to hire you or not will look kindly on these words?

      • #3169593

        I’d give them the truth

        by two cents ·

        In reply to When I get asked that, I usually say

        “My ideal job is to get paid for doing nothing but if I can’t get that job I’ll settle for working here.”

    • #3170833

      The question is suspect not the answer.

      by wesleymechler ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      I have been in this industry (Data Processing, without data there is nothing to process) since the mid sixties and the trend now is for employers to ask questions some consulting firm has sold them. I have given honest answers even though the questions aren’t honest. What value can I add is the question the employer needs to know and I can give honest answers there also that will help the employer know if I am the right person.

      I have not been unemployed during my career in the computer field and there have been employers that have asked me questions similar to this question. When they made me an offer I turned it down since I am suspect of an employer asking me irrevelant questions.

      I am a technical person, you give me business rules and requirements and I will make technology work to improve your company?s productivity. I have lead small teams (<5) and larger teams (30>). If an employer is too lazy to check by background then they need to ask irrelevant questions. And then wonders why they do not seem to have a good track record at finding the right people.

      • #3170822

        Its not that simple

        by j.lupo ·

        In reply to The question is suspect not the answer.

        You are fortunate that you haven’t been faced with competing for positions in this industry. However, these questions are not always purchased from consulting companies. They come from a lot of different sources.

        The point of some of these is to find out what type of person you are and how you will fit in the company. With all the downsizing, outsourcing, etc companies are running with smaller staffs under huge workloads. They need to know how you will fit in with their priorities.

        There are many “psychological” questions that inteviewers will ask. Generally this type come from HR more than an IT Manager, but you never know. I have been in the role of inteviewer. I have very specific questions that I ask regarding technical skills. However, I also have specific questions to see what type of person I might be hiring. I need to know how they will fit in with my team (which I have led both small and large). I need to understand their personality as best I can in the short time I have.

        There is no right or wrong answer to these questions (for me anyway). I just want to see how they answer it. I would also probably phrase it differently then what was done here. The person’s answer will tell me a great deal.

      • #3170604

        It’s not just a matter of what you’ve *done*, though…

        by matt ·

        In reply to The question is suspect not the answer.

        It’s also a matter of what you *value*, and that’s what they’re
        trying to get at. If you managed a team of 5 but hated it, all the
        while thinking you really should be the leader of a small banana
        republic, that’s good info for them to know if they’re never going
        to offer you more than a small team. Conversely, if you were
        leading the Western Hemisphere but secretly longing to be a
        hands-on manager of a team of 3 or 4, they should know that,
        too!

        They can learn a lot through this question, about (a) your
        working style, (b) your values, (c) whether you’ve given this issue
        any thought [and you should have], (d) your ability to articulate
        your thoughts.

        It’s not the specious, lazy question it might at first appear to
        be…

        • #3170594

          should also be used to help new manager

          by michael.crocker ·

          In reply to It’s not just a matter of what you’ve *done*, though…

          Having been on both sides of the question, I wanted to know what excites and motivates the person. In addition ot fitting into the group and the company, it helps the manager to find out your goals. If the reality of the job does not lijne up with the things that motivate you, then the manager will need to work harder. Honesty on both sides is important.

        • #3171144

          Lazy Questions

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to It’s not just a matter of what you’ve *done*, though…

          It *is*, however a specious, lazy question when it is prefaced with “Well, we have to ask all the candidates these questions.”

          You, as hiring manager, expect me to find out a bit about the company, and appear well informed. How about researching your candidates, and being even a little informed yourself? And this goes beyond calling up former employers and trying to get more than “name rank and serial number” out of them. Check the references, read the resume, check the sommunity service.

      • #3171149

        This is true

        by lsmith1989 ·

        In reply to The question is suspect not the answer.

        I have turned down many jobs even with higher pay due to the questions asked at the 1st or 2nd interview. You can usually ‘Read’ a company or the environment by the type of questions that they ask. Sometimes, I end up being the interviewer and ask them questions, be it technical or general. I figured that if I’m going to be getting myself into a new job in thier company, I might as well find out exactly what I’m getting to since you can only research so much beforehand. Just my opinion.

        • #3193368

          Just mine as well

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to This is true

          I’ll admit I’ve been fortunate, but I always approach an interview with a what can you offer me approach.

          Save this question for any interviewer who comes out with ideal job, what’s your idea of ideal employee, never had a reasonable answer to that one yet. Got the impression I should waive my salary and change into my work clothes very fast in a phone box.

    • #3170786

      This is used to differentiate candidates

      by gwlosinski ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      While I agree that this is a “fit” question, it goes beyond this. When you are looking to fill a position and talking with a dozen or more candidates, you are looking for the absolute best candidate for the department and organization.

      There needs to be something besides technical responses. This is a question that shows personality and character. There isn’t a “wrong” answer. It’s used to compare the different candidates to determine who to continue talking with.

      Other questions like this ask you to define the best team you have ever been a part of, or ask you to describe particular situations that you should have encountered in your career and how you handled the situation – be it a good situation or bad.

      My suggestion – first state that you’d like to own that resort on a tropical island, then say that since that isn’t likely to happen, and go on to describe the job situation that you are looking for.

      I wouldn’t bring up how much you dislike your current employer, but you can make this question serve your purpose in seeing if the job you are interviewing for is anything like your current position. Make your ideal job include the opposite of what you dislike about your current position. This is a good way for you to interview the company your wanting to hire into. You can see if they fit with what you want so you don’t get into another situation where you would rather eat glass.

      • #3169622

        Your compatibility withwork culture

        by sherry320 ·

        In reply to This is used to differentiate candidates

        Alot of companies use this question to see if your compatible with thier work ethic. Find out about the company waht they do where they’re headed and how they work and make your answer work with the view of the company you’ve formed.
        1 It helps you determine if you’d like working for them so you won’t (hopefully) end up in the situation you are in now
        2 It helps them differentiate you from the masses

      • #3171154

        Sometimes it’s a part of the script

        by mad*max ·

        In reply to This is used to differentiate candidates

        Way back when, just before I got out of grad school, I remember doing an interview with EDS. My impression was that the interviewer had a script to follow. The interview was going quite well until I was asked this question in a modified form. I told him, truthfully, that I would like to go into R&D some day, although that’s not necessarily a must. His response was, then you are not right for the company, period, since we don’t do R&D. And that was the end of that interview.

        From what I heard, other interviews with this company often ended like that, often at an earlier stage than mine – after a response which did not fit the guidelines the interviewer had to follow. So it’s a safe bet that he was looking for an answer to suggest that one wanted to be a consultant.

        The funny thing is that I’ve been doing mostly consulting ever since – precisely what the EDS person would have liked to hear.

        • #3193367

          That’s the problem with the question

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Sometimes it’s a part of the script

          because there is no right answer there are a great many wrong ones. How successful you are with your answer depends on how much of an idea you’ve got of what they want, so that depends on how many questions you’ve had answered already.

          Even scarier when you get into a multiple interview scenario, and you give the right answer to one person in the food chain while making an outright enemy of another. That happened to me once. The IT Director loved me, the IT manager figured he didn’t want his boss to have an ally in his department.

          Interviews are not something you get right, they are something you have to get not wrong.

      • #3171115

        Correct answers

        by highlander718 ·

        In reply to This is used to differentiate candidates

        My take is, that these are expected questions, they are in any book (interviewing for Dummies ? :-), so normaly any candidate should or is supposed to be prepared for these.

        So, of course, for a certain position you know the job description, you do your homework about the organization ..and so on. So yes, basicaly when describing “your perfect job” you pretty much describe the position and environment you are applying for. Or at least, you better :-)). This is a no brainer, really.

        Take my example : intervierwing for a bank, part of a humonguos corporation/investment company, everything very good untill excatly this question. I tell them that I would absolutely love to work in the banking industry, starting at something like the position I was appying for and with bright future career opportunities in the corporation (of course I used other words).

        That was it. The folks were looking for someone to stay in their little bank “forever” and they actually didn’t have personell migrations between diferent corporate divisions …..

    • #3172021

      Ideal Job Description

      by apomdu ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      Although having not been asked this question myself in a long time, I do ask it myself. I am amused by some of the responses I get. “This One” tells me heaps about the applicant, as does “Any position with a career, training and great work environment.”

      One of the most imaginative was, “I have to like the company, their ethics, culture, service and products (if applicable), and with these in place I will find the ideal job with them.”

      • #3169616

        but the question is still too vague

        by jez ·

        In reply to Ideal Job Description

        All these replies to this post have shown that the question is very open and that people are looking for different things in the answer.

        For instance, I am still in my 20s (just) and have been in IT for nearly 10 years. My ideal job (true ideal, ignoring feasibility) may be to be king of a banana republic, but that is not going to happen. Also my ideal job eventually (when i am in my 40s) may be different from my ideal job for the next few years, perhaps i want to stay technical then get into something else.

        My point here is that one interviewer might want one kind of answer (creative and thoughtful) and another may want a more practicle answer.
        So although there is no wrong answer some answers are more wrong than others depending on the interviewer.

        Lastly, I have interviewed people for technical roles only, but to get to the non-technical stuff I tend to just ask.. e.g. “tell me about yourself outside of the technical stuff”, plain old questions and talking generally tell you enormous amounts about people (confidence, ambitions, likes, dislikes).

        Invariably when i have been asked about ‘my ideal job’ the next thing the interviewer says is ‘well we cant offer you that here’, but i have often gone on to get the job???

        • #3171159

          Buddy Can You Spare a Dime?

          by industrial_controller ·

          In reply to but the question is still too vague

          Some people just desperately need a job, any job. They can try their best at this intermediate job and look for the perfect job at their leisure. I don’t think telling an employer what they want to hear is necessarily dishonest. Honest work and a regular paycheck can be a huge step up for someone discouraged and out of work.

        • #3170881

          Right on!!

          by bhunsinger ·

          In reply to Buddy Can You Spare a Dime?

          I have answered the question, honestly, one where the checks don’t bounce. I then followed up by saying an atmosphere where i was treated as a person with a life, not a cog; where feedback, good and bad, was immediate, where loyalty and hard work were respected. All true. I got hired.

        • #3193366

          That’s plain cruel

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Right on!!

          now they are going to have to find another reasonto turn you down so they don’t look bad. Good answer though, hopefully I won’t have to steal it for a while.

    • #3169619

      No Lose Answer

      by genesismtg ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      “My ideal job, that’s easy. I applied to your company because I believe you are among the top (5/10) in the area of (your expertise), and a company is the result of its’ leadership. That’s why my ‘ideal job’ would be the Personal Assistant to the (CIO/CEO/CFO/etc,), because of the opportunity for learning and personal growth”.

      • #3193364

        Wouldnt work with me

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to No Lose Answer

        I’ve always been uncomfortable with people who feel the need to ram their nose in my rear orifice.
        Seriously that is to the answer to the question.
        What makes you the ideal candiadte for this job, and even in that case screams brown nose.

    • #3169618

      it’s a leading question

      by metro_au ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      as an interviewer – I often ask this question. I want to measure the applicant’s response to the technical criteria and the cultural fit of the person.

      Answering with a flippant response is fine (it breaks up the seriousness of the proceedings), as long it’s quickly followed by some relevance.

      I like to see someone that has thought about themselves, what they are good at and where they see their career progressing.

      As the potential employer, I know the role, and I know the company; it’s up to me to measure the applicant’s suitability and how the applicant can grow into the role over the next few years.

      Other questions I ask are:
      “What are you really good at?”
      “What are your key strengths?”
      “What seperates you from other applicants?”

      there are no wrong answers, only those that are better than others 🙂

    • #3169617

      Alternative questions

      by syncyourdogma ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      Rather than asking the describe your idea job question, when interviewing for new team members as well as the basics about past projects, technical skills etc. I tend to ask three more general questions.

      ? Working on the basis that you?ve got the job and your now working for Intercea, I come to as a client with a budget of say ?100k and a business problem, how would you ensure the quality of the solution you (as Intercea) deliver?
      ? Where would you like you career path to lead in the next 5 years and then 10 years?
      ? What would you say are your main training needs?

      For the first question I?m looking to see both where they see the responsibility for quality lies, do they identify with the company, do they pass the buck and then more generally do they have an idea of a development project lifecycle. I?m also interested to see if they talk about testing as I use this in a later question.

      As for career path, I?m looking to see if they map to one of our possible paths, do they think about their career and how can we help move them on.

      For the training needs questions, I normally preamble this with a description of how we handle training (weekly peer sessions, junior role on unfamiliar technologies or business areas, vendor certs and some project specific tech training). This then gives them an idea of what we offer but also normally leads into a discussion about past learning. The main reason for this is for me to understand if they are continuing to learn or have to be spoon fed new technologies.

      • #3169615

        The “ultimate question”

        by cb0503 ·

        In reply to Alternative questions

        no, not THAT one 😉

        This is from an article elsewhere
        “Please think about your most significant accomplishment. Now, could you tell me all about it?”

        I can post the link to the article if anyone is interested.

        Having been both sides of the fence, I agree with the comments about values and fit. If I am recruiting for a job which requires the same thing to be done time and time again with consistency and reliability, and I get someone who wants continual change and excitement… well thats not a great fit now is it !

        It may be my own preferences coming out here, but I would answer with the characteristics of my ideal job, not the “what, when, where” type answer.

    • #3169614

      What the interviewer really wants…

      by lfoster ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      It may sound like a trick question, but it isn’t. What the interviewer really wants to know is whether you are on track with the kind of job you’re applying for and the job opportunities their company offers. If your ideal job is one that’s not in their arsenal, then your response will be viewed as unrealistic. Some possible approaches include:
      “My ideal job is one that offers potential for career growth, is in a company that focuses on constant improvement of processes and innovation, and one that allows me to use my present skills to the maximum while I continue to learn more.”

      Another approach is to acknowledge “realities” and then set forth a “dream job”:
      “Of course, there’s no one ideal job that has it all, but a company that provides opportunities to its employees for learning and growth, future advancement, and the chance to make a dynamic contribution to the company’s growth comes pretty close to being ‘ideal.'”

      Or try the blunt, ‘hit-’em-between-the-eyes’ approach:
      “I may not be ready for my ideal job yet, but I will be as I grow my career with your company and move up the ladder over time. Ideally, I’d like to head your IT function in the future.”

      Good luck and good hunting!

    • #3169610

      The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      by myzeuz2001 ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      i went on to the jungle out there, go through very rigorous test… and the thing was action packed, in the end of it all they said, “Don’t Call uS, Will Call You !” – my premier was gone, out of sight.

    • #3169607

      Tough interview questions

      by davidmarston ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      This is a tough one but not as tough as “Do you have any weaknesses?”.

      I have a friend who was asked this and he said, “yes, my knees turn to jelly when my girlfriend blows in my ear”.

      He got the job!!!!

      • #3171141

        Lets provide input on this question…

        by lsmith1989 ·

        In reply to Tough interview questions

        What would you guys say if asked “What are your weaknesses?”

        • #3193362

          Hmm

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Lets provide input on this question…

          Soft drinks and strong women and occasionally switching my adjectives when communicating.

          I never answer this question. I usually detail weaknesses that I say used to have, so I can leave out JD and the redhead.

          Another question that tests how convincingly you can lie or evade an inquiry.

          Ask people what their strengths are and how they apply them.

    • #3169602

      The “ideal” job

      by eric.gibson ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      My person opinion of questions like this is that they are garbage questions and a waste of the applicant’s time. I don’t know if the interviewer is trying to trick the applicant into revealing a character trait (or flaw) that is best kept hidden or a genuine interest and curiosity about what the applicant would like to see in a position.

      Who wouldn’t like to have a job on a tropical island serving tropical drinks to tropical vacationers?

      My advice is to answer truthfully. Give the question due thought and give an honest, but practical, answer. I really wouldn’t go with the tropical island thing. One assumes that you’re interviewing to get a better position, so build on that.

      Ideally, you’d like to be paid what you believe you’re worth, to be suitably challenged, to have professional, likeable co-workers, and not a lot of overtime (however unrealistic that might be in the I.T. world, but hey, he asked for “ideal”!)

      If he doesn’t like your answer, you probably don’t want to work for him. But you’re an intelligent person; draw on that along with your instincts, and you won’t go wrong.

      Good luck.

    • #3169599

      What if this job isn’t right for you?

      by mollenhourb9 ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      Be honest in answering the “ideal job” question. Keep in mind that YOU are interviewing your prospective employer as much as they are interviewing you. Honesty is the only way for you to know that the job is as right for you as you are for it.

      Put another way, you may fit this job, but the company may be one that you don’t like. Most interviewers can smell BS a mile away. If you try to tailor your answer to the job, when it is not your ideal job, they know you are just blowing smoke. If you are honest, you may even get a laugh and create some report. Telling them your ideal job would be a quality tester in a daiquiri factory, but barring that xxxxx, where xxxxx describes something close to what you are applying for may be your best answer (providing it is the truth).

      Having no job sucks; trust me I know this all too well. Having the wrong job is purgatory, as you hint in your question.

    • #3169591

      Why Not say “I would like to own a resort on a tropical island’?

      by bill.affeldt ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      If a candidate answerewd with that answer …. I would probably say ‘Why?’

      If you answered,,, ‘because I could continue to work productively, have repsonsibility but enjoy all of the fruits of my hard work at the same time’ , I would be pretty impressed that you understand that life is not all fun but there has to be some fun mixed in with the hard work.

      Owner – shows initiative
      Tropical island – shows you know how to enjoy life
      Resort – shows you think big

      And if it were building your own resort … throw in some stuff about wireless satellite set up so that busy execs could come and relax but still have the vital connections to their work in case of emeregency.

    • #3169583

      Well

      by bill.beckett ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      I think what this all really boils down to based on the responses here is that it not only depends on the candidate but the interviewer. I’ve read plenty of posts from a “If I were the hiring manager” standpoint and it seems to be a mixed bag. Some want to hear the truth and some want to know that the candidate is serious and they are a good fit.

      I think it depends on who you interview with. I’ve tried both approaches and both have worked and not worked. In the end, it was the hiring manager and what they were looking for that was important. And there really is no way to know that up front.

      • #3171002

        Good point, Bill

        by roguepope ·

        In reply to Well

        That’s a good point Bill. You do need to “feel out” the interviewer to try to get an idea of what they are looking for, although they sometimes have excellent poker-faces as well.

        I still feel that it never serves to BS in an interview. I give my honest response, however creative or humorous, and if they don’t like it, or I don’t like their reception of my response… it’s probably not a fit for one or both of us.

    • #3171204

      Resort Owner

      by jim.mccracken ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      I was taught at an earlier age to not only dream big but also strive to attain those dreams.
      What are you currently doing to achieve this goal?

      If you want to own a resort, then why are you interviewing in the IT field? I would think that an internship in Alcapulco would be a great start to this dream. You may have to start as a busboy and work your way up. In 15 to 20 years you may have enough knowledge of the business to open your own place. Take some business classes, vacation in the Caribbean, do your homework, and achieve that perfect job.

      To achieve the perfect job, you have to get on the right track for said job. If you just need work and really aren’t interested in the time and/or dedication it takes to meet your “Dream Job”, then by all means tell them what they want to hear then talk about Montego over the water cooler.

      • #3170998

        IT Manager for a Resort Chain

        by roguepope ·

        In reply to Resort Owner

        There we go! I don’t want to own the chain – I want to run the IT for the chain! I am sure that I will be present to survey onsite deployments!

        • #3171617

          IT for a Golf Course Management Co.

          by overcharge ·

          In reply to IT Manager for a Resort Chain

          I know a heck of a lot of folks that would love to have the job a friend of mine had–traveling to golf resorts all over the country–but I don’t think he even owned a set of clubs….

          Do what you like, like what you do, but face it, you gotta eat!

    • #3171196

      Response to Describe your Ideal Job

      by kevin.kearney ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      silvioandpauly – the questioner is looking to see if you truly want the position for which you are applying. While it seems innocent, the best approach on this, and similar questions, should focus on the position. It is best to narrow your focus on the position for which you applied, rather than express interest in another position in the firm, or even in a different industry. Your response will tell volumes about your focus in the firm, their industry, position, etc.
      Other values to consider: a place where people are treated as fairly as possible, where they are given a chance to show what they can do, and where they are rewarded for their performance.
      Lastly – while you may have ‘bad’ thoughts about your current employer, do yourself a great justice and never mention an employer in a negative light. Best of luck!

    • #3171171

      I have always wanted to be a Rock Star!

      by rsears ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      The answer to this question is so easy for me. I would simply tell them that I have always wanted to be a Rock Star, and that would be telling the truth. I would also be honest and explain why I have not become a Rock Star? Because it is so competitive and I would have to endure far too much suffering and I really need more than a pair of spandex and cheap beer to survive. So I have settled on something else that I love nearly as much? that is IT! Just tell the truth, honesty is always best. If you have something they need it is likely you will get hired.

      • #3170983

        I don’t like these questions

        by mrgrumpy ·

        In reply to I have always wanted to be a Rock Star!

        because I would have to tell little white lies. For the most part I like my job but for it to be an ideal job it would have to change significantly. e.g reduce the number of hours worked from a 50+ hour week to 35/37, more vacation time to spend with family. That would be a brutally honest answer that will not land the job. My actual answer would be along the lines of a position that allows me to enhance my existing skils, develop new skills, working on diverse projects,a wide range of activities, working in an evironment that promotes and nurtures new ideas from every level of employee etc.

      • #3170962

        I don’t like these questions

        by mrgrumpy ·

        In reply to I have always wanted to be a Rock Star!

        because I would have to tell little white lies. For the most part I like my job but for it to be an ideal job it would have to change significantly. e.g reduce the number of hours worked from a 50+ hour week to 35/37, more vacation time to spend with family. That would be a brutally honest answer that will not land the job. My actual answer would be along the lines of a position that allows me to enhance my existing skils, develop new skills, working on diverse projects,a wide range of activities, working in an evironment that promotes and nurtures new ideas from every level of employee etc.

    • #3171167

      Be Yourself…?

      by tvalleley ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      My modus operandi is becoming “just be myself.” If someone asks me “tough question,” I answer it in the manner that comes most naturally to me.

      By doing this, the employer knows what they are getting. If they want to hire me when I am behaving naturally, there may be far less misunderstanding and stress in the long run.

      In short: don’t worry about it.

    • #3171161

      Answer depends on org culture

      by wiguout ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      I think that the culture of the organization and even the interviewer should play a big part in your answer. If you are interviewing in a laid back environment and the interviewer likes to keep the conversation light, then you can certainly say “I want to be the owner or even the bartender of a tropical island resort”. Then share a laugh with the interviewer, if appropiate, and then give the standard answer afterward to let him know you know how to have a sense of humor and also you know how to be serious which in my opinion in both cases is being real.

      For a more rigid environment,(banks in my experience are especially like this), you may want to stick to the standard serious answer such as, ” I would like to maximize my education and experience to advance to a mangerial position in this company”.

    • #3171148

      The Ideal Job…….aha…

      by jhkotak ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      On serious note the answer should cover the following points and you can put your context.

      1. Based on your skills,
      ie ideal job should be based on your strengths and skills you have. eg being a rock star but you should not be musically challenged and all the singing has been bathroom singing…maybe on the home karoke.

      2. Gives enough money:
      based on job market conditions and your contribution to the organization

      3. Balance between work and personal life.
      ie difference between Adrenaline rush to meeting deadlines and stress to meet the deadlines/ nos. ie one can day off if spouse/kid/self is not well without being worried or feeling guilty.

      4. Growth potential :
      ie organisation has training for both hard and soft skills and promotes cross funtional /lateral movement
      eg from technical content of job being 100% to 50% technical and 50% managerial/ people management.

      All the best for the next interview.

      Rgds.

      • #3193359

        Never mention money in an inetrview

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to The Ideal Job…….aha…

        where you need the job. If you are just fishing of course then you might as well land a big one.
        Money should always come up after the offer though in my oppinion, both parties should already have a range and know they are in the same ball park.

    • #3171142

      The Ideal Job…….aha…

      by jhkotak ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      On serious note the answer should cover the following points and you can put your context.

      1. Based on your skills,
      ie ideal job should be based on your strengths and skills you have. eg being a rock star but you should not be musically challenged and all the singing has been bathroom singing…maybe on the home karoke.

      2. Gives enough money:
      based on job market conditions and your contribution to the organization

      3. Balance between work and personal life.
      ie difference between Adrenaline rush to meeting deadlines and stress to meet the deadlines/ nos. ie one can day off if spouse/kid/self is not well without being worried or feeling guilty.

      4. Growth potential :
      ie organisation has training for both hard and soft skills and promotes cross funtional /lateral movement
      eg from technical content of job being 100% to 50% technical and 50% managerial/ people management.

      All the best for the next interview.

      Rgds.

    • #3171134

      Could just as easily been “tell me about yourself”

      by pmoleski ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      I like the ideal job questions better than “tell about yourself” question. To me the ideal job question translates into from a managers perspective “Tell me about your self at work so I know if you are a good fit for our corporate culture and for this job in particular”

      I can do the same thing in the interview with other questions such as “Are you willing to work overtime, can you travel regularly, can you be on call 7/24, is flex time important to you, etc.” The working conditions and expectations of the employer define a lot of what is called corporate culture.

      A good open ended question gives a chance to see if you know yourself, can think on your feet, and your ability to communicate outside of a structured technical setting. It can also, by your answer, tell me lots about what kind of person you are.

      If the interviewer does not say this somewhere in the interview when it is your turn, ask the question of them “What do you see as the ideal employee in this job?” That way you can evaluate them for cultural fit as well.

      One last thought. Be sure to answer this question honestly and realistically. Honestly because of the wonderful saying “Be careful what you ask for you may get it.” Realistically because if you are to wild with your expectations you come across as hard to please in the workplace and possibly a poor cultural fit.

      As with many things there is no one perfect answer. But the question is a fair one because you, your perspective coworkers, and the hiring manager will have to work together so it is important that you are a good fit beyond the technical aspect of the job.

    • #3171117

      I’m a complete cynic

      by _fer_ ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      First of all I have to say I live in Mexico, so cultural issues could be somewhat different.

      When I face that question I answer: “Do you want the truth or do you want an answer to hire me?”

      Normally the interviewer laughs, and tells me “tell me both”. But of course, we’re sometimes way lighter than you americans 🙂

      Then I come with the “real” answer… “I would like to have 2 or 3 million dollar at my disposal, and be a stock trader in Palma de Mallorca, so I don’t have to wake up too early to get the pre-bell action, and have enough time to think and study before the market opens”, then comes the “standard” answer: “You know, I would love a job where I can be useful to my employeer, feel myself as part of a great team, and feel complete as a human being, I need to think my job is important to make a difference in the world, blah blah blah, with lots of projection and security, bla bla bla”… but hey… everybody says that, isn’t it?

      It doesn’t fail… (for now, at least)

    • #3171090

      Ideal Job?

      by dobbinsm ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      I don’t think the interviewer was looking for any put downs or complaints about your last or current job. The answer they were looking for was probably something like:”My idea of an ideal job would be one which would allow self supervision and an ability to make minor decissions without seeking approval of immediate supervisors and/or managers. Of course this second part would only come with time on the job and a knowledge of what your immediate superviso/manager considered ‘minor’.
      Never belittle anyone or complain about circumstances in your last job. Never offer opinions on what you would have/have not done on your last job unless asked what you would improve on in you current or last job if you had the authority to do so. Always respond to this question in a positive manner.

    • #3171070

      Breaking the ice…….

      by pcosta ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      I was asked that question in an interview 5 years ago. I broke the ice by saying “I want to unload empty wagons in the shade” They took a half sec, then laughed. They called me an hour later and offered me the job.

    • #3171060

      You Imagination

      by abhijitshinde ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      Hi Friends,
      Till date i have have given around 10 interviews in diffrent web application development companies and got offers from at least 7.
      And i interviewed around 100 peoples till date (technical interview) In my openion there is set of questions which people feel tricky and complicated. Why dont you guys look at these straight as possible in my openion you should tell them truely “what is your imagination for the job (whatever it may be depends upon person to person)” now to impress the person just add if unfortunalty i couldent find this job as per my imagination on the first day i will try my level best to make this job look dream job for me and i hope i can do that.
      in this way way you can show your confidence, ability, and your answer for joining (which is indirectly yes) even after that depending upon interview you can deceide whether you wanna join or not.
      In My view ideally organisation looks for following things (if they are not, they should now)
      1. Technical Ability (ofcourse)
      2. Confidence
      3. Communication
      4. Real time intelligence by asking some tricky question like above one.
      5. willing nace to do the job
      6. and few more depending upon job profile
      I need some comments from you guys please do writre me at abhijitshinde@gmail.com
      thanks in advance

    • #3170930

      The best answer

      by oldmainframer ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      to this question depends a lot on you…

      As you’ve gone along, you should have tried to “read” your interviewer. This could play into how you answer the question.

      Be careful about trying to BS through this question. Feeding them back a view of what the position is could be detrimental. But in a way, it is really the best answer.

      Comments like “Bill Gates job” or “the president” are stupid answers and you and the hiring manager would both know it. They don’t show any imagination. We’d all like to work 11-3, get paid big bucks and have off all the time we could use.

      If the hiring manager seems “loose”, you could say something like… “Ideally, I’d love to manage an island resort, but realistically….”. Reach for a laugh.

      The answer also depends on where the job is at in your career level.

      BE REALISTIC. But, you can stretch up a couple of promotions. If you’re only a few years into your career, I would not say, “I’d like to be managing a group of 50 people.” But, if you’re applying for a job to manage 10 people, that could be a good answer. You can say something like, “I know this is not an immediate possibility, but in a couple of years…”

      Hope this is of some help.

    • #3170928

      What are YOU looking for

      by vscruggs ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      The question is not what are “they” looking for but what are YOU looking for. I ask this question a lot to determine if the candidate has thought about what they truly want from their career and to determine if the candidate’s desires match the position that I am hiring for (or any other positions that I am aware of at my company). I think you will also find that if you sit down and write out the answer to this question, you will know more about what you are looking for and will not waste time applying and interviewing for positions that will not meet your needs. This message should be a common thread in your introductory letter, on your resume and in your follow up letter. Staying ?on message? shows that you know what you want and won?t settle for less.

    • #3170911

      You were going down the right path…

      by gwc ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      Why don’t you like your current employer? Is it respect? Pay? Hours? Location from home? Benefits? Compensation? As a hiring manager, I would think any of those answers would be good and honest. In a way, I think it is a softball question — the ideal job is one where you get paid to do something you love.

      Greg
      San Francisco, CA

    • #3170895

      “open-ended” questions

      by crcharles ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      I have also run into these type of interview questions even for technical positons. I believe that the theory behind them is to just get you talking to reveal your personality. I have also been asked: “What are you passionate about in your business life?” and “… in your personal life?”.

      chris_c

    • #3171277

      GOT IT!

      by avinesan ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      Tricky indeed, but given the time you could think of something. Firstly it must be something soothing to the ear, with intention to impress them. I know this is alot of bull but it works. Ideally the question is to gain knowledge about your character, whether you’re hard working, consistant,open for suggestions, motivated,bla bla bla and not to forget punctual.If somehow your reply encompases all these virtues then, what can I say you’re got potential.

    • #3171276

      GOT IT!

      by avinesan ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      Tricky indeed, but given the time you could think of something. Firstly it must be something soothing to the ear, with intention to impress them. I know this is alot of bull but it works. Ideally the question is to gain knowledge about your character, whether you’re hard working, consistant,open for suggestions, motivated,bla bla bla and not to forget punctual.If somehow your reply encompases all these virtues then, what can I say you’re got potential.

    • #3171752

      Make it a Win-Win answer

      by jplconsultant ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      I try to throw in comments about the job I’m applying for and how those duties are what I’m looking for. I also try to throw in something along the lines of “I’m looking for a challenging job in which I can improve myself and the company”. Employers like to hear their candidates are interested in developing themselves and the business. Everyone wins.

      -JPLc

    • #3191301

      Once all is said and done…

      by lord-of-the-token-rings ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      In my professional life, my last interview was the hardest. I had just moved up from Columbus, Ohio to Canada, and The employer just felt that my talents would be wasted, and I would get bored and move out within 8 months. Sad to say that I had resort to tricks like “how about a month’s test drive and we part company without any obligation in either part if it does not work out? Needless to say I got the job, and it’s close to 1 yr now, and was promoted to IT Manager. The Paycut was almost 60% (CDN) but I get plenty of other perks and FLEXIBILITY… The hiring manager and the HR manager almost got into trouble because the Board of Directors got to know what happened, and they considered it unethical to dangle a prospective great employee with a lot of experience (Hence the promotion). My answer to the open ended question was, “Look at my past employers, you will be hiring a person who understands and has implemented new technology, a person who can upgrade your existing technology without having to upgrade his skills”

      • #3191235

        Wow

        by highlander718 ·

        In reply to Once all is said and done…

        I mean 60% paycut ? That is huge !
        I’m intersted because I’m kind of in the same situation, my company is relocating, I’m not interested, so I’m looking for a job. I am willing to start lower in order to get into a great company, with real future opportunuities, but 60% ? I guess you don’t have a family, bills to pay ? 🙂

        Anyway, the other problem is that as you say, most of the companies are looking to me as overqualified risk is I might take off pretty soon.
        Don’t understant the 1 month deal. I mean you could’ve still part with them after 2,3,6 month, no ?

        • #3191025

          Nope, I’m the same as everyone else is..

          by lord-of-the-token-rings ·

          In reply to Wow

          Yes, I do have a family and 2 small kids. But the key factor was, the previous pay was over CDN$100K/yr. So after saving money for a rainy day for the last 8yrs, and purchasing a house and vehicles outright, and having $0 credit card debt, and no outstanding loans of any sort, I could take the gamble. I sent out over 200 applications, and got only 2 call backs. Isn’t that incredible? over 20yrs of experience in fortune 500 companies, and being stepped over for some punk a$$ed kids just out of college with delusions of grandure of taking over the world? I’ve had to train a few of these people, and i’ve realized that I’d forgotten more stuff, than they’d ever know. My options were few.. But luckily everything turned out decently enough..

        • #3050938

          delay

          by highlander718 ·

          In reply to Nope, I’m the same as everyone else is..

          sorry for the delay (as i said, took a new job, 25% less :-), lots of changes/trainings …etc, no time to post).
          still, I don’t know of ANYONE who can purchase a house and cars outright even if you were going for >100k. And that in 8 years ? Again : WOW, your case is definitely an exception, I don’t think you can advise others to do the same, it’s just not possible for regular guys 🙂

        • #3191988

          Reply To: The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

          by cb0503 ·

          In reply to Wow

          sure, but surely 60% cut is better than 100% cut !

          I took a cut – after redundancy while ex-pat so trying to move home.

          And as sole income-earner, I HAD to be realistic and go for an income, even with a significant cut, rather than sitting around and making myself even LEss employable !

          So don’t be too quick to judge it you don’t know what the alternatives are 😉

        • #3191932

          I took a cut too

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Reply To: The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

          I was laid off in 2002, and though I found some contract work, I struggled to find my current position. They had the exact same conversation regarding stability – how can you accept a cut so large, how do we know you wont leave when the economy picks up. I promised 2 years. Thats enough time to make some permanent changes.

          The alternative was unattractive. My wife can’t work due to medical conditions. I have three kids. I may not have had much choice at the time to take the job, but I do make a conscious decision to stay.

          James

        • #3050930

          me too

          by highlander718 ·

          In reply to I took a cut too

          don’t get me wrong, when I left my previous job ( I was talking about my company moving out of the city) I knew for sure that I will have to take the cut and I did.

          Now that I know we are talking 60% out of more than 100k, of course, I might think of taking it, its way better than unemployment moneywise.

        • #3050934

          not quite

          by highlander718 ·

          In reply to Reply To: The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

          60% would probably get me very close to the unemployment benefit level. Personaly I think that working for 60% less means you also perform 60% less important or challenging tasks, not very good for your career either. So .. why should I go working for let’s say 2000/mo. when I can sit at home and concentrate on finding a decent job getting 1500 from the government ? 60% is just too much …

          Of course (here your point is valid) I totaly reject the possibility of not finding something in a few months.

    • #3191034

      I ask this question all the time and this is why

      by tdeckert ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      Hi there,
      You asked the question…
      “What are they really looking for?” with the Ideal Job question.

      I am the Director of IT and Engineering for a tech company and I ask this question a lot in interviews.

      While I would like to say there is a deep meaning to this question, when I ask it, there is not. Its exactly how it sounds.

      Since I know exactly what the job is going to entail (more than I can communicate in a single or even several interviews to a person) I know the type of work and the environment the person is going to be put into. I use this question to get a feel for what the person thinks is an idea job, and I compare their desired job with the type of job they will be getting if we bring them on. We don’t want someone to be put into something that is completely at odds with what they deem is a great job to have. I can use this information to think about the distance or gap between their ideal job and the environment they are going into.

      If there ideal job is very different, that is a data point that we need to consider when making the decision.
      Also, there is a reality check here. We understand there is an purely idealistic IDEAL Job and a reality IDEAL Job. Its ok to mention both. Just be honest.

      I personally do not like generic answers at all. Oftentimes the person being interviewed I don’t think gives enough credit to the person doing the interviewing. Be specific and honest, don’t hedge or be vague. If you don’t get the job and you were honest in your answers, its a good thing. It means its not the place for you and you avoided putting yourself into a bad situation that you would probably have to leave.

      We don’t cross someone off the list because they say they ultimately want to run their own business, or write novels, or anything else. Everyone has those types of goals of some sort. When they tell me an answer like that I always follow up with something like, “ok, that sounds like it would be a great job. What would you consider your ideal technical job or IT Job” so that the person can be more specific.

      I hope that helps and good luck,

      p.s. All questions have as a running background process the purpose of serving to paint a picture of your personality. Aside from the question itself and what is being asked, a question like this is one more chance for your personality to come though, to show your ability communicate and articulate. Use it to your benefit.

    • #3193245

      Easy

      by kathleenmuro ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      This is easy. The best answer is to describe the qualities of an ideal job:
      One where I work in a team (or as an individual)
      One where I have full responsibility to get something done (or one where my supervisor will work closely with me)
      One where I am learning something new every day
      etc.
      What the interviewers want to know if how you will fit into their work culture. Are you a loner? Do you always want to grab all the credit? Do you hoard information? Are you gunning for your boss’s job? Will you get along with everyone else?
      They are not asking you to specify a job, they are trying you on for size to see if you will fit into their jobsite in a psychological sense.

      • #3193352

        All those answers

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to Easy

        depend on what they’ve told you or you’ve picked up. Getting the right data is definitely not easy.
        I once got told by a recruiter that his client was looking for a team player who was happy to work alone. I’d be the first to say recruiters couldn’t find their ass with both hands, two mirrors and some friendly advice, but it’s an impossible querstion when the the people interviewing you don’t know what they want.
        When your living on bread and jam under the stairs to dodge your creditors you have to put up with crap like that though.
        After all anyones true ideal job is where work fits around their desires not the other way round.

    • #3177326

      Honesty

      by super_it_mom ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      I was asked this question by a previous employer (who is now a friend of mine and an awesome reference), and it is one that I ask when I interview someone. I expect honesty. Don’t give me a line of bull about your perfect job being working for my company and doing the best you can. If your idea of the perfect job is running a daquiri hut in the Bahamas, then tell me. This is how I know you are an honest person, and not just trying to tell me what I want to hear. If you answer this question honestly, then I will know I will get a straight answer when I ask other questions.

    • #3186762

      Be honest, but interesting

      by klempan ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      I haven’t run into this question (yet), but bombed on a good interview with my answer to “What do you do in your spare time?”
      My answer of gardening/landscaping on a 1/2 acre was met with some polite boredom. I learned from that, so now the answer is that I run an organic orchard with culinary and medicinal herbs as key components of the landscaping. I also hasten to add that there’s a couple weekends of the year that are busy, but it’s much easier to maintain on a professional’s schedule than other forms of gardening.
      Both answers are true, but one makes me more compatible with a team of other techies.

    • #3182910

      Software Engeener

      by hiprasad22 ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      I want to become SE.
      I m post garduate student in search of job.
      Mostly I like to wor in java & J2EE technology.
      Please Replay Me.

    • #3196073

      re; Ideal Job

      by djysrv ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      What the employer is likely looking for is your “other directed” view of the ideal job and not your personal satisfaction. By “other directed” the employer is looking for how you see your “ideal” contribution to the bottom line, solving the employer’s most pressing problems, and otherwise adding value. In this regard, the question “describe your ideal job” is an opportunity to state your value proposition in terms of the employer will recognize and understand as being meaningful to him/her.

      You already have figured out that the tropical island paradigm is a non-starter. Keep going and think about how you would qualify the employer as a prospect prior to the interview. For instance, what do you know about how the firm uses IT to seek/maintain competitive advantage, etc. Going into the interview with a view of the key issues that matter to management gives you a springboard to answer the “ideal job” questions and score the job.

    • #2876938

      Re: Career interview questions

      by johnterry807 ·

      In reply to The “Describe your Ideal Job” interview question

      Hi everyone!
      I am a new member of the board. I saw this topic I have many things and people have to learn. I think people can share documents related to this subject.
      Sincerely!
      John

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