While this question may seem inconsequential at the time of the interview, this one can actually keep you apart from others who share the same educational qualifications or even have the same experience.
If asked about your ideal job, you should ensure the interviewer that you wish to have a job that gives you professional progress as well as creative satisfaction, along with providing a stability that is required by every person.
How would you describe your ideal job – Your ideal work environment?
Your answer to this question should be:
“I would describe the ideal job as a job that makes the most of my qualifications and abilities, and gives me a chance to constantly challenge myself. I look for a stable job with quality supervision, a positive work culture at a successful company that will encourage me to work at my best.”
Other good answers to the ‘dream job’ interview question could be:
- A job that provides opportunity to learn, progress and contribute to the organization.
- A teamwork-oriented environment in a company that empowers employees to create and take initiatives.
- A job that my skills are utilized to the maximum and allows me to grow within the organization.
- I would prefer the company culture to be very team oriented and focused on delivering real measurable results while still maintaining a friendly and respectful work environment.
- My ideal job would be – Open, supportive, entrepreneurial, stimulating, collaborative, inspiring, focused on fostering strengths.
- I would love to work in a job in which I can work both by myself and with others to achieve the end result. I am very self-motivated so I am interested in working in an atmosphere where I can continuously learn new things and improve my skills.
- My ideal job is – Friendly, fast paced, available to learning new things, challenging and of course opportunity for career advancement.
- A workplace that is open to communication, staff that are approachable and willing to listen as well as give feedback.
- I flourish in an environment that allows me to grow my position and gives me learning opportunities. Work environments where trust and team work are keys to success. I really enjoy working with teams and feel mutual trust and respect is a necessary component to any job.
- An environment with various sized teams of equally passionate, creative and intelligent people on projects that are both exciting and practical.
- I would prefer working in an interesting and professional job where everybody work hard and help each other to succeed as a team.
- A job where I can use my creative abilities to support, aid and mentor other professionals.
- The workplace that gives enough space and helps employees to grow. There should be healthy team work, good communication, mutual understanding between each team member. A workplace where there is respect for individual’s ideas and always appreciate good work as well as knowledge.
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When my LYJ (Love Your Job) Search class starts on Monday, I will be asking participants to draft a description of their ideal job. The clarity that results from this exercise can be extremely helpful. It allows people to better articulate what they are looking for and creates a level of focus for their searches.
If you would like to try this exercise, know that you can tear it up and re-write the whole thing at any moment. Understand that nothing you’re writing is set in stone and just allow yourself to freely imagine a variety of possibilities. Include a list of 10 possible dream companies after you have written your description. This is a key part of the exercise especially as you begin to share what you’re looking for with others. Here is the assignment with a sample from an LYJ alumna to get you started:
Write a one-page proposal of your ideal work setting. Title the document, YourName’s Dream Job, Inc. This should include location, lighting, space, hours, people, boss, leadership, types of projects you get to work on, subject matter, types of activities. At the bottom, list 10 potential companies/organizations that would be a dream to work at.
SAMPLE LYJ DREAM JOB DESCRIPTION:
Write everyday. Research latest news topics and developments in my field, including news sources, medical and health journals, blogs. Analyze policy developments for their potential impact in my field. Speak about the mission and activities of my organization/company to potential investors or media.
Responsible, progressive national and state policy. Social justice. Environmental justice. Promoting health. Evaluating areas for improvement in health programming. Advancing health technology and/or access.
Work closely with one main mentor/supervisor under minimal supervision. Weekly one-on-one meetings to discuss progress, suggestions, questions, next steps. Mentor/supervisor offers constructive criticism and praise freely and simply. Daily working environment does not include check-ins or micromanaging, but rather is a relationship of mutual trust to work simultaneously and separately in a coordinated fashion. Independence.
New York, NY. Beautiful section of the city with healthy, affordable lunch spots and nearby green space. Reasonably close to where I live / reasonable commute. Clean, open, modern building with plants, lots of natural light, and sustainable materials. Office with a door and big desk. Gym onsite!
Although in a “dream” type situation, the sky is the limit, salary for this description would be enough for me to comfortably pay back my monthly student loan payments, have a nice one-bedroom apartment, maintain my current lifestyle (buying good food, traveling occasionally, updating wardrobe, not panicking at Christmas time), investing in my retirement fund, and salary for upward mobility in my field.
About 9 to 5, give or take some flexibility. Option to work from home. Shorter summertime hours, longer winter hours. Hours may change to avoid monotony. Work days vary in intensity and tasks.
PEOPLE / COLLEAGUES
Motivated, educated colleagues with high drive and excellent interpersonal communication skills. Organized, timely people who also laugh and see the lighter side of things. People who are healthy and have active lives outside of work, but who also give their all for their positions which they believe in. Equal mix of men and women.
Team-oriented environment, with weekly team meetings but otherwise independent working environment. Culture of the organization: goal and social change oriented, forward thinking, streamlined efficiency.
WORK / LIFE BALANCE
Organization will place a high level of commitment to employees maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Generous vacation time and personal days, which can be taken without fear or feeling of reprimand.
REAL LIFE COMPANIES / ORGANIZATIONS
I WOULD WANT TO WORK FOR
World Health Organization
Lululemon Athletica (higher position or creative team)
Reproductive Health Technologies Project
Global Health Strategies
Like this exercise? See Love Your Job Search Class for additional job search support and mentoring. Sign up to receive our blog posts delivered to your inbox by Subscribing to Love Your Job.