How To Answer “What Is Your Dream Job?”

By David Luther
Feb. 2, 2023
Articles In Guide

Find a Job You Really Want In

Summary. To answer the question “What is your dream job?”, you should discuss your values and how they relate to your career goals, and be sure to match them to the values of the company. You can also use this question as an opportunity to further highlight your skills.

This question, unlike many of the most common interview questions, actually has a right answer.

Your goal in answering this question is to describe a position that the job you’re applying for could feasibly help you reach — and our goal is to show you how.

Key Takeaways:

  • The interviewer wants to make sure that the job you’re interviewing for matches up with the one you really want.

  • It’s important to prepare for this answer, mention your skills, and discuss your values when answering this question.

  • Try not to answer with something exceedingly unrealistic because the interviewer won’t take you seriously.

How to Answer What is Your Dream Job.

Why Hiring Managers Ask “What Is Your Dream Job?”

By the time you’ve made it to the job interview, the odds are that the hiring manager or recruiter at least suspects that you have some of the qualifications for this job — the interview serves to confirm it, clear up any questions, and — in the case of this question — see how motivated you are for the position in question.

So why do hiring managers and recruiters bother asking? They’re more or less trying to do three things:

  1. Get a glimpse of your values and what motivates you as an employee. Hiring someone is expensive, so they want to make sure you’ll stick around.

  2. Figure out if you have the skills necessary to do the job. Seeing what skills you mention and value gives some oblique insight into this. Your strengths and weaknesses might factor into this answer, as it’s likely that your dream job would rely heavily on your strengths and avoid your weaknesses.

  3. Determine your career goals. Your career goals are on display with this answer. The recruiter or hiring manager wants to know if the job you’re applying for is a stepping stone to a long term career goal. If it’s not, they might be a little concerned that you’ll be unhappy in the position.

How to Answer This Question

  1. Prepare your answer. In addition to making your overall job search easier, identifying what you do and do not want in a job will allow you to be genuine when you answer not just this interview question, but all of them. The best way to do that is to answer some of these questions beforehand:

    • Do you want to work outside?

    • Is it important to you that you are able to be creative?

    • Would you feel confined if you weren’t able to socialize with others?

    When answering the question you should tie your answer back to the job you’re applying for (as with most job interview questions, regardless of if they’re situational or behavioral interview questions).

  2. Mention skills. It doesn’t have to be a job title as specific as account executive or features writer but can instead include different duties you would enjoy having as part of your position.

    You can look back at your past accomplishments as you answer this question. Questions to ask yourself include:

    Your profile can also include skills you enjoy using and the type of company culture you thrive in. Describe what it is about this dream job that you love, and then back it up with personal professional examples that lead you to believe this is your dream job.

    The job itself isn’t really important, it’s what about this job that you love that matters. You want to analyze what qualities the dream job has in common with the position you’re applying for.

  3. Talk about the workplace. Your work environment is probably the single most important factor in your day-to-day happiness, unless you’re in crippling poverty and starving because your paycheck is so low.

    Even if you love video games and your ideal job is as a video game tester, it’d likely be more enjoyable if you were testing games for a company you respected from the comfort of your home, rather than, say, any Walmart in America.

    For this reason, answers that focus on the company and its mission rather than the position may be the best route.

  4. Discuss your values. Instead of talking about the specific job title, talk about the duties and responsibilities of that position. If you go on and on about being a manager, the interviewer might think you only care about the title.

    If you say you love to have a job that helps people and make an impact in the work environment it will make the interviewer see you as someone who helps. When your values overlap with the interviewers, it can help with the advancement of the hiring process.

Example Answers to “What Is Your Dream Job?”

We’re sure you’ve already got some good ideas of how to answer this interview question by now, but below are some examples of the best ways to answer:

  1. Example Answer Using The Following Job Posting
    Example Description for answering Whats Your Dream Job

    “My dream job is to manage a team of online marketers that creates creative and valuable channels of user acquisition across various verticals.

    I want to continue to grow my client-facing skills while improving my understanding of SEO and content generation. I have worked on several campaigns and believe that I have the skills to manage a team after several more years of developing my skills and knowledge.”

  2. Example Answer for a Sales Position

    “I enjoy talking to people and meeting new people every day. My dream job is one where I can interact with clients and deliver a product that I truly believe in.

    In my last position, I regularly exceeded sales quotas and cold calls because I had genuine fun doing it. I look forward to following my passion, and I feel this job incorporates a lot of the elements that I naturally enjoy.”

  3. Example Answer for a Game Developer

    “I’ve been enthralled with video games since I played N64 as a kid, and my passion hasn’t died down one bit in adulthood. Combined with my love for new technology, computers, and everything nerd-related, my dream job combines my strengths with my passions. My dream job would allow for my curiosity and drive to learn new skills continue while putting forth creative work that I’m proud of.”

  4. How Not to Answer “What Is Your Dream Job?”

    Before we go, we thought we’d mention a few things you definitely shouldn’t say when answering this at a job interview:

    • Something too specific. If it seems like your goals are too narrow, the interviewer may think you’ll be unsatisfied with the path the position will put you on. As mentioned before, describe the responsibilities, not the job.

    • This position. No one is charming enough to pull that bullsh*t off. Of course, you don’t want to tell them that this isn’t that ideal of a job for you. But that doesn’t mean that this job and the dream don’t share some common qualities.

    • Something exceedingly unrealistic. Don’t talk about being an astronaut or secret agent. We believe in your dreams, but the hiring manager looking for an accountant might raise an eyebrow.

    • Something unrelated. Again, this question isn’t really to learn about your private passions but instead what you as an employee value. So what good is it going to do you in an interview for an entry-level administrative assistant position in Milwaukee to announce that being a restaurant critic for the New York Times is your passion?

    • CEO. For starters, it’s vague, but it’s also off-putting. Don’t come across as overly ambitious or indicate that you don’t have a grasp of a realistic career path.

    “What Is Your Dream Job?” FAQs

    1. Should I say the job I am applying for is my dream job?

      No, you should not necessarily say that the job you’re applying for is your dream job. This can come across as disengenous and doesn’t make you look good.

      When asked about your dream job, your answer should not be too specific, but should instead focus on your values and what you want to achieve in your career.

    2. Why is “What is your dream job?” a common interview question?

      “What is your dream job?” is a common interview question because the answer reveals a lot about the candidate. Interviewers and hiring managers ask this question in order to get a sense of who you are as a person. You can use your answer to demonstrate the values that are important to you and show why you are a strong candidate.

    Final Thoughts

    As an interviewee, there are a lot of good ways to answer this question. Be prepared by considering your accomplishments and qualifications, but by also focusing on how you want to use your skills.

    When you are asked about your dream job, it’s important that you put the emphasis on the challenges and type of work environment you are looking for rather than any specific job, and that you make your answer relevant and tailored to the position you’re applying for.

    Remember, the most common interview questions don’t have to be the scariest.


  1. U.S. Department of Labor – Interview Tips

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Articles In Guide
Never miss an opportunity that’s right for you.


David Luther

David Luther was the Content Marketing Editor for the Zippia Advice blog. He developed partnerships with external reporting agencies in addition to generating original research and reporting for the Zippia Career Advice blog. David obtained his BA from UNC Chapel Hill.

Related posts

Topics: Guides