What are your short term / long term goals?

This question will be asked to check how clear you are about the new job. Also this question helps the interviewer to judge whether your goals are matching with the company requirements or not.  Please remember Goals here means Professional goals not personal goals.  I want to start a orphanage or old age home may be your personal goal and highly appreciable on a personal note but you have to check how your personal goal aligns with company expectations.

A short term goal is a goal which needs to be achieved usually below one year. A long term goal is a goal which needs to be achieved in comparatively long time frames, say, 5 years.

As you know, fixing a goal and sticking to it till achieving is not so easy.  This demands meticulous planning and unparallelled dedication from you.  So fixing a goal and charting a path to achieve it requires a frame work.

A goal must be SMART

S - Specific : What do I want to accomplish?, Why I need to accomplish? Who is involved? What are the requirements? etc questions helps you to be specific about your goal

M - Measurable: I want to become class topper is too vague.  But "I want to improve my aggregate by 1% in the next sem, and 2% in the next sem so that I can reach the top mark of the class" may be a measurable goal.

A - Attainable : We need to think positively but being realistic is important.  For example, I want to become a CEO of TCS is a good goal, but it takes lot of hardwork, dedication, intelligence etc to achieve that goal.

R - Relevant: As far as career goals are concerned, a personal goal may not be relevant here.

T - Time bound : Clear time limits need to be fixed.

So now we can attempt to answer this question based on the above frame work.
From the TCS website, the career growth of various employees have been given click here

The answers given by these students are selected for one of the IT companies TCS, Wipro, Capgemini.  Use these sample answers and take good points in these to prepare your own answers. 

Sample answer 1:
My short term goal is to quickly adapt to the job requirements, and to learn the work quickly.  I try to my level best to become a team lead from assistant system engineer in the next 2 years. My long term goal is to work in diverse industries to gain maximum exposure.  I am also looking forward to having global exposure and cross functional experiences to make myself professional.  I want to become a consultant for IT services in 10 years time frame.

Sample answer 2:
My short term goal is to get placed in an MNC which gives me job satisfaction and to support my family financially.  And my long term goal is  I will do my further studies in the stream of MBA and I want to be in the Top Level Management.
 (The student was asked about a few questions on management after this answer like what is the difference between manager and leader? Tell me 5 qualities of CEO etc. So be prepared for questions like this )

Sample answer 3:
My short term objective is to pursue a job in an MNC like TCS and my long term objective is to become a project manager or something of the sort like the head of  team.

Provide your answer to this question in the comments section. If it contains any mistakes we correct it.  And if it receives good number of votes, we put your answer along with your name in this page for others reference.