Interview Tips

How to Answer: What is Your Personal Mission?

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By: Mariah Rogers
Aug 5, 2020 • 4 min read

What is Your Personal Mission?

If an interviewer asks you this question, they likely want to know what motivates you and sets your determination apart from other applicants. They want to get to know you on a more personal level, by understanding your morals and values as a professional. You might have heard of a mission statement before, especially if you have read the popular book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, which examines this topic in great detail. So, how do you create a mission statement? How do you determine what motivates you and gives you your competitive edge? Then, how do you go about communicating this to a potential employer during an interview? Lucky for you, all of the questions will be answered in this blog, so just keep reading.

personal mission

Defining Your Mission

The first step is to craft a mission statement prior to your interview, or even beginning your job search process. The reason for this is that your mission statement will help give you a sense of guidance as you choose which jobs to apply to and paths to take that are in your best interest. Defining your mission does not have to be a complex and in-depth statement of self-discovery. Instead, simply ask yourself how you solve problems, handle ethical dilemmas, and navigate tough situations. The way in which you carry yourself will help you define your personal mission.

For example, you can ask yourself:

  • Am I more independent or do I enjoy teamwork?
  • Am I motivated more by monetary benefits or personal gains?
  • Would I classify myself as an introvert or extrovert?
  • How do I react to stressful situations?
  • How do I celebrate successes?

Asking yourself these questions will help you define what motivates you and help you craft your personal mission statement, which leads to our next point.

Crafting Your Mission Statement

Once you have defined what motivates you to succeed, it is time to craft your mission statement. On average, your mission statement should consist of a short paragraph, aim for around 3 sentences. This means you must be concise! The hard part is picking out what is most important to you, that you wish to include in your statement. To help you organize your thoughts, try to choose 1 claim that relates to your personal goals, one for your professional goals, and one that relates to a long term goal you hope to achieve. Here are some examples to help!

Personal goal: I hope to always make my personal happiness my top priority.

Professional goal: I will aim to find passion in every career choice I make. 

Long term goal: I hope to help inspire others to be confident and never give up.

personal mission

Delivering Your Mission Statement

Once you have decided on your three talking points, it is time to bring everything together. During your interview, feel free to not only share your personal mission statement, but also the process you went through in order to craft it. This will allow you to share how you are in tune with your personal beliefs, and that you were able to craft a mission statement to live by. Share with your interviewer how you decided on a personal, professional, and long term goal. Speak about how you defined what motivates you in order to arrive at these goals. You will then be able to deliver a thoughtful and organized answer during your interview. 

Mission statement example, using the goals listed above:

It is my personal mission to always make happiness my top priority as I aim to find passion in every career choice I make. I will utilize this midset to inspire others to be confident and persistent when it comes to achieving their personal goals. 

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