“Where do you see yourself in 5 years? “ is a very hated question in job interviews. And it doesn’t surprise me.
It can be difficult to articulate your future goals when you don’t even know what to eat for dinner tomorrow.
But do not worry. Interviewers don’t expect you to tell them exactly where you will be in five years. They only wants to know your motivations and professional goals and see if they match theirs.
Something relatively general like “I see myself in a position where I have progressed in my professional career, I feel fulfilled and I am making a significant contribution to the company ”. generally does the trick.
But if you want to make sure you’ve prepared a good answer for all kinds of different interview situations or specifically for your role, read on!
In this article, you will learn:
- What does the interviewer want to know;
- How to respond and impress them;
- What career goals can you talk about;
- Examples of the best answers;
- What are other similar questions?
- What are other common job interview questions and answers?
What are employers looking for in their response??
This seemingly simple question is really loaded. Your answer will provide the hiring manager with the information (good or bad) they need to decide if you are the right person for the job.
So why is it so important Really understand this question.
Why do they ask?
In short, when asked “Where do you see yourself in years?” your hiring manager wants to find out if they are someone who can make a long-term commitment to the company. You are asked to eliminate those who cannot, which reduces the turnover rate of the company. That, in turn, saves them time and money that they would spend on retraining.
What do they want to know?
Your interviewer can tell if you are capable of long-term commitment by evaluating various layers of your response. You want to know if:
- You are someone with self-knowledge: If you’ve taken the time to find out who he is, chances are you know what he wants. This quality can be very valuable to the company because it will not get up and leave one day because it suddenly found a new vocation.
- You are ambitious: Hiring managers look for people with this trait because they are generally enthusiastic and motivated, constantly looking for the next goal.
- You sincerely want the job: Having a passion for the tasks that come with the job increases the likelihood that the job you are applying for will meet your needs. This will also increase your productivity, as it is easier to get into a fluid state when you do something you enjoy.
- YOur objectives are aligned with the objectives of the company: Aligning the objectives moves you and the company in the same direction. This benefits both parties, as you will feel that you are doing something meaningful, which means that you will be working with intention and thus providing a better job.
Since you now know why the question is being asked, you can save your “I see myself with a spouse, a child and a house” answer.
Instead, we have the kind of answers the job will give you.
How to answer “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
This question is a good reason why you should forever Say yes when they offer you water.
Take a sip, dive into the question, and answer once your mind is in order.
Here’s how to respond:
Keep it wide. Although it is often recommended to answer job interview questions As precisely as possible, this is one time you can bend that rule and keep the answer on the general side. Especially if you are still looking for your calling. For example:
“In 5 years, I see myself in a role that continues to challenge me and that gives me opportunities to develop my skills.”
Be enthusiastic for what work could bring you. Tell your interviewer how you want to expand your skill set.
“I saw on the company website that you are looking for someone good on social media. In fact, I have 80,000 followers on my instagram. I would love to continue learning about this topic and I think it could help you increase your reach on social media.” .
Talk long termLet them know that you are someone who views work as a long-term investment.
“The truth is, I’ve always wanted to be a communications manager and learning more about social media can help me do that. “
I would only say something like this if there is a possibility to become a communication manager in the company; otherwise, it may be counterintuitive.
Now these were examples for a social media guru and we know they are not all one. Therefore, we have prepared some more sample responses for you.
Examples of best responses for “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
In addition to properly researching the company for which you are being interviewed or going through a job interview guideLearning from the examples is one of the best ways to prepare a surprising answer.
Here are some sample short answers for different careers “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”.
The best answer for the nurse (example):
Each position offers opportunities that can change the trajectory of your life. However, it is important to be realistic in your expectations. If you are attending an interview to become a nurse, don’t expect to be a doctor in five years. Just because it is not possible without a higher degree. Instead, as a future nurse, your answer might be:
“I would like to acquire clinical skills and take on more responsibilities over time. I think I would enjoy being a team leader, so becoming a supervisor or even a nursing manager later on would allow me to grow, both professionally and personally. ”
Best answer for software developer (example):
If you are applying for a position as a software developer, emphasize your area of interest. Let’s say you want to work for a leading cybersecurity company. Your answer to “Where do you want to be in five years?” it could be as follows:
”One of my passions has been researching cyber security and seeking solutions in this field. Working for a company with such an outstanding track record in this area, I see myself learning new approaches and applying them to the development of new technologies in the future ”.
Best answer for administrative assistant (example):
Do you want to get that administrative assistant job? Tell the interviewer about your determination like this:
“In five years, I see myself as an executive assistant. I think I can gain enough experience to get to that position. I am planning to learn some softer skills, such as giving presentations or communication techniques, which could be valuable assets for me and for the company for which I will work ”.
Best answer for counter (example):
Ready to land the accounting job of your dreams? This answer will persuade your interviewer that you are the right person for it:
“There is always something new to learn and I am a passionate learner. In addition to getting better at working with various accounting softwares, I plan to learn how to code in Python, which could open up new possibilities for me at work. I want to continue improving my communication skills to apply them in contact with clients ”.
Best answer for internship (example):
Dreaming of a internship at your favorite media organization? In addition to telling them why you admire their work, mention where you would like to grow as a journalist and how this internship will help you do so:
“In today’s world, independent journalism is key in the fight against disinformation. Therefore, I want to be part of a media organization that produces high-quality journalism. I consider investigative journalism my main area of interest and I plan to develop all the necessary skills to become an investigative reporter who can report important cases to contribute to change in our societies. For that I need to become an expert in data research and analysis. “
Or your internship opportunity at a publishing company?
“My greatest strength is that I am an idea creator and I can create effective campaigns on social media. In the future, I see myself as the leader of the marketing team of a company whose work contributes to solving social problems and / or whose products are socially responsible. It is important to me to put my skills to use for the cause I believe in. For that, I need to keep up with all the changes that are happening in the marketing world and always find new ways to assert my creativity.
Examples of career goals
If you still can’t find inspiration from the answers above or we don’t cover your career, you can use these examples of career goals to help you formulate a perfect answer:
As there are thousands of career goals, we will divide them into 3 types.
1.) Leadership goals:
One of the best ways to advance your career is to aim for a leadership role. Here are some examples to point to:
- Team leader
2.) Educational objectives:
Advancing in your professional education shows that you are willing to go further. By mentioning your educational goals for the next five years, you will let your employer know that you are someone who will continue to be relevant in your field. Here are some examples of ways to educate yourself more:
- Get a degree
- Get a certificate
- Get accreditation
- Learn to use new software
- Learning a new language
- Learning to code
3.) Personal development goals:
Another way to advance your career is to excel. Here are some ways you can do this:
- Aiming for a prize
- Become an expert in a topic or field
- Expanding your network
- Working on your soft skills
Watch! There are many ways to show your interviewer that you are the right person for the job.
Other questions similar to “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
This question has many variations (albeit with the same intention):
- What are your long-term goals?
- What is most important in your career?
- What is your definition of success?
- What are your career goals in the next five years?
- What are you looking for in a company?
- Describe your career goals
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
- What are your career goals?
- Where do you want to be in 5 years?
- What are your goals for the future?
Other common job interview questions
Do you have any question for me?
The answer is always yes.
You could ask: “What problem has the company been trying to solve or what problem does this position need me to address?”
You could take this opportunity to shine. Tell them how you would solve their problem.
What are your strengths?
Use the job description as a guide when selecting your strengths. A good rule of thumb is to follow the formula for force + context + history. When providing context for your strengths, address the specific qualities that qualify you for the job and set you apart as a candidate..
Can you tell me about any of your weaknesses?
As with the question about your strengths, you can use the formula of weakness + context + history. We advise talking about a real weakness, but that is not a large part of the work at hand. Talk about a weakness that you have overcome, that made you better, or even an expert.
Why are you attracted to our company?
A good way to answer this question is to add company values to your answer (most companies include these on their websites). However, try not to force them into the conversation, as it will not sound authentic. Instead, be subtle and use them sparingly.
What is a challenging situation that you have faced?
In answering this question it is good to reflect the skills the employer is looking for. Try to adapt your examples to the job description.
Why should we hire you?
There is a simple three-step formula that you can use to answer the question “Why should we hire you? “.
- Statement: Begin by saying briefly that you understand what they are looking for in an employee (skills, experience and character).
- Experience: Pick 2-3 things that stand out for you from the job listing and repeat how your experience can meet those requirements
- Benefit: Try not only to list the skills you have (characteristics). Instead, talk about how these skills, experience, and personality traits can bring improvements to your job, team, or company (benefits).
Keep your answer short, job-related, and a bit general (especially if you don’t know your calling yet).
Let your hiring manager know that you are someone who can commit to long-term goals.
Talk about your goals, skills and values and make them align with what they are looking for.