Where do you see yourself in 5 years? This question can be a make or break for some people, and may even be a tongue twister. Some people think this question is good because they have everything figured out, while others may cower from this question because they have no idea what their next step is.
Whether or not an interviewer has asked you this question, it’s worth being clued up on what it means and how you can answer effectively.
Interviewers ask this question to get an insight into your future goals and how your goals align with the role you are being interviewed for. The interviewer doesn’t expect you to know exactly what you will do in five years; they just want to see if you have an aim for the near future. You may not know your specific goals for the next few years, but you still want to be prepared for the inevitable question.
Employers want to hire motivated people who share the same goals and values and someone who will work hard and stick around for the long term.
How to Answer The Question?
Questions that relate to your future plans can be tricky to answer. An easy way to answer this question is to think about these few things…
What are your long-term goals?
Do you want a promotion?
Do you want to learn a new skill?
Can the company help you achieve your career goals?
Does the company measure personal growth?
Do they offer career coaching?
Do you make enough?
What is most important?
Do you care more about funds?
Do you want more experience?
Looking at the job description can reveal if you possess any skills the company is looking for. You can also check if they have any skills you wish to improve on.
What to Say
When answering this question, you want to stay on topic. Your answer does not have to be long, but it can’t be short like the three-word phrase “I don’t know.” Using the above as a guide can allow you to craft a concise response.
Example: I want to continue learning more about (job title) and would love to obtain certificates related to this position. I saw on your website that you offer career coaching to your employees and support their goals. With the use of your resources, I believe I can reach the next level in my career.
What NOT to Say
Telling the interviewer things like “not at this job,” “somewhere else,” “becoming a CEO,” or even “in your job” won’t help you secure the role. You can still be honest while telling them what they want to hear. If your goal is to be an engineer in five years, but you are interviewing to be a cook, you might want to leave that out.
Example: My goal is to develop into a leadership role over the next couple of years. To get there, I hope to gain the skills working in this department and challenge myself to grow in new ways.