Summary: Answer one of the more challenging interview questions with confidence to show you have thought of your future with the company.
Looking forward to the future can be an exciting adventure but it is also filled with uncertainty. When an interviewer asks you where you see yourself in five years, ten years, etc. they are looking for realistic aspirations. While everyone would like to see themselves sitting on a nice beach sipping a margarita, this is not the answer the interviewer is looking for. Claiming you see yourself as the CEO of the company might be a bit too far in the other direction. You should have your eye towards moving up in the company. The truth is that no one really knows where they will be in five years but the employer wants to see that you have a direction you are working towards. Learn how to answer this question during an interview by first understanding what they want to see.
- They want to see you are looking for a career, not just a job.
Interviewers are hoping to find candidates that are dedicated to the company for the long run. Someone just wanting a job can still be a good candidate because they may not have figured out their plan for the future yet and can learn to love the company but someone who knows what they want is already at that point.
- They want to see your excitement for the position.
Someone with a clear, realistic plan for their future shows that they are excited about their future. Employers want to see someone who is excited to be with the company and wants to be there for a while. The last thing an employer wants to do is waste time and money to hire and train an employee that leaves in six months for another job.
- They want to see your ambitions.
Employers want employees with drive. These kinds of employees will welcome responsibility and lead a team because it gives them the opportunity to excel. Employees with a plan are self-motivated and ready to dive into a new job.
To help the interviewer see that you met the criteria, you need to demonstrate the value you see in the company. Use the job description to pull out keywords, such as competitive and ambitious, that relate to the things about the company you are excited about.
You can also use the company’s mission/vision/products to drive your vision of the future. Pick one of the aspects of the company that you connect with and explain why you value it as part of your future. In whichever way you answer the question, you want to make it clear that what you see in your future fits with the company because of what they offer.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Practice an answer in the comments below.
To learn how to answer other interview questions correctly, read these articles:
- How to Answer the Common Job Interview Question of “What is Your Greatest Weakness?”
- How to Answer Problem Solving Interview Questions
- 6 Weird Interview Questions You Can Expect to Get during an Interview
Photo: flickr.comEasily Answer "Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?" in Your Next Interview by Amanda Griffin