How to answer: “Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?”
“Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?” is an old question that appears in every interview. Here's how to answer it perfectly
By asking this question, the interviewer is trying to establish if you have ambition and the work ethic to support your ambitions. Most people are not honest when they answer the question. They give an answer that they think the interviewer wants to hear. But is that the right tactic?
What are they looking for?
Before coming up with an answer to the question, you should understand the context behind it. What exactly is the interviewer looking for? The interviewer doesn’t expect you to provide a detailed plan of your actions and achievements. They want to know the following:
How settled are you?
How ambitious are you?
How motivated are you?
How long term is your thinking?
Your answers will help an employer to decide whether you are worth hiring or not.
Should you be honest?
Not everyone has a specific career path or a 5-year plan. On the other hand, some people are fortunate enough to have their future career plans all figured out. If you were going to answer the question truthfully, it may sound something like this: “This is just a stop gap. I need some money.” Or “I’d like to be the boss in 5 years’ time”
Most of us apply for a job for the chance to earn money, but that’s something that you should mention when you are answering the question.
Before the interview, you should spend some time creating a personal vision statement and then try and tailor it to different situations. So for an interview, a networking event or a manager. Reflect on what you are good at and what you are not and question your values, goals and how you would like to achieve them. You should have at least 3 key facts that you want the other person to know about you.
How to answer the question
When you are coming up with your answer you should try and keep it general. You can answer this question in two parts. Firstly, you should put an emphasis on your commitment to the role and organisation. And you should explain why it motivates you. Secondly, you should mention your future aspirations.
For example, This job really interests me because it is diverse and has scope for development. In the future, I would be keen to take on management tasks. Moreover, I’d like to work somewhere where I can build my career”