No interviewer anticipates that candidates will be able to describe their plans for the next 1,820 days precisely. Responding sincerely to what you hope to be doing can easily support or harm your chances of receiving a job offer. Here, we will discuss how to answer the interview question, where do you see yourself in 5 years.
You might be wondering why interviewers keep asking this question. In this article, we’ll explain why employers inquire about your future and show you how to formulate a stellar response to the question, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”And let’s see if it is redundant.
Why Interviewers Ask “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?”
Behavioral interview questions are standard in any job interview. They are essential because your answers to behavioral questions say a lot about you as a person and professional. They are a good indicator for hiring managers to see if you would be a good fit for the job. Understanding why employers ask, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” Let’s see below
- They want to know that the position will satisfy you and that you’ll work hard and stay with the company for a long time.
- They also want to know what kind of person you will become.
- To assess whether you see yourself growing with their company.
- See if you are ambitious to develop your skills and experience within the company.
How to Answer And Explain “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?”
Answer the question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” by discussing how you could grow in this role. This may come naturally to you, but answering this question can be challenging. It’s okay if you don’t see yourself in a long-term role; however, disclosing this to your interviewer is unnecessary. In this case, consider how the job might help someone advance in this career path and apply it to your response.
In either case, doing the research before answering this question in an interview can be beneficial. Consider the following best practices when preparing your response:
1. Consider How Your Objectives Relate to The Job Description
Remember to carefully read the job posting before writing your response. Consider which of the required skills and traits you already possess and would like to improve, as well as those in which you would like to gain more experience. Considering the job’s specifics and what it would mean to advance your knowledge and expertise in these areas over the next five years can be beneficial.
2. Consider the Experiences Relevant to This Position That You Would Like to Have on Your Resume in Five Years
Considering what an ideal resume might look like for someone in this position five years from now can be beneficial. Consider the following categories and how they might appear in the future:
Are there any incremental job titles you could pursue? For example, Moving from an Engineer I to an Engineer II.
Is it common for people in this field to hone specific skills (technical or soft)? A social media manager may wish to gain experience in video or graphic design.
Are there any industry awards or certificates that you could pursue that are relevant or well-known? A sales representative may strive to be named “top salesperson of the year.”
Are there any specific goals you could set for yourself? For example, becoming an expert and being chosen to mentor junior team members.
You may not need to include these points in your interview response. However, considering what your future resume might look like can help you shape your response.
3. Consider Your Interests And How They Might Evolve
There is always room to grow and learn in any profession. You may want to focus on a specific area of interest in the role you’re interviewing for, and it may take several years to reach an expert level.
For example, cosmetologists may be interested in nurturing client relationships and learning about the technology that other businesses use to do so. As a result, they may try to learn more about CRM software and marketing communications. Reflecting thoughtfully on tasks and other relevant skills or subject matters that interest you can help you form ideas for where you want to be in five years.
4. Explain How You Intend to Add Value
Employers may ask this question to determine how you might help their company over the next few years. While you may share personal goals, you may also try to link them to the success of the workplace. For example, if you want to improve your communication skills, you can explain that you are doing so to better connect with clients.
So What Should You Say About Your Career in 5 Years?
1. Keep your response general, especially if you don’t know much about the company’s typical career path. We recommend being specific for most interview questions because general responses are bland and quickly forgotten. This is an outlier. Make your answer truthful but broad enough that it does not doubt your suitability for this position at this organization.
2. Emphasize your desire for a long-term career with the company (especially if you have short job tenures on your resume). Your interviewer wants to know that you’re eager to start and grow with the company. The truth is that anything is possible. The company could go out of business, lay you off, or be enticed away by a better opportunity.
However, remember that the organization will invest significant time, energy, and money in hiring and training someone for this position. You must demonstrate a genuine desire to stay long enough to be a good investment. If you have a history of “job hopping,” you must show that you are now ready for a long-term position.
3. Show your enthusiasm for the job as an exciting next step in your career. Most importantly, demonstrate that you are eager to pursue this opportunity.
“Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?” Sample Answer
1. Become a Leader
This example shows a candidate who wishes to advance to a leadership position. This response indicates that you intend to take the initiative in your role. This type of response is ideal for roles with opportunities for advancement within the company:
Example: “In five years, I would love to be an industry expert that others can come to for ideas, help, and strategy. I’ve had amazing mentors and managers in my past positions, so I’d like to be able to provide similar guidance, potentially taking on a leadership role. Finally, I’d like to have taken the lead on a project I’m passionate about. I’m motivated by connecting my initiatives to a company’s larger goals, and I’m excited by the prospect of getting more experience in that.”
2. Develop More Skills
This example demonstrates a candidate’s desire to hone their craft while contributing to their team’s success. This response indicates that the candidate is a team player who is enthusiastic about the job. Using a similar reply can demonstrate that you read the job description:
Example: “Some of my future goals for the next few years include formal or informal leadership of a design team.” I also look forward to working with the product and event teams to streamline processes. With my project management background, this is a natural fit. I’d also like to improve my user experience skills to create more user-focused designs.”
3. Meet Company Objectives
It is wise to demonstrate to an employer that your personal goals align with the companies. This example response illustrates how a candidate may naturally incorporate their five-year plan to assist the company:
Example: “When researching your company, I discovered that your long-term goal is to expand into international markets.” Working abroad has always been a dream of mine as someone who majored in international studies. I could see myself beginning with your Hong Kong branch to learn the fundamentals of your business and clients. As the company expands its global connections, I would gladly volunteer to travel or relocate abroad based on your requirements.
I am fluent in several languages, which qualifies me to meet with foreign clients. I’ve also traveled extensively, which has exposed me to various cultures. I am ambitious to continue traveling the world while honing my sales skills and growing with a company with a vital mission like yours.”
4. Grow as a Professional
This sample response is helpful for candidates just starting in their careers. When you consider your entire career, five years isn’t that long. This response can help you demonstrate how you hope to develop as a candidate shortly, perhaps after graduation or an internship:
Example: “I intend to complete my communications bachelor’s program in the spring of next year. I want to work at a production company like yours within the next five years. I still have much to learn on the job because I am just starting in this field. In my early years, I want to hone my production abilities and network with others in the business. To assist, I intend to go to conferences and skill-building seminars.
After five years with a production company, I want to advance into leadership. I would prefer to go from being a production assistant to a production manager. I am prepared to put in the long hours and arduous work to achieve this goal.”
Is the Interview Question”Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years” Redundant?
This interview Question is not Redundant because most professionals will get the question ‘where do you see yourself in five years?’ in an interview at least once during their careers. Employers frequently ask this question to understand better your future goals and how those goals align with the position you’re applying for. When an interviewer asks you about your professional goals for the next five years, they do so to gain an understanding of a few different things.
Depending on the job you’re applying for, the length of time an employee stays in that position can vary. The longer an employee lasts in the position, the less turnover and costs associated with turnover a company has to worry about. If your goals match what the employer can offer, you’ll have some goals in mind for how you want to grow in the position you’re applying for. Interviewers also want to know this.
If you’ve read the information above, you know what qualities employers are looking for when they ask this interview question and how to impress them by explaining where you see yourself in five years.
The first step is to develop a broad vision of where you want to be in five years. Remember, no one will follow up with you or check in on you! Simply make an educated guess about the direction you want your career to take, and choose something that sounds ambitious (something that’s 1-2 steps ahead of where you’re currently at in your career).
Doing this will demonstrate to the interviewer that you have career goals and have given your future plans at least five years’ worth of thought.
1. How do you best answer the question, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Tips for Answering ‘Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years? ‘
- Show how your professional goals and the job you’re applying for aligning.
- Focus on the skills you want to learn and get better at.
- Don’t get too specific with job titles or time frames.
- Never say, “I want your job,” “I don’t know”, or “Not here!”
2. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Sample answer for freshers.
In five years, I want to manage multiple project teams or oversee more significant projects in 5 years. I believe your Senior Project Manager position was an essential step in that direction and would offer a nice challenge while also putting my prior project leadership experience of more than two years in this same industry to good use.
3. What are your strengths and best answer?
Mention your top strengths in your response, give examples of how you’ve used them in the past, and then describe the outcomes you’ve achieved. Be incredibly detailed in your answers.
4. What are your plans for the future?
My goals for the future include finding a job I enjoy, striking an excellent work-life balance, developing positive relationships at work and in my personal life, and simply taking each day as it comes. Naturally, I intend to keep improving my language abilities because I want to do better work.