How to Answer the Interview Question “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?”

Prologue

You enter the interview room. Everything was going well, and you gave an impressive introduction. The interviewers were quite happy with you, and you think that you have almost gotten the job.

However, one of the interviewers asks the following questions – Where do you see yourself in five years?

“Um, I don’t know. Maybe I will be sitting at your place. However, I do not have a crystal ball to answer your question.”

Just as such words spill out from your mouth, you lose the job opportunity. Moreover, making such a wrong impression on the interviewers exhibits your amateurism and reduces your prospective job opportunities.

This is because these interviewers know other hiring managers of several organizations and may convey bad word of mouth about you to them.

So, it is better to prepare the answer to such questions beforehand. This is because, in reality, you may not know the truth.

But, this is the right time to decide about your future, because many organizations tend to ask this question.

The Reason Behind the Question

You can answer the question in the best way possible only if you know the reason behind this question. After figuring out the reason, you can always make sure that you comply with it.

The recruiters may ask you such a question because of many reasons. The primary reason being to check whether you will remain in the company for a longer-term or not.

This is because the hiring procedure is hectic and expensive. Posting for the job position, selecting the required candidates, and conducting interviews all over again is a daunting task.

So, the interviewers can save expenses by admitting a candidate who is likely to be in the company for a longer-term.

Secondly, this question helps the interviewers to analyze your long term goals. The interviewers can align such purposes with the primary aims of the company.

This allows them to see whether you are a suitable candidate and fit for the job or not.

Thirdly, the response to the question assists the interviewers to know about your self-awareness and growth opportunities.

How can they hire you if you do not know your ambition and future growth opportunities?

Moreover, they want your current job opportunities to meet the place where you want to be five years from now. Is their company in that place with you? If yes, then they can select you.

But there can be situations when you use your current job opportunity as a step of a ladder to reach its top.

In such cases, it is not feasible to say that you will leave the organization after a year or so. Hence, there are specific tactics and strategies which you can adopt while answering your question.

Where do you see yourself in five years?  Let us view these techniques that help you to increase your chances of procuring a job opportunity.

Also Read: Writing a Resume Covering Letter: How To Make a Perfect Resume?

Tips and Strategies

Align Your Career Goals

interview in progressTo give an impressive response to this question, it is crucial to conduct extensive research. Such research will help you to align your career goals with the requirements of the organization.

This is because you should always relate your job title’s requirements with yourself five years from now.

If you are unable to do so, the interviewers will reject your resume since you may not be of use to the organization.

So, pay heed to align your career aims with the long term objectives of the company.

For example, let us say the aim of a company is to provide social service at significantly fewer revenues. But your main aim is profit-making rather than satisfying your clients.

Situations where the goals clash is likely to give you a negative result.

But how to know about the requirements of the job through research? As we all know, this era of digitalization serves as a lubricant in the process of conducting research.

So pick up your smartphones and surf the social media accounts of the organization.

Moreover, do not forget to go through the LinkedIn profile of the company. This is the place from where you can familiarize yourself with the profiles of the interviewers and their needs.

Apart from this, most companies have their own website. Such websites have different pages related to their goals, such as the About Us page.

These pages show you the growth opportunities of the organization. This helps you to know where the organization can lead you to in the next five years.

In the end, it is very crucial to read the job posting of the company once again. This job posting consists of various keywords.

If you use such critical terms in your answer, then it can help you to be at an advantage over your competitors.

The research will help you to know about the following.

Career Opportunities for The Employees

You can choose the best career opportunity as a response to the question. It should suit your job position, interests, and requirements.

Company Culture

In your answer, you can say how the company’s culture will help you. It may refine your soft skills or improve your networking outreach.

Moreover, you can say that five years from now you want to work to the best of your capabilities which is possible only in a positive working environment.

Training and Project Opportunities

Various organizations provide job training to the employees. If the company where you are getting interviewed does the same, then you can use it in your answer.

For example, your job teaches you an additional course or programming language through various courses or seminars.

In this case, you can say that you see yourself as an expert in this course in the future. Hence, the credit goes to this company which helped you to learn the technique.

Similarly, the research may help you to know various project opportunities offered every year to the employees.

So, you can include the benefits you will receive after conducting such projects in your response to this interview question.

For example, the organization has many interdepartmental and foreign projects.

Thus, you can say that you aspired to be an individual with excellent communication skills, and who knows how to interact with foreigners with the help of such projects.

Focusing on the organization repeatedly will inform them of your dedication and interest in the job opportunity.

Only showing that you are satisfied with getting the job is not sufficient. This is because hundreds of applicants will be satisfied after getting the job.

Exhibiting your enthusiasm shows the interviewers that you intend to stay in the company for a longer period.

Also Read: What to Bring in An Interview and What Not?

Future Resume Picture

resumeAfter assessing your career goals, analyze your resume, and figure out what you want to see in it after five years.

This is because your resume will not stay the same as there will be numerous growth opportunities in five years.

So, pay heed to the following attributes of your future resume.

Prospective Career Opportunities

Are there other additional job titles that you can procure in the next five years? If yes, then how do such opportunities align with your current role? Will they help you to remain in the same organization at a promoted level? Or will they require you to change the company after a few years?

In the latter case, it is better to conceal such career prospective opportunities. However, in the former case, you can entirely exhibit them.

This will help the recruiters to know your long term interest as well as growth potential.

Technical and Soft Skills

What are the new skills that you would like to see in your resume after five years? Such skills can relate to technical skills that demonstrate your qualifications or educational experience necessary for the job.

These skills can also be the soft skills that keep you at an advantage over your competitors. Soft skills relate to practical communication skills, problem-solving, decision making, or other socializing abilities.

However, the technical skills must align with your current job role or a successful job role in the same career.

For example, you may be a content writer, but you cannot exhibit your prospective technical skill to be good at accounts or bookkeeping in the resume.

Awards

One of the best ways to exhibit your growth potential after five years from now can be to acquire various awards and certificates.

A right example, you are applying for the post of a salesperson in the organization.

So, depict your personality after five years from now as a person who has the yearly awards of top salesperson of the year.

A wrong example, you are applying for the post of a salesperson in the organization.

But you depict your personality after five years from now as a person who has many certificates related to the field of content writing.

Achievements

The awards or certificates are the official specimens that exhibit your talent in the field. However, achievements work as experiences or stories that can improve your chances of getting the job.

For example, let us assume that you are applying for a content writer role in the organization.

Hence, you may want your achievement after five years from now to be how you managed a team of interns under yourself.

Also Read: Elevator Pitch: Why and How to Master It?

Refined Interest

You can tell the interviewers how you want to refine your interests and become an expert in the concerned field after five years.

This is because the growth and learning opportunities encourage the interviewer to hire you as you will be able to improve the output of the organization.

For example, let us say that you are applying for the role of a digital marketer. In this capacity, your interest may be practical communication.

You can tell the interviewers how you want to bolster it and improve your networking outreach five times in five years.

Additional Tips

After completing your answer, it is necessary to tell the recruiters that you are flexible enough to change your plans. This is because your goals, preferences, and interests may take a u-turn in the future.

To incorporate such flexibility in your answer, make it as general as possible. Avert from depicting detailed or specific plans for your future five years from now.

Moreover, it is necessary not to overestimate your abilities and give vague answers. Such vague answers can be- I want to see myself in your position after five years, I want to own your business after five years, etc.

They not only seem to be a warning but also exhibit overconfidence and lack of maturity.

After putting together an intriguing and compelling answer, it is crucial to proofread it. This is because you may have written a perfect response, but if it has many grammatical errors, then it is of no use.

You can use applications like Grammarly, which is free to use. Moreover, let someone else also take a look at your answer to pick out any mistakes which you can rectify, or make any useful suggestions.

Finally, practice your answer. Practicing will help you avoid rambling and forgetting any crucial piece of information during the interview.

But, make sure not to learn the answer by heart. This is because it will lead you to answer in a robotic voice and hence, will look monotonous.

Additionally, if you lose your flow while answering, you may not be able to resume during the interview. It is best to remember the basic structure of your answer in mind.

Also Read: I Accepted a Job Offer but Got Another Interview, What to Do?

Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years: Sample Answer

Currently, I write articles that are of an average length of 3000 to 4000 words per day and would love to overcome this limit.

While researching about your company, I came to know that you have various employee training programs for young content writers. I would love to participate in such training programs to increase my knowledge within the first or second year of working here.

Apart from this, one of my goals meets your professional objective. I always love to write articles that promote NGOs free of cost.

So, by reading up about the job description, I came to know that there are several yearly projects in your company in which you work for NGOs.

I hope that at the end of five years, I can embellish my resume with such projects, accomplishments, and skills.

Thus, I aspire to be a competent and adept content writer with the help of the necessary facilities offered by this organization to be my feats after five years.

Authors

  • Efa Yasin, exhibits her witty personality, through her intriguing writings. Her works have been published on various websites, like NOGOZO and THETOPTOURS. With her forte being in English, she has conducted researches and concocted articles on various niches like marketing, travel and tourism, information technology, and many more.

  • As a Humanities undergrad, Anwesha Sen explores her creative side by writing about fields such as finance, education, marketing, and tourism. Her work has been published on various company blogs. She thoroughly enjoys traveling and learning about new cultures. Being a sucker for mysteries, she spends most of her free time watching documentaries on unsolved crimes.

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