Interview Tips Series 1

How To Answer Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years Job Interview Question?

Have you ever been to any job interviews? If yes, you know that they always ask that “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” question.

Did they get that out of some “how to hire people” textbook and asking just because they always like to follow the same pattern?

No. I assure you right here, before we even start, that this question has a very good purpose being a part of the interview and every word and gesture of your answer might just decide whether you will be hired or not.

So, why do they ask that question?

This is actually a trick question, and you can’t learn some word or phrase to magically open the door to your career, because there aren’t any “correct” answers, but I WILL teach you how to answer the question correctly.

I’m just saying that there are no answers that will work in every situation. Now, lets get started.

The actual purpose of this question is to rule you out. That’s correct. Although the process interviewing has a goal to actually HIRE someone, they will want to make sure that you meet the criteria for the job.

Most questions on the interviews are not about giving the right answer, they are about not giving the wrong one. Did you get this? As the competition for the job is higher, your every mistake may be a fatal one. Employers want the best people for the job, and you can’t afford to give an answer they don’t want to hear.

So, what should you say?

How should you answer this dreaded “where do you see yourself in 5 years question”?

Most people who look to get hired get this question wrong, so you will be in an advantage when you learn how to answer it properly. Although this is a trick question, you shouldn’t try to avoid answering, or change the topic.

Your first idea, and also wrong one, is to express that you feel very ambitious about this job, and in 5 years you will already be promoted 10 times, drive a luxury car and be a millionaire.

This is wrong because you are not being realistic.

Also, don’t try to be funny or even point out that the question is a trick.

Take your answer seriously.

You shouldn’t sound neither too ambitious nor not ambitious at all, your answer should be realistic, but still positive.

Be confident in your skills, but don’t over value them.

They actually want to see how committed you are for the job you are applying for RIGHT NOW, because you don’t want to get your job in 5 years, you want it now.

You will also have to be enthusiastic about the job you are applying for. They want some who is genuinely interested in the job, and not just someone who is here because he needs a job, any job. if you show that you are someone who just wants to collect paychecks every month, and that is the reason you is applying now, you will surely get rejected.

You have to show that you care about the job, that it’s something you want to invest your time in because it interests you, and that you see your future within the company.

Another reasons why you have to be enthusiastic, is because most employers see you as an investment. If they think that you will quit the job as soon as you get a better offer, you are not worth hiring in the first place.

The best way to show this is to do some research about the company. If they see that you already know about job positions they are offering and some general facts about the company itself, it will show that you aren’t sitting at the interview to waste their time, and above everything else, that you are serious about this.

I already said this before, but I repeat, DO NOT try to be funny or witty. You are an adult who is applying for a real job, and this is a serious thing. I’m sure they had their fair share of people who tried to get the job by impressing the employer with how unique and funny their answers can be. But this is not a comedy movie and you won’t get the job for saying something random, trying to sound special. You can’t, however, just learn this tips by hearth and repeat them on every interview.

You need to keep the job you are applying for in mind, because not all employers are looking for an exactly same type of person. Also, your answer should be divided into 2 parts. In the first part, say something about how excited and enthusiastic you are about this opportunity.

In the first part, say something about your future plans in the company. By dividing your answer into 2 parts, you are both stating your desire for the job and your ambitions for the future. After reading all of this, you are probably thinking that there are just too many conditions to answering this question the right way, and you will never manage to put it all together. But there are many variants of the correct answers especially to where do you see yourself in 5 years question, so you just need to learn how to put what you just learned into words, and that’s it!

Read a few examples to get an idea of how your answer should sound, and then try to write a few examples yourself, and see which one seems to be the best option.

You should prepare before each interview, because they won’t wait for you to come up with an answer. I will provide you with an example of the correct answer, so you can get the general idea:

“Thank you for asking! I am really excited about my role in this company because of the job itself, and that makes me want to commit to the company on the long term. In five years, I will hopefully gather enough experience to be promoted in a supervisor role so I can influence others and contribute to the organization’s success greatly. I am planning to work hard to achieve both mine and company’s goals.”

Now that you have the general idea, I can only hope that this was helpful to you, and wish you luck on your future interviews.

Here is a video highly relevant to the topic.