Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years: A Guide How to Answer Tricky Questions during Interviews
29 August, 2018 in Job Search Tips

You may not have a clear answer to the question, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” now but still you would somehow need to come up with the most appropriate answer during your job interview. 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? – Hardly any question made you feel so dumbstruck during your interview. For many job applicants, this is the question that blows off their minds and makes them feel totally numb. If the firs thought that comes to your mind is why would you let all people in on your secret professional development goals, stop worrying now. The application committee is not that much interested what are your career goals – they are rather curious about how you see yourself in the future and how well you can formulate your personal goals for work. The main peculiarity of this question is to see in what way the job applicant can answer this question within a few seconds. 

Why HR Managers Ask Such Dazzling Questions

Asking ‘where do you see yourself in 5 years?’ is more about getting to know what your aspirations, long-term plans, and goals are. Your answers to interview questions like this enable your recruiters and potential employers to see how you structure your thoughts and how good you are at long-term planning. Besides, it enables them to see how well you can evaluate your strengths and weaknesses as well as to build your career plans depending on your abilities and knowledge. Such questions are important for some companies when you are applying for a job because they have a sheer interest in building up a strong team of career-oriented, perseverant, and diligent professionals.

HR managers and recruiters may formulate the question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” in different ways. Below you will find common ways of posing the question regarding what you plan to do:

  • What will you do in ten years from now?
  • Where do you want to go in five years?
  • What are your short-term and long-term professional goals?
  • What is your ideal position now/ in 5 years/ in 10 years? Why?
  • What does the term “success” mean for you?
  • What do you find the most important aspect in your career?

How to Deal with an Interview Question That Obviously Has No Clear Answer?

Actually, there are no specific rules for responding to the question regarding your future career in a few years from now. It is natural that nobody has a clearly defined and confident answer to the question what he/ she will do in a few years. More so, HR mangers and recruiters are totally aware of this, so it is not the answer to the question that interests them most but the way you handle this question and the time you spend on thinking about it. Just be realistic and provide the best answers to interview questions based on your current experience and knowledge as well your potential to improve your expertise. Instead of providing a brief and concise answer what you want to be and what you want to achieve, try contemplating about your path to that long-term goal. Also mention new skills you plan to acquire in order to be even more successful in the future. 

Moreover, when talking about your future position, make sure to mention how you will be beneficial for the company and how you can help bringing it to the next level. 

What Is Better to Avoid Saying?

Never say, “I don’t know” or “I have no answer to this question.” Surely, this answer will be the first to cross your mind but do not even dare saying it. Start with analyzing how you have progressed over the last years and where this progress can help you move. Make sure you are realistic in your estimations when you are talking about progress at work. Besides, make sure you are consistent in your contemplations about further trainings and studies – make sure they correspond to your professional goals. 

It is equally okay to consider a few potential professional paths but be wise in the number of them that you present to your admission committee. 

All in all, HR managers like to surprise the applicants with such sudden questions as where you see yourself a few years from now. Be confident in your answer and demonstrate you are analyzing this issue and are contemplating about it. Do not lie but be honest and open in your answers. 

visibility 1