Do not let this question throw you off track
Most people with some interview experience under their belt, may have come across this “5-year forecast” interview question in the past.
This interview question seems to remain a convenient staple among interviewers as an insightful question into the prospective employee’s ideas and personalities regarding stability.
This article discusses the meaning behind the interview question “where do you see yourself 5 years from now?” and provides suggests on how to answer this question wisely.
This question can be asked in different ways in the job interview, for example:
“How does this job fit into your goals?” or “What are your career aspirations for the next three years?”
What do they want to hear?
What do they want to hear when asking “Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?” question in an interview?
For employers, it is vital to ensure the hiring of employees who have the potential for further personal growth and are the best contributors.
Therefore, they are looking for those who have a clear mindset about what they wish to accomplish and most importantly those with a career plan – career goals and objectives.
Secondly, they would also want to observe whether the candidate is highly motivated toward the offered position.
Employers actually address two points:
• Is the candidate going to take any job offer (shooting in all directions..) or does he seriously consider his job search target and career objectives?
• Does he/she want to ‘get a foot in the door’ OR is he/she going to bring added value to the company?
They want to be able to rely on the fact that their employees share a common interest – building the company’s stature and remaining loyal to said company.
Two Basic Responses
The interviewer would like to hear a precise answer as to – where do you see yourself 5 years from now and how do you plan on getting there?
Therefore, one should state a clear/realistic career vision –
For those who want to become experts in their field:
In 5 years time, I see myself progressing in (the field) and in (the company), learning new skills to the benefit of (the company). I find this (job position) extremely interesting and motivating. I can see many challenges lying ahead of me, which I am eager to experience. And therefore, I am willing to invest my 5 years time learning all aspects of the job towards professional advancement.
To sum up – I want to be an expert in my (field).
For managers or those who have ambitions to rise to management positions:
In 5 years, I see myself in a senior position (a team leader? high level executive?), having more responsibilities, coaching other employees and managing more people.
I am interested in pursuing my career based on (this company’s) goals.
I believe that being able to learn the company’s environment and investing in further business education will be in the company’s and my own interest.
A five-year plan to the best of your potential:
The interviewer asks this question to give you the opportunity to share your goals.
In reality, nobody has the slightest idea what he will do in 5 years time, but at least one should have clear long-term career goals.
“People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine.”