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Interview Question: Where Do You See Yourself in 5 years

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about 1 year ago

by Valentine Nwanze

Interview Question: Where Do You See Yourself in 5 years

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

It’s one of those interview questions that we know is coming, but still struggle to answer. You might have heard it in a number of different ways: "What are your long-term career objectives", “What do you see yourself doing in the future?” and the classic “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

Hiring managers often ask this question to work out whether you are likely to stay with the company in the future. For example, if your aim is to be department head and the position is already taken by a long-standing employee, the hiring manager might think that you may want to move on to another role when you feel ready for that type of role.

It might not be the most important question in the interview, but it can give the hiring manager an idea of you and your goals. That’s not to say you should not be honest about your long-term goals, after all, it could be years before you qualify for a leadership role, which gives you plenty of time to demonstrate your skills, and the company time to expand.

Points to Remember

This is the time to show the hiring manager you have put some thought and planning you’re your professional career. They will be impressed if you offer a concise and clear answer to the question. Here are some tips:

  • Briefly talk about your short-term goals.

  • Emphasise your overall development in your career.

  • Show that you are ambitious and want to develop professionally.

  • Be reasonable about your goals. You need to maintain a balance between ambition and reality.

  • Focus on the qualities of the future role such as working closely with important clients or problem-solving.

Things to Remember

Make sure the job you’re interviewing for fits into your long-term goals and show an interest in the company and the job, making sure you:

  • Do not answer too vaguely.

  • Do not attribute your success or failure to the company allowing you to advance.

  • Do not simply state a high-level job title.

Example Answer:

In the short term, I'd like to become an expert in my position and learn more about this sector of the industry. In the long term, I want to focus on understanding the industry as a whole so that I can advance to a management-level position. My ultimate goal is to work closely with the company's clientele and oversee major projects.


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