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Answers to the “Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?” Question

Answers to the “Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?” Question

Christina Macres | MonsterCollege

May 18, 2010

“Where do you see yourself in five years?” — we all know the question. So why are we still stumped when someone asks this granddaddy of a ridiculous interview question in our interview? Here’s why – because most job seekers believe it has no relevance. The reason? No company can (or ever will) guarantee an employee a job for five years.

But, quite frankly, this is the wrong way of looking at this question. And, in actuality, this question (although obscurely phrased) is actually one of the easiest interview questions to answer — if you know how to answer it properly.

The secret? Most interviewers look for interviewees to answer by way of long-term professional goals. So instead of sweating, rolling your eyes (don’t do it!), or drawing a complete blank when asked your five-year goal, use it an opportunity to share your motivation for the job, your goals for building your expertise, and your eagerness to succeed. It really works — we swear!

Check out these five tips on how to best answer this doozy of an interview question:

Tip #1: Choose the best answer.

Only after you’ve gotten a good feel for the company, as well as for the potential position, will you actually be able to state your five-year plan suitably. Why? Because the hiring manager is using this knowledge as a basis for the “right answer” — don’t be fooled, there’s always a right answer! For example if you wish to be hired by an older company looking for employees who want to develop their expertise, not management skills, it’s probably not the best idea to talk at length about your managerial goals.

Heads up: Interviews work both ways. Always keep in mind that you are using this interview as a means to analyze the potential employer as well. If their needs don’t mesh with your creative goals and career outlook, it might be necessary to look elsewhere.

An answer for those who want to be experts: If your career goal is to be an expert in your field (this is more likely to be true of younger professionals, or those who are newer to their careers) you may want to say something like, “ In five years, I see myself as a successful graphic designer (or your creative field), and learning new skills that will benefit the company and help me achieve my career goals. I am eager to experience new challenges and excited to invest five years time specializing in a career I find extremely interesting and motivating."

An answer for those who wish to be management: If your career goal is to move up the ranks because you’ve become an expert in your field, you may want to say something like, “In five years I see myself in a management role. This would allow me to demonstrate my aptitude for managing others and having more responsibility. I am a dedicated employee and hope to better both my career and my company via my commitment and enthusiasm.”

Next Page: Tip #2: Be realistic and motivated. →


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    Frank_Ball

    about 4 years ago

    19756 comments

    Please keep your comments on topic to the article -- Any comments posted with embedded links leading outside MonsterCollege that are potentially dangerous and infected links will be removed and the poster's account will be banned from MonsterCollege. Thank you.

  • Me_max50

    ALCAPONE1939

    over 4 years ago

    4 comments

    I SEE MYSELF IN A MANAGEMENT POSITION,POSSIBLY EMPLOYED BY A CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT RENTAL ORGANIZATION,AND FURTHERING MY EDUCATION; I SEE MYSELF BEING VERY SUCCESSFUL, MANAGING A CREW OF 25 EMPLOYEES,AND BEING PROMOTED TO A REGIONAL MANAGEMENT POSITION WITH A NICE FINANCIAL STATUS, AND ENJOYING WHAT I DO AND THATS MANAGE.

  • Photo_user_banned_big

    samwillis

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    Its all depends upon the human goals setting because as he has pass throw his studies he should have the aim we he want to place him in which areas.When he had decided his career its simple to find him to do job. As per his experience and his performance their many changes for every to grow up.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    pmadridsr

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    well I do find that myself I do tend to try to find out whaat the company is all about then thats where I gt myself into trouble...

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    nicsw03

    over 4 years ago

    4 comments

    I just see myself in a table environment with an opportunity for growth within the position.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    nicsw03

    over 4 years ago

    4 comments

    Where do we see yourselves in the next 5 years? I hate this question.r