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How to answer, "Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?"

Job interviews May 31, 2022

We have all been in an interview where a question made it difficult for us. In any interview, the question "where do you see yourself in 5 years" is one of the most common. It's pretty simple to answer: You want to be successful and happy with your life. However, answering this question will get you thinking about what could happen in five years, and you might realize that working for the same company for five years is not something you want. Let’s check some interesting ways to answer this question!

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You want a position that will have more responsibility

If you want a position that will have more responsibility, don't be afraid to say so. A good employer will value your ambition and desire to grow professionally, and they'll likely be more willing to train you for new roles as time goes on.

Say something like: "I'm excited about the opportunity for growth and development in this company. I'd like to learn as much as possible about what's going on here, and I know there are plenty of opportunities for me to get my hands dirty."

You understand potential obstacles and can overcome them

When you answer this question, you need to understand that your interviewer is looking for a tangible plan. They want to know how you will overcome any potential obstacles in the next five years. And that’s why it’s so important to be specific.

Your answer might sound like this: "I believe my experience as an accountant has prepared me well for future challenges. I’m interested in taking on more responsibility within my company, but I also have plans to gain more training and certifications so that I can stay up-to-date on industry trends and developments. In addition, I plan on mentoring some of our junior employees throughout their careers here at XYZ company, which will help them develop professionally while also contributing back into our organization by sharing wisdom gained from many years working together."

When asking about long-term career goals, employers want proof that not only are applicants capable of achieving those goals (as evidenced by past achievements), but also committed enough not just think about them. But act upon them as well.

You're looking for stability in your work

If your answer is that you want stability in your work, then this is an easy way to show that you plan on sticking around.

In general, people want more than just a job. They want something they can count on. If they don’t know what the future holds for them at their current job, they may be tempted to look elsewhere. Your boss will appreciate knowing that you’re not one of those employees who see a new position as an opportunity to make more money or advance their career. Instead, you see it as a chance to stay where things are comfortable and familiar so that you can get ahead without having any surprises come up later along the way.

You want the job if the company is right for you

So, say you want the job if the company is right for you. The next thing you can do is give an answer that makes your interviewer think, "This person is going to be happy here." The last thing any hiring manager wants is to hire someone who isn't happy at work and will leave as soon as something better comes along.

That's why it's important for candidates to come across as motivated and excited about their potential new role. They should also frame their responses in terms of what they'll be doing in five years' time. Not just where they see themselves working then (ex. at Google), but what they hope to accomplish there (ex. becoming a senior manager). This opens up the door for discussion about how your skills could benefit this organization.

Conclusion points

Saying where you see yourself in five years shouldn't be a wish list of jobs at other companies, but it also shouldn't be a list of the exact same things with different titles.

Instead, when answering this question, think about what you want to be working on and how your role will change over time.

In general, when thinking about your long-term career goals and aspirations, consider:

  • Your strengths and skills. What do you excel at? Where do your natural talents lie? Think about the type of work that would allow these aspects to shine through most brightly.
  • The kind of company culture where you can thrive best. Where do people tend to get along and grow together best? Which organizational cultures are strongest for people like yours truly? Are there any companies out there that haven’t yet been discovered by everyone else. Maybe because they're too new or small, which might offer opportunities for more rapid growth than some larger organizations do today? If so, focus on those!

Good luck in your future job interviews!

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