How to Answer “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years”

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Where do you see yourself in 5 years

“Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?” Want to know how to crack an interview? With good command over your language and presenting yourself in the best manner is an old trick that helps you introspect and learn about your strengths and weaknesses.

Whenever your hiring manager asks you about your career goals, there may be a few things running through your brain. “Getting a promotion,” “working for myself,” or “running this company,” for example. But none of these are necessary things you should say out in a personal interview. So, how do you answer the question? Follow the tips mentioned in this blog to answer such HR interview questions.

Why Do Interviewers Ask This Question

When an interviewer asks you where do you see yourself in 5 years, he/she mainly does this for two major reasons:

  • They want to be sure whether your long term career goals go hand-in-hand with the company.
  • They want to be certain that you will stick to your new position in their company and not take up another job elsewhere. 

What your Interviewer does not want as an Answer

When your interviewer asks you where do you see yourself in 5 years, there are certain things which are an absolute no. Here are the major don’ts that your interviewer does not want to hear:

  • Detailed ideas and schemes about how to get promoted in the company
  • Silly jokes about how you would be on the other side of the table in a span of five years
  • Dreams about going back to school for fulfilling an old career alternative

Secrets to Answering

Talking about your goals, we can split the down to short-term and long-term plans. So, when you’re looking forward to answering “Where do you see yourself in 5 years”, you need to realise your career aspiration as per the setting. You recruiting manager will analyse your commitment towards your life and work. Would you be keen on developing your skills and aptitude to reach the destination of your choice? Do you have a foresight working behind your current decisions and have you set relevant milestones based on your ultimate target? Your answer is based on how seriously you take yourself where you see yourself “your career”, helping others pan out your maturity and understanding of life.

Best Answers

Here are a few sample answers to help you with answering to the question of where do you see yourself in 5 years.

Example #1

In the coming five years I aim to complete your rigorous training program with utmost dedication. This way, I would be ready to take up the position of Project Manager. I am eager to join your esteemed organisation and contribute towards its growth. Moreover, after gaining extensive professional experience for the next 5 years, I also see myself working abroad and I am aware that people who are willing to do so are of value to you.” 

Example #2

I have learned immensely from the past internships and training I pursued as an undergraduate. I feel that I am matured and I am strongly willing to work out of my comfort zone. Similarly, in the next five years, I strive to work on tasks which bring out the best in me. I see the coming five years as full of new challenges and responsibilities that will anchor me to become a better leader and professional. If given this opportunity, I am certain that the next five years will be beneficial for both me and this company as a whole.”

Example #3

“My career has always been my priority and I have dedicated myself towards every job I took for the past five years. I see myself working with the same perseverance and dedication for the coming five years with a more promising attitude. I will align my targets with the goals of this company and work to the best of my potential.” 

Also Read: How Creative Thinking Can Help You in Interviews

How Not to Answer

Here are a few things you must keep in mind about NOT doing or saying while answering this question.

Do Not Be Too Specific

“I plan to be the Chairperson at an important firm, with a chauffeur-driven car and a salary of 150K.”

Having ambition and being clear about your career goals is a good thing but if you are too specific or particular about it in an interview then you have the risk of stating such goals which are not realistically achievable in the given job. This way, from the point of view of the interviewer, you would not seem like a good fit so make sure to refrain about clarifying your career goals that don’t fit the job description.

Do Not Overthink

“Well, umm, this is a difficult question to answer. I am not very sure about what I will be doing in 5 years time.”

Most people make this mistake while answering “where do you see yourself in 5 years”. And we must make it clear to you, it is not a mistake but a blunder. It is always good to take a question seriously but you must remember that you are not being judged on the accuracy of your answer. You just need to convince the interviewer that you are serious about your job and the career path you have chosen for yourself.

Do Not Be Flaky

“I see myself as the CEO of this company in 5 years time. But I would also love to give my singing career a chance and tour with my entire band. It would be nice to see if things take off in that direction.”

The interviewer will understand within a moments time that you are flaky if you seem to have too many ideas in your head about what you actually want to do. While it is great to explore different areas at the same time and be creative but it is not the time to express such a thing during your interview. You must seem focussed to the interviewer and give the impression that you have a plan for your years ahead.

Do Not Raise Red Flags

Well, I am not too sure. I could either be pursuing law or be at music school. I could even be trying a hand at painting.”

While it is great to have the dream of going back to school to study something of your interest or begin your own business, sharing it with your interviewer would not be the best idea unless it suits the job profile you are getting interviewed for.

Do Not Give a Memorized Answer

It is always best to prepare beforehand for an interview and practice the answers to some of the frequently asked questions, but do not memorize your answers. Instead, practice how you can explain and share your long-term plans with your interviewer. 

Must Read: Best Answer for Why MBA

Alternate Questions 

There are different ways of putting forth the same question, which totally depends on the interviewing committee on how they ask you. Therefore, in order to help you in being prepared and not getting caught by surprise, here are a few questions that might be asked to you:

  • Describe your career goals. 
  • What are your career goals
  • What are your short-term and long-term goals? 
  • What are your career aspirations? 
  • Describe your ideal job. 
  • What is the ultimate career goal that you have? 
  • How would you decide whether you are successful in the upcoming years? 
  • What is your vision for the future? 
  • What are the steps you are currently taking to actualize your career goals? 
  • How do you plan to achieve your goals?

Best Ways to Answer “Where do you See Yourself in 5 Years”

You need to ensure that you are not sounding over-achieving, but do voice your ambitions with confidence. So, what if this job is not a one-way ticket to your future goals? It’s okay to say that you don’t really know what tomorrow holds for you, but you see how this experience could help in making that decision. 

Follow these simple tricks to make yourself sound convincing while answering the question:

Be Concise

The key answering “Where do you see yourself in 5 years” is by providing a clear and concise answer. Long ridden statements hamper the meaning of the decision and fail to present you as someone who has a firm grip on their career aspirations.

Be Eloquent 

Being an expressive speaker has its own benefits. You would be able to behold the attention of the interview panel. And not only would the panel hear your answer but listen to your words with utter care and respect your opinions.  

Be Ambitious yet Realistic 

The answer to “Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now” requires you to implicate ambition yet your answer need not be superficial or reflect over-confidence. So, tell them that you want to touch the sky while staying connected to your roots. And at the same time, present to them a realistic plan of how you connect your current position to your ultimate goal. 

Show a Sense of Commitment 

Your drive and unfaltering belief in your goals would make you suitable to entrusted with an important portfolio. Hence, how committed you are now would directly have an impact on how you are going to be perceived in an interview. A sense of commitment can be reflected based upon the ambitions that you create for yourself and to gauge the progress that you have been making in actualising them.

Give A General Answer 

While it is recommended to be specific in most of your interview questions, this is one question where you should or can be general with your answer. Be honest and truthful with your answer at the same time keep it broad enough so as to not raise doubt regarding the fact of whether you will fit well in their company or not. 

Give Importance To A Long Term Career 

If you have job tenures that are short on your resume it is best advised that you show them a long term interest in the company and plan to stick around and grow with the firm. Since the company will be investing their time and energy in teaching and training you the work that is expected of you, you must honestly show them that you are worth their investment.  

Show Your Enthusiasm

You must show the company or firm that you are excited about beginning work with them. You must express that you are motivated to grasp this opportunity of working with them. 

Make Your Answer Believable 

If you are opting for a career choice which doesn’t reflect the choices you have made previously, you must make sure that you give an answer which is believable. The question where do you see yourself in 5 years must be answered with a commitment to the position ad career you are applying for. 

Don’t Make Up A Position 

You must research and read up about the company or firm you have applied to, before your interview. By doing your research you will have a fair idea about what kind of advancement is available in your post. So if you say that you see yourself as a senior manager, make sure that that post exists! 

Give Your Answer in Two Parts 

While the first part of your answer should have details about how excited you are about this role and the opportunity. Then the second part of your answer should have you reaffirming the fact that you plan to stick to this job long term, in a responsible and logical way. 

Also Read: How to Answer ‘Why Should You Be Hired for this Internship?’

Credits – Self Made Millennial

Now that you know, how to answer “Where do you see yourself in 5 years”, its time to prepare a job-winning resume for yourself. Want to save time and have your resume ready by experts? Then, reach out to us at Leverage Edu. 

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