Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Preparing for the questions you might be faced with at your job interview is an excellent way to build your confidence and ensure your interview runs as smoothly as possible.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? is a question that regularly shows up on the list for hiring managers to ask you, so how should you answer this question?
The reason for asking this question is to understand more about your career goals and ambitions, and whether they align with that of the company you are interviewing for.
Therefore do your research on the company: what are their values and their mission statement? Read their recent publications/annual reports and the history of the company. You can usually find this on the ‘About Us’ tab on their website This will give you a greater insight to the company’s identity, their principles and whether it will be the right culture fit for you. Elaborate on how you want to grow with the company and build a career there. This will show them that you would be a long term hire and their investment in you will be worth their time and money.
Think about where this job could take you and the opportunities it could provide: do your research on what potential growth path might be for you at this organisation. Is there a natural career path you would go down? For example, if you are interviewing for a role as an Application Programmer, talk about how you would want to learn and develop your skills to become an Application Engineer after two years and eventually find yourself as a Lead Software Engineer, should the right opportunities arise at the company. This demonstrates that you are willing to enhance your knowledge and are extremely driven to succeed as you pursue your professional journey with this company.
Think about how you would be able to help the company succeed. What can you offer that will stand you in good stead long term whilst benefiting the company. For example, if you exceed your sales targets in previous roles, talk about how you will continue that success and look to increase the revenue for the business whilst building your client base and commission. This emphasises you are motivated to helping the company reach their business goals whilst touching on your own goals and financial success during the next 5 years.
Remember, nobody actually knows where they will be in 3, 5 or 10 years’ time, so there is not necessarily a right or wrong answer to this question. However, if you can demonstrate your determination, drive, passion and willingness grow and develop with the company over the years, it leaves you in an excellent position to be considered for their opportunity.
You can read our blog on answering another tricky interview question: ‘Do you have any questions for us?’ here.