Job Interview Question: Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

This is an understandably tough question. They are testing to see whether you have thought about your career and whether or not you are looking to make a commitment to the role and to the company. Because, hiring and training a new employee costs time and money, employers are usually looking to hire someone for the long term. First of all, avoid cliches. When asked: where do you see yourself in 5 years? Do not say “doing your job” or “hopefully sitting in your seat”. An attempt at humour in this question is a bad idea.

It is important to avoid volunteering personal information as well. Keep it professional, they want to know where you see yourself in your CAREER in 5 years and how you plan on getting there. This is your chance to demonstrate that you have put thought into your future, and the position and their company play an important role in it. Your answer is a self-appraisal of where you are currently, what you think you are capable of, and where you want to end up. Before you can start talking about where you plan to be in 5 years, you want to clearly communicate that the position you are applying for is an important and vital step in your career path- and you plan on excelling in the role. Once you have established this, it now makes sense to start talking about possible upward mobility at the company, demonstrating your plan to be part of the organization for the long term.

It is also a great chance to show that you have done research on the company. Research all of the related roles in the company and try to find out what positions you could potentially be promoted to within your department and incorporate it into your answer if possible.

Here, the candidate is interviewing for a position as a junior accountant for Global Hotels. From her research, she knows that there are 4 positions in the accounting department directly above her: Staff Accountant, Executive Accountant, Accounting Manager and Regional Director.

Interviewer: So, where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Interviewee: Well, I am looking for a role with a company that I can grow with professionally and continue to take on new responsibilities and challenges. Accounting is my passion and I plan to be the very best Junior Accountant possible and look forward to streaming my responsibilities grow. I am not hung up on titles but after proving myself successful as a Staff or Executive Accountant, I would love to get into management and prove myself in a leadership position as well.

So, remember when answering the question of where you see yourself in 5 years, Keep it professional. Emphasize how important to your career path landing and then excelling in the initial role is. This will allow you to then communicate that your next goal is to earn a promotion within the organization, therefore establishing your desire to be a long term team member.