Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years, Bring a notepad, a copy of your CV, and a crystal ball to the job interview? Despite my jokes, the last one might be useful because hiring supervisors adore the question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” (Alternatively, they might inquire about your short- and long-term objectives.)
It’s a challenging question, and if you don’t begin preparing an answer in advance, it’s simple to make a mistake.
Why Interviewers Ask “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years”
This inquiry is asked by interviewers for a variety of reasons.
They first check to determine if your professional objectives line up with the position you’re interviewing for. If the two don’t align, the hiring manager might have concerns about your motivation to grow in your position or stay long enough to make an impact, which would make you a dangerous investment in their eyes.
Mike Manoske, career coach and co-author of the book The Job Search Manifesto, told Built In that “many bosses ask that question to feel safe.” “Typically, stability is what people seek.”
Such care should be taken. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employees typically remain at their positions for four years. Employee tenure is frequently less than that in tech firms.
Interviewers want to have the assurance that the candidates they hire have the drive to succeed and the possibility for advancement, but who aren’t already planning how to get their next positions, given how expensive it is to hire and onboard new staff.
According to Roxy Phothirath-Burke, director of customer success at Resident, hiring managers want to know if the candidate would be a good fit for the organization in the short and long terms.
Tips for Answering ‘Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?’
Malecha advises seeking a mentor or someone with more experience who is currently performing the kind of work that the person would like to be doing in the future if they need help figuring this out. Ask them to describe the many roles they played that helped them develop the abilities necessary to get the job.
Job seekers should have a better knowledge of how to prepare their answers after doing this.
Also see: Email Writing Format
SHOW YOU’RE CONCERNED ABOUT THIS JOB
Employing managers want to know if applicants are seeking more than “simply a job,” and that the position for which they are applying aligns with their longer-term career objectives. This query enables you to learn that.
Saying, “I hope to someday be a UX designer,” during an interview for a position in social media marketing, for instance, sends the wrong message because it suggests you may not be enthusiastic about this particular role.
The same applies if you declare that you are not particularly interested in the financial services sector while applying for a customer success post with a fintech company.
KEEP IT GENERAL
Instead of declaring, “I aim to be a senior marketing director within three years,” talk more broadly about the knowledge, experiences, and effect you expect to acquire. For instance, you might write something like, “I aim on increasing my understanding of various marketing channels, particularly around testing with paid search and social ads, and finding ways to get more involved in campaign strategy.”
Similar counsel is provided by Catalina Pea, a career counselor and the CEO of Catalyst Creation.
FOCUS ON SKILLS
For instance, you might write, “In the coming years, I aim to improve my skills in creating, managing, and optimizing marketing campaigns. I’m excited to develop those skills further and broaden my knowledge base so I can contribute even more.
Alternatively, you may say something like, “I’ve loved managing a direct report in my current work. I envision myself improving my management and leadership abilities over the coming years, evolving as a mentor and boss, and positioning myself to take the reins of a developing team.
When asked “Where do you see yourself in five years?” there are a few things you should never say.
‘I DON’T KNOW.’
She believes it shows they haven’t given their long-term professional aspirations much attention if any at all. (With one exception – she finds it quite acceptable when young graduates respond with “I don’t know. Even so, she will reword the query in an effort to determine the candidate’s desired general course.)
However, Malecha said that for someone who is already a few years into their work, having no notion of what they want their future to entail is “a little bit of the red flag category.” It could be a sign of a lack of desire or vision.
‘IN A DIFFERENT DEPARTMENT.’
When a candidate responds to the question by claiming they desire to fast advance into a senior post, hiring managers could become concerned. It demonstrates a focus that is somewhat off-task and not on the task at hand.
Photograph-Burke stated, “That’s something that tells me they’re already, possibly, not going to be [around] long term in the capacity we’re seeking for.