A very common interview question that is often asked: “where do you see yourself in five years?” The interview question is a tough one.
Most of us aren’t thinking about where we see ourselves in a year, let alone five years so when this question it comes up in an interview it can really throw you for a loop.
Now interviewers are asking this because they want to gauge your long-term commitment to the company. I’m going to share three simple solutions that you can use to answer this common question.
1. Know the career progression before interview day.
Make sure you’ve learned everything you can about the natural and logical progression of someone that is in the position you are applying for. This will help you better tailor your answer to this question so that you’re not saying something that you’ll regret later.
For example, let’s say that you are applying for a position as a project manager. Most project managers start out on a team that is led by another senior-level project manager. Within time, a project manager can make a smooth transition into a senior level project manager or even a chief operating officer.
Use resources like Google and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find out the job outlook and the advancement for the position that you are applying for.
2. Show your passion for the position.
One of the best ways to tackle this question is to let the interviewer know that you are extremely passionate about the
position you are applying for. This will help you keep your focus on the current position rather than pinpointing other positions within the organization you would like to move into.
You’ll want to elaborate on the impact you make and express your interest in taking on more responsibilities in the future and even leadership.
3. Show your long-term commitment to the company.
Chances are you’ll advance in your career over the next five years. Meaning you’ll outgrow the current position, but employers want to know that you’ll be there for a while.
Now it’s not cheap for a company to recruit and hire new talent. They want to know if they make an investment in you for the role that it will be a wise investment. So to demonstrate your long-term commitment to the company, make sure you mention the value you’ll provide to the company and what you would like the company to experience as a result of you being in the role.
The best answer to “where do you see yourself in 5 years”
So when it comes to answering this question make sure you avoid answers like “in five years from now I want to see myself in your shoes” or “in five years from now I see myself running this place.”
Rather answer the question like this: “In five years from now I see myself perfecting the role of project manager. I am very passionate about ensuring all departments are functioning effectively in staying on task. In the long-term, I’d like to assume more leadership responsibilities by using my strengths in management, organization, and communication.
You’ll notice in this example that the first part of the answer focuses on the candidate’s passion for the position. The second part focuses on how the candidate can help the company with long-term growth and the candidate also mentions their desire for advancement without being too overboard.