Common Job Interview Question – Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?
Motivational speakers everywhere stress the power of positive thinking. Though the names may change (some people simply call it thinking positively, while others believe in theories like the Law of Attraction), the idea is that if you believe it strongly enough, you are far more likely to obtain it then if you don’t. So where do you see yourself in five years? If you see yourself on a boat, surrounded by piles of money, and you believe it strongly enough, it might happen. Or it might not. Or it might.
When you answer interview questions about your five year plan, however, you need to do three things:
- Show that you have a five year plan and that your five year plan includes staying with the company.
- Focus only on your professional growth.
- Keep your plan realistic.
The last two points are important. When asked about 5 year plans, even seasoned professionals will often discuss where they wish to be in their personal life, or they have unrealistic goals planned, such as becoming CEO of the company. Maybe CEO is your goal. Maybe you plan to achieve it in 5 years. Even if that is the case, keep those answers away from the job interview.
“In five years I hope to have a wonderful, loving family that cares about me and my career. I plan to be in charge of the department and I plan to have a dog named ‘Fido’ that is trained to high five and get me a beer on command.”
“My goal is to progressively earn more responsibilities within the company. My expectations are that within 5 years I will be leading projects, possibly a team, and have the respect of both staff and management. I expect the company to grow, and I expect to have played a critical part in its success.”
Take Away Interview Tips
- Always plan to be with the same employer (never discuss leaving or moving).
- Keep your personal life out of the plan.
- Focus on goals you can realistically obtain (at least with your answer to the interview question).