When the interviewer asks you the famous where do you see yourself in five years? questions, the first thing that comes to your mind is usually not the right thing. In the next five years, you probably want to have had a better position at that job.
You could want the hiring manager’s job, a more significant paycheck or to work for a more prominent company in that same timeframe. While all of these are valid goals, they will most likely not land you the job.
In the same vein, you should not lie to the hiring manager. That’s very unprofessional. So, what to do?
1 Be General
Never, we repeat, never should you go into specific details after being asked this question. This point will lead to the others, but first, whatever you say should be a general answer. So broad that it still covers the scope of the job being interviewed for, but doesn’t give too much information away.
Important Tip: Explain Resume Gaps with Ease
2 Focus on the Job at Hand
You are in an interview for a position, not the next one you want in the next five years. If you have plans of moving through the ladder faster than necessary, the interviewer will get a wrong vibe about you.
That is like telling them outright that you are just applying for this job to get to that other position, not to focus on it this one.
3 Keep it Career-based
An engineer should not be talking about how he hopes to start a school for children in the next five years. While that is a good goal, it does nothing to contribute to his/ her career and industry. Such an engineer could opt for an answer that stresses how important the position at hand is to them, and how they feel it will ‘help sharpen my skills so I can become a better professional in the industry, therefore opening doors for advancement.’
4 Be Realistic
The interviewer knows you have aspirations too. They are just interested in how you are going to manage them and still do an excellent job.
Sounding too vague, or wanting to please everyone by making it seem like you’re not after more than the position being offered to you is more like raising a red flag in front of your hiring manager. That not only shows dishonesty but means you’re not motivated.
Read More: When to Choose a New Career Path
5 State your Goals
Why we like this part is that it helps you serve both yourself and the company’s best interests. If you have carefully reviewed the position you’re applying to beforehand (which we strongly recommend), you should use this question to your advantage. State how you hope to have helped the company move forward as far as your role is concerned (be specific here), improve your skills and move up in the industry.
That three-part answer just solved all the headache for you, didn’t it?
Interviewers are not out to get you, but they are out to get the best candidate for their firms. They need to see motivation, drive, inspiration and also, loyalty. This single question addresses them all, and so should you.
Now that you know better, what would your next answer be when someone asks where do you see yourself in five years?