To perform exceptionally well in an employment interview, the job candidate has to be prepared. For today’s question in our series on Answers to 7 Common Interview Questions, let’s take a deeper look at how to answer the question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” When the interviewer asks this question, they are trying to understand your career goals and possibly your career path. They want to know if your goals and expectations for career growth are a good fit, and aligns with the organization’s goals. Organizations want to hire employees who will likely stick around, those who are motivated and proactive about their careers, and those who are serious about success. For the question, “Where do you see yourself in five years,” you can quickly derail the interview if the interviewer believes that you are overly ambitious, think you can move up quickly and start running the place. Before providing a possible answer, it’s worth mentioning that the question can be asked in several other ways such as:
1.What is your ideal job at this stage in your career?
2.What’s most important to you in your career?
3.What are you looking for?
4.What are your long-term career goals?
5.How do you define success?
Your response to “Where do you see yourself in five years” and any other variation of the question, should be short, direct, and take no more than two minutes to answer. Most importantly, you should be honest and specific about your future goals. Seriously think about the position, and realistically where it can take you. In your response, be sure to emphasize your interest in working for the company for a long time. A possible answer to the question is below.
“I always strive to be the best at what I do. Although I have the core requirements for the position, and will hit the ground running, I want to work for an organization where I’ll have opportunities to develop my skills, work on interesting projects that will stretch me, and with people, whom I can learn from. But most importantly, I want to work for an organization where I can build a career.”
The above answer shows that you are enthusiastic, ongoing learning is important to you and you are a team player. You are motivated and ambitious, but not too ambitious to make the hiring manager believe that you are after her position. Before going to any job interview, make sure that you practice mock interviews with a friend or even in a mirror to hone your interviewing skills. That’s the most effective way to ace the interview. Remember that the response offered to the interview question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” is only a guide, and therefore it is the job candidate’s responsibility to tweak the advice offered.
This article is contributed by Right Management, www.rightmanagement.sg, the global career experts within the ManpowerGroup.