Best to Answer: Where Do you See Yourself in the Next Five Years?

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    Best to Answer: Where Do you See Yourself in the Next Five Years?

    If you have been to interviews, you would have probably had an interviewer ask you ‘where do you see yourself in the next five years?’ Sometimes, even after preparing thoroughly for the interview, some questions like these can easily throw you off. The key to acing questions like these is to identify the reason behind asking the question. And then answer accordingly. Read on to find out why interviewers ask questions like these, and find tips on how to answer interview questions confidently.

    Why do Employers Ask, 'Where Do you See Yourself in the Next 5 Years?

    Employers usually ask about your 5-year goals for work to gain a better understanding of your future plans and how your goals align with the position you are interviewing for. Even though you may not be sure where you see yourself in the near future, it is important to be prepared to answer these questions to help you in a productive interview. Some of the things the interviewer looks to understand in such questions are: 

    • If You Will Stick Around with the Company for at Least Five Years.

    Employers usually like to have an idea about how long you will remain in the company because, as long as you stay there, you do not have to worry about more turnover and related expenses. 

    The length of time that an employee typically stays with the company varies with the type of jobs and their career development goals. So, if you feel that staying in that company does not align with your aspirations for career growth, the employer may like to know that before they hire you. Also, Read: Why Should We Hire You: Tips for Answering

    • If your Career Growth and Development Goals Match with What the Company is Able to Offer.

    You will, of course, have set smart goals for career planning, which means an idea of how you want to grow within the position you are applying for. If you are applying for an entry-level position and your goal is to work your way up to a management position over the next five years, then the interviewer can let you know if that is possible in their company. If your goal is to transfer to a completely different position in another department, this question is an opening for you to understand if that is an option with the employer. Either way, both the interviewer and the candidate can understand if the position is right for the candidate in the long term.

    How to Answer the Question ‘Where Do you See Yourself in the Next 5 Years?’ in an Interview.

    Even if you have not formed a clear idea of where you would like to see yourself in the next five years, it is best to prepare for such questions. This will ensure that you give out well-thought-out answers and successfully convey the message that you want to. Here are some steps you can follow to prepare an answer for this question:


    • Be clear about what your career goals are. Take some time and brainstorm. Ask yourself what your career goals are for the next five years. Do you want to move to a managerial position within the department? Do you want to learn new skills related to the job? Do you want to work in a different department within the company? Are there particular projects that you would like to work on? Is there an industry that you would prefer to work in? Imagine your resume in five years and visualize what you want to see on it within five years. Make a list of all your aspirations pertaining to your career growth and development.
    • Find a connection between the job description to your goals. Look at the job description and find the traits and skills that you already possess and the ones that you want to get more experience in. This will allow you to connect your goals to the position you are applying for during the interview and make yourself relatable.
    • Figure out if the company can prepare you for your career goals. It is always in the best interest of you and the company, to be honest with each other on whether they can help you with your career goals in the next five years. If they can't, you can reconsider the position or be clear and up-front with the company and let them know that you may not be with them for such a long time. Also, Read: Employees Selection Tips: Hire the Right Person

    Now that you have an idea of where you see yourself in the next five years, you can start preparing on how to answer the question. Be concise with your answer. Let it be ambitious but make it realistic. Make sure that you convey your commitment and enthusiasm in your answer.






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