How To Answer Job Interview Question; Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?
This is literally the toughest interview question for any candidate.
Today we’re going to be taking a look at how to answer the question, “where do you see yourself in five years?” And you may have gotten asked this question in a different way, or maybe it was ten or even 15 years.
By the end of this guide, you’ll see just how strong you can deliver on this question. Although not everyone is going to have a clear path ahead of them. That’s okay, even if you’ don’t have good idea of where you want to end up, it doesn’t mean you have to give a subpar answer. As long as you’re honest with yourself and your hiring manager, all you have to do is follow this simple guide to interview success!
Every question is an opportunity
Remember, every question you get during an interview is just another opportunity for you to show the hiring manager that you are the perfect person for the job.
What to include:
When formatting your response to this question, it’s important to make sure you include these key details.
Be honest, and make sure your answer is coming from the heart
Too many times nowadays people are willing to just say whatever they have to in an interview. This is not a good strategy, and could cost you your dream job. Make sure that all of the answers you give are honest.
This doesn’t mean be boring.
Please, DO NOT bore your hiring manager. When talking about where you see yourself in five years, make sure that you are being engaging.
Speak well and enunciate
Make sure that when you’re talking, your story flows well; enunciating your words. You also want to avoid stuttering. Although these aren’t unique tips for answering this question during an interview, it’s always a good idea to keep these in mind. Showing strong presentation skills goes a long way with your hiring manager.
Make it clear you’re not planning on leaving
It costs a company money and time to train new employees. If the company knows that you’re planning on leaving soon, why would they spend those resources on you? They want to maximize what they get out of their new hires. If on your resume, you have jumped between jobs frequently, it can be a good idea to address that red flag at this point.
Visual aids can really be helpful here.
It doesn’t hurt to print out a page in Powerpoint, to show what you’ve been in the past, and how you believe that will set you up to progress in the future.
So where do you see yourself in five years?
“Hmm. Let me gather my thoughts for a second… [Yes, I literally took my time to think. You should try it too…just don’t stretch it to an awkward silence.] Judging by the fact that where I saw myself in the past is never where I ended up, it’s really hard to say where I will be 5 years from now. If you asked me this question 10 years ago, when I was working at Standard & Poor’s as an analyst, I’d tell you I wanted to be an investment banker and make a million dollar bonus. Then 5 years later, I was a project management consultant, then sustainability consultant…and now here I am interviewing for a management consulting role which I can confidently do very well.
So you see, where I wanted to be almost never happened, and it’s really hard to say now where I will be in 5 years.
But I guarantee you this. I will do my best in this role and have a wonderful career at PwC with your team and with your leadership. And when the time comes, I will assume more leadership roles, hopefully easing some of your intense work load.”
The above answer is very good from the standpoint that it establishes not only credibility but also honesty. All hiring manager looking for from this answer is the honesty.
How to ensure you knock this question out of the park:
You should now have a pretty good idea of how to answer this question. But what about going the extra mile, going above and beyond? You have all the tools you need, it’s just time to put them all together. When it comes to answering this question, you should show some direction.
Showing direction in your career path can go a long way to boosting your interview skills. By showing that you have a trajectory in life, you appear much more likeable as a candidate. Just avoid focusing on an idea or path that is too far off.
When delivering your answer, make sure that you only include important, and key details. During proper research and preparation will give you an idea of what the company values. You never know what can be useful, so don’t be afraid of spending some time around the company website. Now that you know what you want to include, there’s only thing left to do.
It’s time to practice!
Practice makes perfect. You should be very comfortable with your answer by now, and if not, you should be sure to include some extra practice time. When it comes to practicing, there are three main methods to employ:
- Talking in front of a mirror
- Recording yourself for later
- Practicing with a family member or friend
Each practicing method has its pros and cons. Talking in front of the mirror is good for ironing out any kinks you have with your presentation. The immediate feedback of watching yourself can be very beneficial. Then next method is recording yourself, and although you don’t have the immediate feedback like when using a mirror, you do get to see yourself talk. And finally, the method I suggest the most, is practicing with a family member or friend. By doing this, you’ll get much more used to the natural flow of what you’re saying in a presentation environment. No matter which method you choose use, as long as you’re practicing, you’re moving in the right direction.
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