Job Interview Tips: “Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?”

Job Interview Tips: “Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?”

Quite possibly one of the hardest questions to answer at a job interview is ‘Where do you see yourself 5 years’ time? In close contention with ‘Do you have any questions to ask?” And we’ve already covered that in a previous blog. Thinking that far ahead into the future is hard, especially if you’re just starting your working career as you’re still figuring out what you want to do. For some of us, we may not even know what we’re doing in one year’s time!

However this question tends to be favored by the interviewers. So KennedyPearce have come up with some nuggets of guidance to help you form an answer the next time you get asked the dreaded question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?”

job interviewWhy interviewers ask this question?

Well it’s pretty obvious that they ask this question to make sure you are goal orientated and fueled with aspirations and drive. Secondly however, they could be asking to make sure the job you’re applying for fits in with your “future plan.” Because if it doesn’t you may have to leave that company to pursue a role that does. Basically it let’s them know if you’re in this job for the long term or not.

Be ambitious but realistic

It’s important to show drive and ambition so don’t be afraid of doing so. However “realistic ambition” is the name of the game since 5 years is not a super long amount of time. Make sure that your career ambitions are truly attainable and can be achieved in the time limit you are given if you want to be taken seriously as a candidate.

Show Commitment

Remember you’re at an interview to fill a job position. Your interviewer wants an answer that shows you are right for the job and committed to it in the foreseeable future. Be honest and true to your goals but also make sure the company and job fits in with those goals. If you know about the growth path in the organisation, use that to your advantage and walk through what your next 1-2 roles may look like.

Use the company’s strengths

It’s a good idea to use the company’s strength to capitalise on your own. For example if the company has a large team, or sub sections of a team, mention you’re a good team player and work best in a team environment  If your job is more of a face to face with clients role, mention that you like meeting new people and that you feel confident pitching. While you’re answering, use the specific duties listed in the job description to formulate professional goals. Your interviewer will like that you’re knowledgeable and that your goals fit with those of the company.

Last Point: Don’t over do it!

What we mean by this is don’t share too much or be too descriptive. As long as you make sure your answer shows ambition, is relevant, shows you’re in the job for the long term and highlights your strength, you will be giving a great answer.

Image Courtesy of Flickr/bpsusf

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