Job Interview Question & Answer: Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?
Reason for the Question
A common question hiring managers ask during a job interview is, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” While sometimes difficult to answer, a candidate’s reply often reveals their motivations, priorities, and future career goals. Depending on the answer’s quality, the interviewer can make an informed decision regarding a worker’s long-term or short-term employment with the company.
How to Respond
At an interview, candidates need to demonstrate qualities the manager finds beneficial. A job seeker’s response to this question should clearly explain if they see themselves advancing in the company in the next five years. Focusing on positive traits like ambition, determination, and a willingness to grow can impress managers and help you land the job.
Responses to Avoid
Candidates should avoid vague, non-committal answers that do not outline their desire for success. These responses indicate that a potential employee lacks direction and self-motivation, both of which are important for business growth. Also, avoid answers that include unrealistic or out-of-touch plans for the future that might be a red flag for employers.
Example Replies to “What Do You Hope to have Accomplished in Five Years?”
When describing where you see yourself in the next five years, remember to stay on topic and focus on concrete ideas. Showing managers your ability to visualize and communicate well-defined plans can increase their confidence about hiring you. Look over these sample answers to help you come up with a response that works for you.Sample Answer 1 – Grocery Store Cashier
“I am very interested in business and currently attend a finance program at my local college. In five years, I see myself working as an accountant or financial advisor for a grocery chain. I want to use the skills and knowledge I gain working here to help me achieve that goal.”Sample Answer 2 – Restaurant Cook
“I see myself working as a kitchen manager in five years. My mom and dad are both amazing cooks, and I want to follow in their footsteps. I also like the idea of managing a team of like-minded people who work hard to keep our customers fed.Sample Answer 3 – Hair Stylist
“In five years, I see myself running my own salon here in the city. I’m almost finished with my courses at a cosmetology trade school, and I’ve always aspired to start a business, so pursuing both feels like a natural fit. The experience I’ll gain here in the next five years will be invaluable to me when I set out on my own.
Things to Keep in Mind
Preparing a response to “Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?” is essential to communicating your goals effectively. Keep the following things in mind when you’re developing your answer:
- Stay on topic and focused during your response.
- Outline specific steps you’ll take to end up where you want in five years.
- Detail how working for this company will help you realize your future goals.
Concise answers are more effective than long, meandering responses, so practice your reply until you feel confident and prepared for the interview.