Outstanding Answers To “Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?”

Outstanding Answers To "Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?"

The interview process is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when venturing into a new career. Many criteria and factors are at play and none is more important than another. The questions that most commonly arise are “what are your strengths?” or “why do you want to leave (or have left) your current job?”.

But there is one perplexing question that is frequently asked by a hiring manager that is significantly trickier than others. And that question is:

“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

Although the question in itself may appear straightforward and simple, the response given might just be the table-turner that can score you your desired job. So how then should you approach this and turn it into an opportunity that can give you the upper hand during an interview?

Here are some pointers that you should consider, to stand out and shine when the golden question pops out.

Avoid Vagueness But Keep It General

This question is usually asked by hiring managers to filter out red flags from candidates. They will come with a set of criteria or checklist to get a brief of where you will stand if you were given a chance with the company. If you answer vaguely, they will not get to evaluate a future with you if they take you on board.

By keeping it general, you have a chance to avoid loopholes or sticky questions that might catch you by surprise. Imagine saying “I would take this opportunity to build progress in my career and leave the company when there is a better avenue. I see myself in a bigger company in 5 years”. That would be a substantial strike on your chances of getting hired.

Instead, stay general with “If you were to hire me, it will give me an amazing possibility to learn and expand my career horizons with a huge room to grow. In 5 years, I see myself in a leadership position that can lead a team to succeed”

Answer With Confidence

Confidence is key, but being too overconfident might come off as an undesirable trait and risk sounding arrogant. Keep it simple with a smile and speak with a strong but assuring tone of voice. A shaky response coupled with uncertainty is not something you want to bring to the table. It will indicate that you might not perform in the task that will be assigned to you, even though that might not be true.

An example of an overconfident answer that you should stay away from would be, “I see myself sitting at the seat in your position in the coming 5 years” or somewhere along those lines. If that is your goal or focus, use subtle responses like “Given the opportunity, I would love to be interviewing candidates and expand my vision with experiences from a diverse background of professionals that will be joining us in the future”

Stay Relevant

Many candidates make a common mistake by venturing out of the topic when answering the question at hand. While adding external plans for the near future adds character and passion, the ambitions should be focussed more on the job scope as well as what you can offer to the potential hiring company. Avoid talking about situations that do not contribute to career, and always keep the job in mind.

Head to the interview with a clear mind and a positive mentality. Spend more time with critical questions such as this one and you will be well on your next career path. Best of luck with your interviews, and may you achieve success in your career goals. 

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