In this article, we are going to answer one of the most common job interview questions that you are likely to be asked  – “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

Hiring a new employee is a big investment for any company. From the resume review, interview, to training. The recruitment process can be long and exhausting, both for the hiring manager and the candidate. Interviewers don”t want to waste time and effort in someone who will leave as soon as something better comes along. They need to know if you’re qualified as a loyal employee and if you see the job as a great career move.

This question can be tricky to answer. You need to be honest but also keep it relevant to the job. For instance, don’t talk about your goal of being a singer if you’re applying as an IT Programmer. Here are some tips on how to answer the question.

Show an intention to grow with the company

This question is asked to help the interviewer see if you’re suitable for the position. Some candidates apply for a job simply because they don’t want to be unemployed, even when their skills do not match the requirement. This shows that they don’t have a career plan within the company. No company would want to hire someone who’s using them as a stepping stone.

Making some research about the position you’re applying before coming to an interview, will make it easier to answer this question. Show that your personal career goals align with the company’s goals. Incorporate a clear statement into your answer about how your interest and skills equip you and how those skills will help with the growth of the company.

Answer optimistically but keep it realistic

It is wise to always hope for the best, but make sure your answer is realistic. This will show how well you know the position you’re applying and how strong is your interest in the job.

Sure, answers like “In 5 years I will become the CEO of this company,” or “I’ll sit on the other side of the table” are optimistic, maybe too optimistic. But it’s not realistic. Instead, share how you’re excited about the position and what you’ll learn in the coming years. Show you’re eager to become the best at your position and progress to the next level when appropriate.

Express with Enthusiasm

Even when your career plans and goals are brilliant, they will not work if you’re expressing them nonchalantly. You don’t want to sound “flat” or monotone. Express your plans with enthusiasm and put more energy in your voice.

This role applies to any job interview question. By answering with enthusiasm, you can show that you’re truly interested in the position you’re applying and hiring managers are more likely to offer you the position if you seem enthusiastic.

Example for Answers

As a public relations professional, I want to develop my skill set. I want to have a better understanding of social media and audience segmentation. I also want to get into project management. My hope is that I can develop new skills and apply them to help achieve the company’s goal.”

This answer shows that you want to grow with the company and you also have specific skills in mind that you want to develop. Avoid choosing skills that you should already have for the role.

“I would like to be the best at my current job level. I would try to exceed the expectation for this position. After securing my positions well, I will look forward to enjoy the responsibilities and leadership qualities of being a part of this company.”

This answer reflects that you have a positive attitude and that you are an individual contribution. It also shows that you know why the company’s hiring you: for its growth and prosperity.

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