October 27, 2020

How To Answer Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years

Where do you see yourself in 5 years is a common interview question that I really hate! The truth is, none of us knows what’s going to be happening in 5 years. I’m pretty sure not a single person in 2015 said they saw themselves cooped up in their house for months socially distancing because we’d be in the middle of a Global Pandemic in 2020.

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It would be great if companies would stop asking this question and just asked what they actually want to know. But since I can’t control what companies ask during interviews, I can share what most are really trying to find out when they ask this question.

In this post, I’m going to share the WHY behind the Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years interview question along with some tips on how to answer it and an example.

Why are they Asking?

  • They want to know if you’re going to be loyal to the company.
  • They might also be trying to figure out if you have ambition.
  • They could be trying to find out if you have ridiculous expectations.
  • This question might also be driven by the interviewer’s ego, as they might want to make sure that you’re not gunning for your new manager’s job.

They want to know that in 5 years, you’ll have made a significant impact on the business, and hiring you was the best decision they’ve ever made.

How To Answer It

To answer this question, think of how this role aligns with your overall professional goals. Make sure to state that you want to grow their business and that your aspirations are aligned with the company’s goals. An example would be:

I’m currently a Lead Developer, and I’ve really enjoyed the planning and mentorship aspect of the role. In 5 years, I’d like to be leading a very complex project. I’ve seen how the complexity of your product has increased over the years; this is one of the things that excites me about your Technical Project Manager role because I think it’s a great step in that direction; I’d be continuously challenged and would be able to use the technical and leadership skills I’ve acquired over the past 3 years in my role as a Lead Developer.

With that answer, you’re showing them that you’re slightly ambitious, have realistic goals, have thought about how their specific job aligns with your professional goals, and lets them know why you applied to the position!

What’s Next…

This was the first of a series of videos covering the WHY behind some of the most annoying interview questions. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be releasing more of these videos and sharing tips on how to answer these questions. You can subscribe to my newsletter so that you’re notified when I release the videos. My subscribers get the videos first, and they’ll also get the full guide with tips on how to answer some of the most common interview questions.

Next up is: Tell Me About Yourself. That’s a question that you can’t escape.

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