Chances are if you are interviewing you will be asked the question, "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" This question can either be your best friend or your worst nightmare. The trick to making this question your best friend is to have a well thought out answer before your interview.
There are only 3 things you need to focus on when someone asks this question. Is your answer professional? Is it relevant to the job you are applying for? Does your answer express an interest in career progression?
Keep it professional
When answering where you see yourself in 5 years the employer is not interested in hearing about your living arrangements, the number of kids you plan to have, or anything about your personal life. If this question is asked in a professional setting, it requires a professional answer. In other words, they are essentially asking “Where do you see yourself in your career in 5 years?”
Keep it relevant
Relevance is key! This question, along with many other interview questions is somewhat of a trap. They are asking you where you see yourself in 5 years because they want to make sure that your goals are in line with those of the company. If you have expectations of where you will be in 5 years that the company cannot accommodate, that could be a red flag.
It is important to align your goals with that of the company. Make sure to do research on the company before your interview! This will help you determine whether or not your long-term goals align.
While we are on this topic check out a similar question, "What Is Your Dream Job?"
Show career progression
Showing career progression is just about as important as everything else. If you show up to an interview and your answer to where do you see yourself in 5 years is, “Well, if I get this job I see myself doing this job for the next 5 years” you can guarantee you won’t be getting an offer.
Any employer wants to hire someone whose goals are to learn and grow as well as excel in his or her position. If you are unmotivated by personal growth or receiving a promotion within a 5-year period, you are not going to impress your employer.
Sample answer for "Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?"
“My goal is to be the best at what I do and work somewhere where I’ll have opportunities to learn and develop my skills, work on exciting new projects, and be a part of an amazing team who can coach me and help me grow.
I believe that some of the most innovative creators work here and that’s a big reason why I would love to start my future at XYZ Company.”
If you are still unsure where you see yourself in 5 years, or you're just having trouble articulating it, we’d be happy to help.