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  • Writer's pictureAlec Green

How to answer the question, "Where do you see yourself in five years?"

"Where do you see yourself in five years?" It's a question interviewers often ask. To some, it may be an easy question to answer - but not for everyone. This blog is designed to help interviewees figure out how to answer this tough interview question in a way that will make them stand out from the rest of the candidates.

As interviewers, we want to know what your future plans are. What do you want to be doing in five years? Why is this important for us as interviewers to know? This question gives interviewees an opportunity to show how ambitious they are and that their goals align with the company's vision. Otherwise, it may seem like interviewees don't have long-term career aspirations or aren't willing work towards them if hired. During the interview process, hiring managers who ask "Where do you see yourself in five years?" really just want candidates to paint a picture of themselves being successful at our company by demonstrating professional growth over time - not only within our organization but also throughout their own personal lives.


Paint a picture of yourself being successful overtime: what position would you like to be promoted to? What do you hope to achieve professionally?

Some examples of possible answers interviewees might give include:

  • I see myself as a head of marketing in five years.

  • My goal is to be the best candidate for this position, eventually take on more responsibility, and earn a promotion.

  • In five years, my goals are to have gained three promotions after being promoted twice already at your company - which means I'll become one of your top sales reps if hired today!

A bad response might be interviewees saying something like, "I'm not sure where I'll be or what I want to do." This answer clearly shows interviewers that interviewees don't think about their career growth and they aren't ambitious enough for our company's culture - which is a red flag! One way around this may be interviewees offering examples of goals they have but being careful not to mention anything too personal such as family plans or moving to another city because this could give off a negative impression if interviewers feel these goals are at odds with working for the organization.

Of course interviewers aren't expecting interviewees to reveal their entire life , but they do want them to demonstrate ambition when answering "Where do you see yourself in five years?" A good answer would definitely mention where interviewees hope their career takes them or what kinds of things they'd like to accomplish in the future.

The bottom line is - interviewers want interviewees to show that if hired, they'd be willing to work hard towards professional growth. Showing ambition by answering "Where do you see yourself in five years?" with career goals shows hiring managers you're a team player just like everyone else who works there - which is exactly the type of person they want on their team. Share with them how excited you are about what they have to offer and why this company seems like a great fit for someone who wants long-term stability. Be sure that any goals or objectives align with theirs so that both parties know they're on the same page when it comes time for negotiations after the hiring process has been completed.

If you want to ace your next interview AND earn a free professional certificate to add to your resume, create your free account and complete our InterviewReady curriculum. You’ll be glad you did.


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