How do you answer “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” during a job interview?

Don’t be surprised if you ask the question ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years?’ receive during a job interview. It is perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions. And although you see the question coming somewhere, it can still leave you speechless.

Because you know a lot about where you see yourself in 5 years, you don’t even know where you’ll be next week, let alone so far into the future.

How do you give a good answer to the question of where you see yourself in 5 years?

Prepare for ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years?’

As with many other frequently asked interview questions, you can prepare well for this question. Recruiters, HR managers, or potential managers ask this question to see if your ambition fits this position. They also try to estimate whether you have not flown out after a year.

To ensure that your answer matches this, it is wise first to study the vacancy carefully. What exactly does the function entail? And how does the work ensure that you grow?

In addition, try to align your ambitions with the ambitions of the company. This can be on the mission if the company has a clear mission statement. But you can also often find the organizational structure on the website to study what career opportunities you have within this organization.

You do not necessarily have to mention a position that you want to hold in five years in your answer. It is about making clear what you still want to learn in the future, what skills you want to develop, and what dreams you may have.

Most important points

The most important thing is that you at least show ambition in your answer and that you are motivated and eager to learn. Don’t go too far with that. If you have just graduated and said, ‘I want to have reached a managerial position’, that could be wrong. Like “In five years I hope to be in your place”. Probably well-intentioned, but of course, that can come across as a bit threatening.

When answering the question ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years?’ is essential that you are honest. Don’t just answer that you think the other person wants to hear. If your ambitions don’t match the company, it might just not be the right match. It is also excellent to indicate that you do not know exactly yet, provided you indicate that, for example, you are looking for a place where you can learn as much as possible.

And oh yes, are you planning to start your own business within five years or travel the world after working for several years? Good for you, but leave these ambitions out of the conversation for a while. When answering, really focus on your aspirations within the company.

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