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Answering “Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?”

Georgia Lane interview question, job search, job hunt...

Personally, I hate this interview question whenever I’ve been interviewed in the past but now as an interviewer, I understand it’s purpose. But for those of you still undergoing the interview processes, you may share the same feeling I used to have back when I was a job seeker. 

When you get asked this question there are obvious answers that start swimming around your head. “Becoming a manager”, “Opening up my own business and working for myself”, or maybe “Running this place”, are a couple of examples. But when you really think about it, whilst they may be honest answers you clearly can’t say these out-loud!

Honestly, as a job seeker, I used to think this was a trick question in disguise! Almost goading you into an answer that could potentially put the interviewer’s back up or cause them concern should they hire you.

So, how do you go about answering this question in an interview the right way?

Use the truth but not all of it! Think about the position you're interviewing for, who you're interviewing with and where you really want to be in 5 years’ time. You need to tailor what you're saying in order to give the best answer.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about; “This role with yourselves is exactly what I’m looking for and I’m really excited by the prospect of working for yourselves. In 5 years’ time, I would like to be viewed as a someone who has a wealth of knowledge in this sector, is a reliable employee and someone my colleagues can put their faith in. I would also be excited to have the opportunity to take on more managerial responsibilities. You seem like a great manager and it would be fantastic to learn from yourself what it takes to develop into a manager someday”.

There you have a great answer, which is honest and will be sure to impress your interviewer and not cause them concern.

So, for those of you who have the same feeling that I used to about this question, maybe this answer has given you the help you need for when your next needing to answer, “where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?”