Where do you see yourself in five years?

Interviews can be stressful due to their make or break results.

Being properly prepared for not only industry specific questions, but general interview questions as well, is of utmost importance.

Some seemingly simple questions may seem like time fillers, however, they are often anything but placeholders. Knowing how to properly answer these not-really-filler-at-all questions can help you ace an interview and snag the job you’re chasing.

One of the important questions that falls into this category is “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

When an interviewer presents this question, they are gauging many important attributes of the candidate. Providing the wrong information at this stage of the interview can potentially disqualify you as a candidate.

Overall, this question has been designed to weed out candidates who are simply looking for a job instead of an actual career. Additionally, it helps the interviewer understand if the candidate has a healthy sense of ambition that is both productive and realistic.

Training and hiring employees is no cheap task. For many companies, a candidate who is not looking to stay with a company for a while, is simply not an option. It takes time to properly integrate an employee into a work environment in a way that actually benefits the workflow.

Loyalty, work ethic and a well-balanced sense of professional growth are all factors an employer will see as extremely valuable. If you give the right answer to this question, you can convince the interviewer that you have all three of these qualities.

When answering “Where do you see yourself in five years,” simply focus on providing these seven things within your answer:

  1. The feeling that your response has been carefully and thoughtfully constructed.
  2. A focus on realistic promotion goals.
  3. A sense of drive that is both healthy and realistic.
  4. How there is a good fit between your career goals and what the company has to offer.
  5. How the company culture, environment and values, match your preferences/characteristics.
  6. That you plan on being loyal to the company and committing to their business.
  7. That you are excited about fulfilling the position.

Writing down your answers and then practicing delivering them out loud, can be a great way to prep yourself for a big interview.

Preparing yourself for this question and other common interview questions will help you ace your interview while also giving you a break from some of the more grueling industry-specific research you will need to present.

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