How to Answer, “Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?”

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Interviewing for a job can be a stressful situation. Not only do you have to dress the part, but you also have to say the right things to impress the interviewer. One of the most common interview questions is, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Growing up, this was easy to answer as most kids wanted to be astronauts or professional athletes. Nowadays, it’s difficult to come up with a thoughtful answer unless you prepare one beforehand.

Whether you’re applying for an entry-level cashier or a senior-level office manager position, you’ll want to truly think about where you see yourself in five years. A good answer will not only show the interviewer that you’re adequately prepared for the interview, but that you’ve also thought long and hard about your career.

Here are some more tips to help you prepare for one of the most common interview questions:

  • Be realistic. Ambition is a great characteristic to have, but you also have to set realistic expectations for yourself. If you’re applying to be a cashier at a convenience store with no prior experience, chances are you won’t be the next CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Focus on providing a credible answer and give examples of how you expect to reach your goal.
  • Consider the requirements. If you’re interviewing for a managerial position that requires at least a two-year commitment, you’ll want to frame your answer around that. If you say you see yourself at another company five years from now, you may rub the interviewer the wrong way by your lack of dedication.
  • Be honest. As always, honesty is the best policy. If a position is meant for you, it will happen. You should always be honest when asked where you see yourself in five years — even if you know the answer isn’t suitable for the position.

 

 

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