Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

November 11th, 2013 | Articles, Interviewing | No Comments »

where do you see yourself in five years

The technology we use in the IT industry may be evolving but the questions asked during the interview have remained fairly steady. One of the most commonly asked questions that hiring managers like to fall back on is “Where do you see yourself in five years”. While it is not particularity original, it still remains a vital question that deserves a serious and well-thought-out response.

Translating “Where do you see yourself in five years”

When a hiring managers asks where do you see yourself in five years, they aren’t merely curious about what your future plans are. The answer he or she is really trying to elicit is twofold. First, they want to ascertain how this job with their company fits into your overall career goals, both short and long term. If this position is merely a pit stop on the way to something bigger, the company is going to be less inclined to invest their time and money in you. You would best serve your chances of getting the job by emphasizing that you want to stay with the company long term.

Second, the hiring manager is trying to gauge what is important to you. Are you solely interested in money? Do you actively seek to enhance your skills and master new ones? How high are you looking to climb up the company ranks? If you simply respond that you want to move up in the company to make more money, don’t expect a call back. Companies are interested in people who one day want to lead a team, not those simply looking for a promotion.

The perfect answer

Like most interview questions, there is no generic line that serves as a one-size-fits-all answer to the question. The best way to prepare for responding to this question is to ask yourself “where does this company see itself in five years”. By taking this question into consideration, you will be able to do some research on the company goals and inject yourself into the mix. Figure out how you can help the company reach their goals over the next couple of years and combine the answer with your personal aspirations. Any hiring manager will be impressed that you’re already measuring the sum of your success by how well the company does in all its future endeavors.

By Kevin Withers

Image courtesy of MTSOfan via Flickr