Before a job interview, smart candidates prepare answers to questions they are most likely to be asked. One of those questions could be, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
This is a tough question – you probably don’t know what the company is expecting of you or you may not see yourself staying in the position over the long-term. You don’t want the company to think it is just a stepping stone on your career path, but you also don’t want to be misleading.
You must answer this question carefully and should be smart about how you phrase your reply. Some tips to help answer this question in the most strategic way possible include the following:
Focus on the skills you hope to acquire.
You may be planning to job-hop to a better opportunity, but you don’t have to come right out and say you’re only using the current job to boost your resume. Instead, explain how you will enhance your skills in your industry. If you are interviewing for a sales position, for example, explain that you hope to develop a portfolio of proven techniques by the end of five years so you can close deals effectively.
Emphasize how the job aligns with your ambitions.
Companies don’t expect you to stay forever, but they do expect you to improve their bottom line and make valuable contributions while employed. If you explain that your goal is to develop professionally by being competent at your job, this can make you seem like a strong asset. For example, maybe you hope that in five years you’ll have a five-year record of exceeding sales quotas. This sounds like a good deal for a company whose products you sell.
Be realistic in detailing your career goals:
If you are interviewing for an entry-level job, don’t say you hope to be the company CEO in five-year’s time. Think about what you can realistically achieve and give an answer that shows you’ve considered how your career is likely to unfold.
By considering these tips to craft a great answer to a difficult question, you improve your chances of being hired. Of course, you need to land an interview in the first place to have a chance at the job of your dreams. Let The Reserves Network help you to find work with top companies hiring people in your field. Contact our team of experts to find out how our staffing firm can aid in your job search.