Where do you see yourself in five years?

Develop Your Answer

As you develop some personal career goals as well as a strategy about how you want to achieve those goals plus understanding of the employer’s organization, you’re now in a better position to be able to answer the question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” without saying something that doesn’t sound believable.

Better yet, you won’t blurt out something that will completely turn the interviewer off.

Hopefully, the more you really think about your career in this manner and take time to visualize how things could improve for you personally and professionally, the clearer things may become — both for your career as well as for this interview.

Don’t worry about making your answer 10 minutes long. A short, simple answer may be the best one.

Sample Answers

Entry Level Job

For an entry-level job in a bank which has a formal job structure including several progressive levels of the job you are interviewing for —

“My hope is to learn as much as possible about banks and banking services. My short-term goal is to become an excellent cashier and then, possibly move on to jobs with more responsibility in the bank as I gain experience and knowledge about banking. Longer-term, my goal is to become a supervisor, possibly in customer service, loan processing, or another aspect of banking. My hope is that this is the beginning of a long career working for this bank, which progresses logically.”

Mid-Level Senior Job

For a more senior position in a company with a less clear organizational structure —

“My long term goal is to grow professionally, eventually to have the role of go-to person for questions on topics like content marketing for nonprofits and online reputation management for nonprofits. I want to be viewed as a top performer, an expert who is a key contributor inside the organization.”

Career Changer

When you are changing careers, you can tie your “old” expertise to the new job —

“I see myself growing in my understanding of social media marketing to the point where I can take on additional responsibilities and tasks, leveraging my knowledge of more traditional marketing. Once I gain the experience, I would like to progress to the point where I am managing the social media marketing for specific clients.”

Bottom Line

By focusing on personal and professional values, you will be able to formulate a believable response that will give the interviewer a positive impression of your strengths, attitude, dependability, and potential for success.

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