Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Tough. An open-ended question, making one’s stomach feel funny.

No matter how irrational it may sound, where do you see yourself in 5 years interview question is one of the most common interview questions of all time.

This question helps the employer better understand your career goals and how those goals align with the position you are applying for.

Some of you might have it all figured out, but this guide focuses on the needs of those clueless souls who want to know the right way to crack this question.

Let us put you at ease with our tips and suggestions on answering where do you see yourself in 5 years in your next interview:

Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years Interview Question


You might not always come across precisely this question, but encounter some other variation of it like:

  • Where do you want to be 5 years from now?
  • Do you have a long-term career goal?
  • How will this job help you achieve your career goals?
  • What are your short-term career goals?

When an interviewer asks you ‘where do you want to be in 5 years?’, they want to learn the following:

  • Whether you will hold on to the company for at least 5 years
  • Whether your goals align with what the company has to offer

You may not exactly know the answer to where do you see yourself in the next 5 years or so, but be prepared to answer this question if you want to crack the interview.

Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years Sample Answer


We have prepared some sample answers to help you understand how you can master this interview question in your way:

  • Sample 1: ‘In the next five years, I intend to obtain two certificates related to my position. I took some time to review your website before this interview, and I noticed that you offer employees education advancement opportunities, including certifications to further their careers. With these invaluable resources, I believe I can pursue my career goals and eventually move into a managerial position within your organization.’

  • Sample 2: ‘My ultimate goal is to master my position and advance into senior management within my department. I was impressed by the personalized training methods your company outlines on its website, and I truly believe these methods will help me learn and grow within this position. Where do I see myself in 5 years? I see myself taking up new and exciting projects that will prepare me for a managerial role within the organization.’

  • Sample 3: ‘Yes, I have set certain goals for myself over the next few years. I want to lead a writing team and gain new project management skills. I am excited about the opportunities this job comes with, as these opportunities will allow me to grow within your company and utilize my skills.’

We hope these sample answers help you to draft your own version of ‘where do you see yourself in 5 years?’.

We have more in the house though. For a full-fledged preparation for your next job interview, check our Hiration’s Interview Preparation portal, with the most comprehensive list of interview Q&As across 180+ profiles.

Also read: How to Introduce Yourself Professionally in 2022?

How to Answer Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?


We must prepare a sample answer for questions like ‘‘where do you see yourself in five years?” before the d-day. This will ensure a well-thought answer and prevent you from spilling any fluff.

Following are the steps you can take to prepare for and answer this interview question:

Picture Your Career Goals


Ask yourself these questions and make a list of all plausible answers:

  • Are you interested in gaining new skills?
  • Do you wish to eventually move into a managerial position?
  • Are there any particular projects you want to work on?
  • Do you aspire to work in a particular industry?
  • Any specific thing you would like to see on your resume in five years?
  • Do you wish to obtain any certificates or hold a certain job title?

Make a list of these aspirations. It will help you find a commonality or a pattern, hence leading you closer to your end goal.

Commonalities Between Your Goals and the Job Description


Read the job description thoroughly and see if you can find any skills or traits you possess as well as the ones you want to get more experience in. This will help you relate your goals to the position you are applying for, hence framing a better answer for the interview.

Mistakes to Avoid While Describing Your Career Goal


Some mistakes candidates tend to make when answering the question ‘where do you see yourself in 5 years?’ are:

  • Being humorous: Some employers might appreciate their funny bone being tickled, but most might lack that bone. The safest option is to avoid humor altogether. Humor most often runs the risk of making you sound insincere or might imply that you are avoiding the question.

Example: In the next five years, I will be running this company.

  • Too honest: Unclear answers are OK, considering you don’t make them sound like you are not serious about the concerned job. If your answers imply that you don’t intend to hold on to the position, the recruiters probably do not want to invest in you.

Example: I am unsure if I’ll continue to work in marketing in the coming five years. I might return to university and retrain as a chef.

  • Too specific: Your answers should be fairly general and not too specific.

Example: In five years I will be head of the client relations’ co-ordination staff.

It will be a complete bummer if your company does not have that department. Make sure to always align the job at hand with your career goals.

Also read: What are the top interview questions and answers in 2022?

Key Takeaways


When recruiters ask, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”, they are usually looking for a few key pieces of information like:

  • Does your expectations align with that of the employer?
  • Do you believe you will stay with the company for five years?
  • Do you have a sense of drive or ambition?
  • Are you sincerely interested in this position?

Therefore, to answer this question, think of how you could evolve in this role and then move ahead. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Analyze how your goals fit with the job description
  • Envision experiences of this position that you would like to have on your resume in five years
  • Reflect on your strong points or interests and how they might evolve in this position

You can look into Hiration’s all-encompassing career service platform with 24/7 chat support for all your professional needs - from building a shortlist-worthy resume and cover letter to optimizing your LinkedIn profile, preparing for interviews, and more!

For any concerns or queries, reach out to us at support@hiration.com.

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