Where do you see yourself in 5 Years?

This question scares candidates, in part, because they think that interviewers are asking it to trip them up in some way. But this is not so. 

An interview asks this question for several reasons:

  1. To understand if you actually want this job: If the role doesn’t fit into your long-term goals, it’s a good tip-off to your interviewer you are just looking at this as a short-term job to fill in the gaps. Moreover, if you’re not prepared to answer this question, it might be a sign that you don’t really care about the job.

  2. To see if you even have a plan: Successful people tend to know where they’re going in life. If you don’t have a plan, an interviewer might worry you’re not very serious about your career.

  3. To test your ambition: Ambitious people generally make good employees. If your long-term goals reflect a lack of ambition, that’s not a good sign. Similarly, if you’re unrealistically ambitious, that also isn’t a good sign. You have expectations the company can’t match, and you’re unlikely to be a good fit.

  4. To ensure the company can give you what you want: If a role isn’t a good fit for your long-term goals, the company wants to know that. You’d be unhappy in the job, would likely be unsuccessful, and would quickly leave. That’s not a good thing for anyone.


Ideally, you will have 5-year, 10-year, and 20-year plans, and this role will fit nicely in line with that.

You can prepare for this question by asking yourself: Where would very strong performance in this role get you in five years?

Hopefully, that is where you see yourself.

If you are prepared for it, this question can be a great opportunity. You can use it to tell the interviewer whatever you want about yourself. 

With this answer, the candidate has demonstrated ambition as well as a passion for business models, leadership, and mentorship.

Additionally, companies don’t want high turnover rates which usually decreases a team's morale and productivity. 


A sample answer would be as follows:

“I am really excited by this position at XYZ consulting because, in five years, I see myself as Project Management lead with deep expertise in the energy and automation sector. At this position, I believe I’ll get to think about the long term strategy. Meanwhile, I am really excited to take on managerial responsibilities and learn by seniors and supervisors. Currently, I am constantly seeking growth opportunities in and outside my role.“

Just throwing out the random title might seem like a good idea, until you find out the job doesn’t really exist. Therefore, don’t take a position. Do your research on the company and know what kind of hierarchy is there in the company for the position you are applying for.

Here, you should keep in mind that the interviewer wants to hear what you plan to do with the job you are applying for. Your answer should reflect reasonable and realistic growth. 

Ultimately, they want to select a candidate who they can hire and train for the long haul. They are asking this to gauge whether you will likely want to stay with the company for a long time. 

Therefore, you can use your answer to the career vision question to highlight what you are good at and what most excites you.


2 Comments

  • Ashekur Rahman

    Posted on September 3, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Do sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veni est, qui d tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem.

    • Ashekur Rahman

      Posted on September 3, 2012 at 10:18 am

      Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Eos pariatur fuga ullam placeat corrupti inventore.

  • Ashekur Rahman

    Posted on September 3, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Do sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veni est, qui d tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem.

Post your comments

Jobs by category

Find jobs easily by categories