You wait in anticipation on the couch outside the office cabin as beads of sweat start to form on your forehead as you start to overthink about what’s going to happen in there. When you prepare mental answers for the scrutinizing questions that are about to be thrown your way, make a mental note of what to say when you are asked “Where do you see your self in 5 years?”
Maybe you are unclear about what you will exactly be doing in 5 years to come but a few pointers will help you construct an answer for the same. The question is sort of a trap for you as they want to check your spontaneity and presence of mind. You fumble and they put a rejection stamp on you!
First, let us assess what employers are looking for in an answer.
Employers want someone who holistically fits in their company without any glitches.
They ask this question for the following reasons:
- To ensure that your goals align with what they have to offer. Its important for them to make sure that you are on the same page as them. If they are well aware of the profession you wish to pursue, they will freely be able to share more information about that particular field in the company. This also helps them measure your caliber.
- To see if you see yourself in the company in 5 years. The span of time an employee spends in a company varies as per age, profession and the company itself. Employers seek candidates who are willing to serve for longer in the company. They will pay attention to whether or not you want to work in the company as a long-term employee.
- To check if you are ambitious about your career. They intend to measure your farsightedness as far as your career goes. You cannot be certain of where you will exactly be 5 years down the line. But the employers need to know that you have some sense of clarity or even longing for professional growth.
- To know your interests. You may not expect this, but they care about your likes and dislikes. Employers need to analyze your goals to decide where to place you in their company.
This question will seal your destiny in the company. Do your prep-work before the interview to avoid getting blank or rambling.
The following pointers will help you prepare for the answer:
- Calculate if your goals fit within the job description. Review the job description and see if it fits your future career endeavors. Analyze which arenas you need to gain experience in. Pick something that will strengthen your strengths.
- List down the experiences you want to have on your resume in 5 years. Being futuristic is always good. Envisioning your ideal resume in 5 years will help. Ask these questions while assessing the same:
- Are you aiming for a specific title at your workplace?
- Do you want to gain expertise in specific skills? Both technical and soft.
- What do you want to achieve in your career?
- Do you want to win awards and receive certificates?
You can formulate answers to all these questions mentally and you are set.
- Cogitate about how your interests will evolve. Each and every profession has scope to grow and learn. Figure out how you can reach to an expert level in your area of interest. Although you will climb the ladder slowly and steady growth should be your goal.
Practice forming answers to this question and zero in on the one that seems apt to you. Use the following examples for your reference:
“In five years, I aim to be an industry expert, junior’s approach for ideas and strategy. I would like to guide juniors as I have had phenomenal mentors and superiors in my career previously. I would like to lead a team of my own. Mainly, I would like to head the project that peaks my interest. I want to focus on the tying my personal goals to company’s larger goals.”
This example highlights that the candidate:
- is an enthusiastic learner in the industry
- can take on leadership roles
- head projects they are passionate about
Following these guidelines and pointers will help you get absorbed in your dream company. You will not be in shambles when the interviewer scrutinizes further.
Always be prepared! Good luck!