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How to Answer the ‘Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?’ Interview Question


It’s a question we’ve all been asked at one point or another during an interview: “Where do you see yourself in five years?” This stock question can make or break your interview, and WorkAwesome recently shared a great three-step strategy to help you answer it perfectly.

The standard response you might be tempted to share on the spot is a vague outline of your career growth. Instead, proactively prepare to answer this question. WorkAwesome’s Dominic Wake recommends that you do the following three things to craft the perfect answer:

  • Research. Uncover the company’s strategy and vision during your research, if possible. What are some departmental goals that you can help them meet?
  • Take inventory. List the skills that set you apart from other candidates they’re interviewing. What makes you the best choice? What specific proficiencies do you have that no one else has?
  • Find your passion. This part is key; as Wake writes, “[B]eing able to reassure the interviewer that you’re ready to make a long-term commitment to the company and will grab any promotion which comes your way with both hands will get them thinking they have an ambitious candidate on their hands.”

After this brief brainstorm, string the previous three steps together into a confident narrative that shows why you admire the company, how you can help it achieve its goals, and that you’re there for the journey regardless of your specific career path. Here’s the sample Wake gave:

“I’ve been a long admirer of [company] and the way it [does this / and that]. You have a real reputation for delivering excellent [services / products] – I even [used this / that] the other day! My skills in [marketing] have helped my current company achieve [this] and I believe that they’ll transfer seamlessly to the role of [role x]. In five years’ time I hope to still be with the business, perhaps even leading the [department] team, but I know that there will be many great internal opportunities that could be a good fit for my skillset and interests.”

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Do you have a favorite interview response when asked where you see yourself in five years?

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(Photo credit: bpsusf/Flickr)

Marissa Brassfield
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