Are you ready to answer one of the most common interview questions?

There are a variety of questions you can be asked in an interview, but there is one that almost all interviewers tend to ask. Interviewers ask it because it gives them insight into who you are and what your ambitions are for the future. The question also helps the interviewer determine if the position you are applying for aligns with your goals and career growth plans. So what is the question?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Do you have an answer? If not, I suggest you start thinking about and preparing your response. Here are five tips to get you started:

  1. Think about what you really want. Be honest with yourself and what you value both in your work and your personal life.
  2. Have a goal. Do not say “I don’t know” or that you just want a job, any job. An employer wants to know you are motivated and personally invested in learning and furthering your career. You do not want to give a prospective employer the sense that you have no direction and will jump to another job at any moment.
  3. Write down your goal. By writing it down it will force you to clarify what you want. Also by writing it down it will help you stay focused and on track in pursuit of that goal.
  4. Connect your long-term career goal or 5 year plan with the job you are considering. You should be able to explain how the job or company where you are applying will help you eventually reach your goal and the benefit you will provide to the company.
  5. Practice your answer to this question and how you will describe your long-term career plan. It should not sound scripted but practice it to make sure it can be clearly understood and is concise.

Preparing to answer this common interview question will help you personally focus on jobs that will assist you in reaching your goals.  In addition, you will show a prospective employer your motivation and dedication to be a successful employee.

For more interview tips, listen to our latest webinar on How to Ace Your Next Interview by clicking here.

Nancy Manley

About Nancy Manley


Nancy enjoys helping people find a job that makes them feel complete. She thrives on sharing information that helps candidates become successful employees and engaged workers.