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Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years time?

Updated on September 23, 2011

Sample Job Interview Question and Answer

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? A very common question in job interviews which unfortunately very few prospective job seekers seem to answer well. It is common to hear answers like “I hope to be married and have one or two children” or even more comical replies like “I would have built my own house.”

What those who give silly answers like those above fail to realize is that every question asked at the interview is job related. So don’t expect the interviewer to care whether or not you will be married by then, or would be living in a mortgage free house. He/she wants to know if you are employed today what will become of you on the job in 5 or 10 years time. In other words what will you achieve professionally in 5 or 10 years time? What career goals and objectives would you have met in 5 or 10 years time? That is what the interviewer really wants to uncover. He/she wants to know if you are career focused or just looking for a job to pay the bills of course the career focused person always lands the job.

A good answer to this question for instance if you are applying for an entry level position in a marketing agency could be “in 5 years time, I believe I would hold a middle level management position such as brand manager in a resourceful and professional brand and marketing company.” By this you are telling the interviewer that you don’t want a job but a career.

Another answer to this question for someone who wants a career in banking could be “by then I would have completed my certification trainings in debt recovery and risk management and would be holding a managerial position in a credit and risk management unit of any reputable bank in the country”. This is not pride, or over confidence rather it is a clear indication of focus, self motivation and determination and these are attributes employers love to see in their employees.

Basically, when you give the right answer to this question your interviewer should feel he has just spoken to someone who knows what he wants and how to get it. He must sense your determination and zeal for your progress in your career and not the opposite.

If you have been asked this question before but failed to answer correctly take a cue from those who have done it right, be career focused and determined but above all understand what a job interview is – a test for suitability for employment and not a question and answer session. Every reply you give to every question carries weight and some questions are weightier than others.

In conclusion keep the interviewer’s needs in mind, the company wants to hire someone who will add value to them and only career focused, professional and team playing candidates fit that bill.


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      8 years ago

      I was asked that question 15 years ago and was fired the next day. I couldn't say that I was dedicated to the idea of staying with that company. Turned out to be a good thing. I started a business while on unemployment and am still going strong.


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