How to answer “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

In a life full of uncertainty, where the only promised thing is death. It is difficult to foresee the future and get hold of it. But for every human being, being an individual of their own significance, to have a plan is very much important, whether it be for your self-development or professional development. A plan to keep one moving forward in life, a plan that inculcates zest in one to accomplish their goals, a plan to keep one determined and disciplined. The foremost importance of a 5year plan is, it bestows a definite composition to life. Enables one to organize and structure the path he would take hold of. 

“Where do you see yourself in 5 years” is a relatively repeated query when it comes to interviews. Immediately upon being asked, people ramble in confusion and come up with utterly dissatisfactory replies. The question, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years” is in general asked to have an insight over your goals, the determination you hold towards your career, how appointing you for the job would benefit them.  Therefore, its important to have a uncomplicated and understandable mapping of your own plan. 

Things to keep in mind while answering “Where do you see yourself in 5 years” 


Neither you are an astrologer nor do you have a crystal ball to predict your life and know where you are going to be positioned in the next five years of your life. While the hiring manager puts forward this question, he also knows about this fact. They are not looking for you to lay out a specific plan, detailing everything you are going to do. Instead, focus on what your dreams are, where you would like to take your career path next, and how you plan to do this. Also, be sure to focus on how you plan to help the company. Hiring managers want candidates who will add value to the team and help advance the company.

Goal Clarity

Setting goals helps trigger new behaviors, helps to guide your focus and helps you sustain that momentum in life. Goals also help in aligning your focus and promotes a sense of self-mastery. Envisioning a goal is easy, but to attain that you have to have a mindful of clarity. Be clear about your goal and what you want.

Visualize the experiences you want to see in your resume after 5 years

It can also be a helpful practice to think about what your ideal resume might look like five years from now. Would you like to attain a specific job title?, Do you want to be able to list certain skills (technical or soft)?, Will you have received specific awards or certificates?, What do you want to have achieved in your career?

Interrelation between your goal and work/job

To help tie in your goals with the job you’re applying for, look at the job description and see if you can find any traits and skills you already possess as well as those you want to get more experience in. This will allow you to relate your goals to the position you’re applying for in the interview.

Rationalize how your goal fits the job description

Analyze the job posting, before crafting your answer. Consider which of the required skills and traits you already have and would like to gain more experience in. It can be helpful to look at the specifics of what the job entails and think about what it would mean to advance your knowledge and expertise in these areas over the next five years. 

When answering this question, be honest and be yourself. it’s much easier to be yourself than to try to be someone you’re not. Sharing what you think the interviewer wants to hear may seem like a good idea, but if it’s out of alignment with your truth, you can get in trouble down the road if you do get hired. keep your answer specific and work-related.

An Example on how to answer a “Where do you see yourself in 5 years” question. 

  So, if you happened to apply for an HR position in an organization and during the interview you are asked, “Where do you see yourself in 5years?”. You might answer in the following manner: 

 “In five years, I would like to expand my horizons by jumping in feet first and learning as much as I can, as quickly as I can, with the organization. From there, I’d seek out opportunities — at least one to two a year — to expand my knowledge through training and educational opportunities to support my job. I’d love to participate in at least one project geared toward leadership training, if the opportunity arises. I also understand that the organization has a strong volunteer team, and I’d like to be an active participant of that team, as well. At some point, I’d also like to be considered for a supervisory or management level role.”

Hold back on keeping it predominantly work-related, to the point, show ambition, quantifiable long-term goals.  The key is to be confident, honest, clear and succinct. The chances are good that you’ll be asked this question at some point during your career and now you know you’ve got the skills to answer it. 


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