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Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years | Best Way To Answer

The much-used interview question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?” is often dismissed as a waste of time. No one can see that far into the future; particularly graduates who may not have a set career path in mind and are still exploring their career options. In fact, your interviewer is asking this question for an important reason. And it’s not because they are trying to test your psychic abilities.

Why Interviewer Ask This Question

Your interviewer does not anticipate that you will possess a crystal ball and inform them of your exact position in five years. However, the query is employed to pick out unqualified and feeble candidates.

Also Read: Email Writing Format

Firstly, employers like to hire individuals with similar aims and beliefs who are motivated, self-aware, involved in their work, and who are motivated. Secondly, Employers want to know that you intend to stay because hiring new employees is costly and time-consuming.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? is a question your interviewer will ask to ascertain:

  • Your long-term professional goals
  • How you’re working to achieve your objectives
  • How this particular position will help you succeed.

How Will You Achieve Your Career Goals

This question is frequently asked in addition to the “five years” inquiry. But it concentrates more on how you’ll accomplish your objectives. Mention your prior successes, those you’re on the verge of achieving, and any pertinent abilities.


My objective is to become a chartered tax adviser. I have the appropriate credentials, and I’m looking to get the real-world experience I need to put my abilities to use.


How Do You Define Success?


This question examines both your long- and short-term career aspirations, as well as your overall work ethic, in contrast to the “five years” question. To make your response stand out, be sure to provide detailed examples.


Success means going above and beyond what is anticipated in my opinion.
For instance, I served as an intern at a business law company last summer. My primary duty was to manage a caseload of independent clients. But I also offered to put together a report for the customer outlining the 150 cases we worked on.

I met the deadline for the report delivery and got good comments from the client.

What Do You Want for Your Next Job?


The interviewer wants to know if your own objectives and ideals line up with those of the business. Less attention should be paid to your long-term growth and more to how you might use your expertise to advance the goals of the business.


I am competent and confident in sales because of my prior experience working with customers. I’m searching for a job in a bigger firm where I can use my customer service abilities to increase sales.

Mistakes To Avoid When Answering This Question

Trying to Be Humorous

Although many employers won’t, some may find humor amusing. Avoiding it entirely is the best course of action. Humorous responses run the risk of coming across as fake or as a way to get out of answering the question.

example of a bad answer:

In five years, I’ll be running this business, or I’ll be sitting in your place.

If you don’t know where your career is going yet, you’re being too honest.

Answers that are ambiguous are acceptable. Your interviewer, however, is interested in finding out if you are serious about the position. It is doubtful that the interviewer will want to spend money on employing you if you say that you don’t intend to stay in the position.

An example of a bad answer:

In five years, I’m not sure if I’ll still be employed in marketing. I might go back to school and get my nursing degree.

 Being Too General

While you shouldn’t be overly descriptive, you also shouldn’t just say nothing. The interviewer receives no information from the example below regarding your suitability for the position.

An example of a bad answer:

I’ll probably run some business as CEO, or maybe I’ll finish writing that book.

Final Thoughts


As you can see, a seemingly straightforward interview question can reveal a lot about you as a prospective employee.

Therefore, do not undervalue this question and make sure you are adequately prepared for it.

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