How to Answer: Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?
A regular job-interviewing question is where you see yourself in 5 years.
The purpose of this question is to see if you would like to stay at the company for many years. Bringing on new employees is both time-consuming and costly. The company does not want to go to all the effort and cost of training you, only to have you leave.
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The "Where do you see yourself in 5 years" question is about the interviewer wanting to see if you can draw a straight line from the future back to the present. A two-part answer works well.
You should answer the question honestly, but your answer should also reflect the research you put into the company.
Find out what training programs are offered through the firm while holding down your full-time job. Mention your goal to grow your skills, and you'll impress your interviewer with your future-focused desires.
The question forces you to look at your future. Lean into the question instead of away from it.
Don't say, "I can't possibly know..." If you really haven't given much thought to your long-term career path, answer in a broad, nonspecific way while still showing a positive attitude.
You may be very ambitious to climb as high and as far up the company as soon as possible. If you shoot too high, you may alarm your interviewers and come off as over-eager or unrealistic.
Realize that advancing one or two positions above the one you're interviewing for is the most likely.
There is currently a high job turnover rate. Employers are trying to see which candidates are likely to stick around.
Try to demonstrate that you see yourself staying within the company, learning, and adding value.
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"Tell me about yourself" doesn’t mean “give me your complete history from birth until today.” It doesn’t even mean “walk me through your work history.” It means “give me a brief overview of who you are as a professional.”
Interviewers who ask this question are generally looking to get a broad overview of how you see yourself, as a sort of introduction or an icebreaker before starting to dive into the specifics.