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How to Answer: Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?

Too Much Focus on the Future

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.

  • " I want this particular job..." reinforces your desire for the position.
  • In part two, explain your future plans "... because it will help ..."

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How to Answer: Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?

How to Answer: Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?

https://www.lifehack.org/865505/where-do-you-see-yourself-in-5-years

lifehack.org

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Key Ideas

Where 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.

Too Much Focus on the Future

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.

  • " I want this particular job..." reinforces your desire for the position.
  • In part two, explain your future plans "... because it will help ..."

What Career Path the Company Offers

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.

Don't Fight this Question

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.

Being Realistic

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.

Proving Your Staying Power

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”

... is one of the interview questions that most intimidates job seekers and one that most interviewers assume will be easy. It sounds straightforward — but as every job seeker knows, it...

What your interviewer is looking for

"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. 

"Tell me about yourself" - recommended answer
  • Summarize where you are in your career, note anything distinctive about how you approach your work and end with a bit about what you’re looking for next.
  • Your answer only needs to be about 1 minute long.
  • Don’t drag yourself. This isn’t the time to explain you were fired from your last job or to confess your difficulties finding the right career path.
  • Keep your focus professional, not personal.
The reason for the question

Interviewers ask questions like "tell me about yourself "  to determine if you're qualified to do the work and if you will fit in with the team.

How to Answer the Question

It might be a good idea to share something about yourself that is doesn't relate directly to your career. 

For example, interests like running might represent that you are healthy and energetic. Pursuits like being an avid reader might showcase your intellectual leaning. Volunteer work will demonstrate your commitment to the welfare of your community.

The “present-past-future” formula

This is a simple formula to construct your response.

  • Start with a short overview of where you are now (which could include your current job along with a reference to a personal hobby or passion).
  • Reference how you got to where you are (you could mention education, or an important experience, internship or volunteer experience).
  • Finish by describing a probable goal for the future.

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What you should not say
  • Starting with something personal like family or hobbies, or launching into your life story.
  • Sharing the problems with your current job.
  • Summarizing your resume, point-by-point....
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  • Prepare a short script that highlights the skills, strengths and expertise you have that make you especially qualified for this particular position. 
  • Explain the reasons you’re applying for this particular job. Focus on career-related motivations.
Your purpose to the question

Your purpose to the question "tell me about yourself" is to give just enough details of yourself to spark the interest of the interviewer.

Answering this question gives you a great opportunity to spotlight the skills and experience that make you the ideal candidate for the job.

Why Interviewers Ask It

This introductory question serves as an icebreaker to lend an easy flow to the conversation. It helps the recruiter to get to know you in terms of hard and soft skills.

It’s a great op...

How to build your response
  • Present: Talk a little bit about what your current role is, the scope of it, and possibly a recent achievement.
  • Past: Tell the interviewer how you got there and/or mention a past experience that’s relevant to the job and company you’re applying for.
  • Future: Continue with what you’re looking to do next and why you’re interested in this job.
You do not have to respond in this order. Tweak it to suit you. Make sure to tie it to the job and company.
Tailor Your Answer

Interviewers want to know how your answer about yourself is relevant to the position and company you’re applying for.

This is an opportunity to articulate why you’re interested and how your objective fulfills their goals. In order to do that, spend some time researching the company. If your answers resonate with them, it shows that you really understand the role.

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