How to Answer “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?” [+ Sample Answers & Guide]

Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years
Created by Cake

There’s no doubt that leaving a good impression during the interview is crucial in order to land the job. Many jobseekers blank out when hearing this question in an interview because they do not actually have a vision of their future plans yet.

You should expect to be asked one of the below questions when walking into a job interview:

  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • What are your plans for the next 5 years?
  • What are your future plans for the 5 upcoming years?
  • Give me a brief explanation of your future plan for the next 5 years.
  • Where do you think you might be in the next 5 years?
  • Tell me about your plan for the next 5 years.
  • Where do you want to be in 5 years?

Why Interviewers Ask “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?”

The “Where do you see yourself in five years?” questions often appear in an interview. Interviewers ask this question to know more about your goals while being in the career. But, what and why do they want to know about you is the question here.

✨ To know if your goal aligns with the company’s

One of the main reasons why recruiters ask about your plans for the next 5 years is because they want to know if your goal aligns with the job responsibilities and the company because they are looking for employees who are genuinely interested in the job and would be committed to the role. 

✨ To measure your motivation and interest in the position

Sometimes employers would want to know if you are truly interested in the position that they are offering. This is because hiring someone who is not into the position might lead to the employee quitting in a short period of time, and from the company’s perspective, training a new employee can require a lot of effort.

✨ To know your sense of ambition and drive

5 years may not be an easy thing to plan for but recruiters want to know what is your goal that will motivate you to keep moving forward in the position.

✨ To understand their future employee/coworker better

Other than knowing your goals, your answer to “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” will define who you are. Don’t forget that not only your goals, but your personality matters to the recruiters too.

✨ To know if you will be motivated and hardworking after getting into the company

Recruiters ask this to assure that they are hiring a valuable employee for the company. Your answers will show if you are motivated to keep working harder.

How to Prepare an Answer for “Where Do You Want to Be in 5 Years?”

The question of “Where do you want to be in 5 years?” can be answered easily if you have thought it out before the interview. So, how should you prepare for this question? Here are some guidelines that you should follow when preparing an answer for “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”.

1. Figure out your career goals.

Before going to an interview, it is necessary for you to figure out your goals. This helps a lot in showing your determination in getting hired for the company. Your goal can be wanting to become an experienced professional in the industry or wanting to work on cases that the job entails.

2. Relate your goals to the desired position.

If you have a goal in mind, establish a relation with the desired position to show the hiring manager your determination. When your answer to “Where do you want to be in 5 years?” is in line with the company’s, it shows that you will enjoy the work more and work harder.

3. Think about how working for the company would help you achieve the goals.

When planning out how to answer the question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”, your goal should always be relevant to the career field, the job and the company. You need to think about how this job can help you achieve your goal, which can distinguish you from other candidates in the eyes of the recruiter. When your goals are in line with the company’s, the company will also see your value as a potential new hire.

4. Mention future opportunities for the role and why they interest you.

When preparing to answer “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”, you should think about the future opportunities that you might get from being employed. These opportunities could be a promotion to a managerial position within the company, gaining experience in other related fields, and more.

By including these points in your answer, you could show your understanding and deep interest in the role, which often also entails high motivation and will to work hard.

How to Answer “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years” Answer

The question “Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?” is a big question. There are many details that you should fill in when answering. These details are the key points that will help you get a higher score and reach employment because these help them understand you more. 

Here are some details that should be mentioned:

Start with one or two main goals.

You could have a number of goals, but when answering “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”, you should highlight and focus on one or two main goals that are most relevant to the job. This allows you to elaborate more on further explanations.

Example:

“I plan to reach the sales manager position in 5 years and help take up as many projects in different areas as possible.”

Explain why you want to achieve them.

You should have a reason for your specific goal before giving it out to the interviewer. This is the perfect time for you to start elaborating on how beneficial it is to you and the company.

Example:

“The reason why I want to reach the sales manager position in 5 years is because I want to ensure there are some progress and improvements in my technical skills, and I would like to have enough expertise to be able to manage other people as well after having spent that much time working.”

Explain how you plan to achieve them.

Aside from knowing what your goals are, recruiters would also want to know how you plan to work towards this goal in order to assess how well you suit the job. You should tell them a thorough plan of how you want to achieve your goal so that they can visualize it better.

Example:

“I plan to use my networks to reach higher sales and implement the knowledge gained from participating in different courses about marketing sales to find myself multiple repeat customers.” 

Wrap up with your plan beyond 5 years (if you have any).

If you have a long-term vision that is related to the path you’ll take for the next 5 years, you can also mention your goal after that, like your 8 or 10-year goal. This could show that you are goal-oriented and have clear plans in how you want your career journey to be.

Example:

“I do believe that this field has great potential to develop even further in the coming years, and I do intend to dig deeper and extend my knowledge in this field. Hopefully after 5 years, I can move forward as the CSO by bringing the skills and experiences I have stacked from the past years, and lead the team to achieve even greater milestones.”

Tips for Answering “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years”

Now that you know what employers expect to hear from your answer to “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”, there are still some tips and tricks that you could implement to further level-up your answers. Here are some tips to help you answer this question. 

💡 Be honest.

You should never lie in an interview. When asked “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”, you don’t want to give an answer that you cannot prove in the future. Therefore, being honest and telling the truth is better than telling a lie. 

💡 Be specific with your goals.

When you are mentioning your goals, you should be specific and elaborate as much as you can. As mentioned above, this helps the interviewer in visualizing your future plans when you are talking about them.

💡 Set realistic goals.

Goals mentioned when talking about where you see yourself in 5 years should be realistic. You do not want to set too high of an expectation on yourself, but it should also be ambitious enough because easy goals can imply lack of skill.

💡 Don’t joke and say you haven’t thought about it.

Saying that you haven’t thought about anything for your future plans, even as a joke, will affect your performance because you will be deemed as unprepared and unserious. These are not traits that employers value.

💡 Don’t show signs that you will leave the job soon.

Whenever you are applying for a job, you should not give any hints that you are not committed to the role long-term because this gives the interviewers a reason to not hire you.

💡 Focus on skills.

You should mention what kind of skill set and experience you want and hope to acquire once you land the position. Employers always value team members who want to work on themselves to become better and more skillful and who look forward to growing together with the company. 

“Where You See Yourself in 5 Years” Sample Answers

Here are some references that you can follow when planning out how to answer the question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” during a job interview.

“Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years” Sample Answer for Freshers

The question “Where do I see myself in 5 years?” might be either a difficult or easy question for freshers who just graduated and entered the workforce. No matter what, your answer should always show your enthusiasm and ambition to work for the company, because that’s one of the best things you can offer.

“As a newbie who still lacks working experience, I hope to gain hands-on work opportunities through this position. I also look forward to working with other colleagues and march further to improve myself.”

“Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years” Sample Answer for Software Engineers

By incorporating your hard skills into your answer, then elaborating it by mentioning how you will utilize those skills sto help the company will make you look ambitious in the recruiter’s eyes.

“I plan to utilize my software engineering expertise in the company and develop the company’s software product even more. I hope to bring the skills that I have into the company and contribute to achieving the company’s objectives in becoming the no.1 software in the industry. If it is possible, I would like to be able to join the management team to learn and gain more experience.”

“Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years” Sample Answer for Internship Opportunities

The question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” most likely will not be asked during an interview for an internship opportunity, since it is unlikely that the internship program will last for that long. However, if this question does come up in your internship interview, you could elaborate on your career objectives to show your motivation and enthusiasm in building experience in the field.

“I believe that through this internship opportunity I could gain a lot of valuable and exciting experiences that will further motivate me to pursue a career in this field. In five years I would have graduated for 3 years, so I hope by that time I would be employed in my dream company as a sales representative.”

“Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years” Sample Answer for Project Managers

Project managers always hold a big responsibility to ensure the team can complete specific projects for the company. If you were to answer “where do you see yourself in the next 5 years”, talking about how you plan to lead the team to a better future and take more cases are what the recruiters are looking for.

“My goal for the next 5 years is to upsize the scale of our project team up to 3 times so that we can produce 3 times more high-quality output. I also hope to lead a successful team in the future and accomplish more cases with them.”

“Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years” Sample Answer for Medical Assistants

Recruiters ask “where do you see yourself in 5 years” to see if you are planning to grow with the company or to move on to other places. It is always a good option to say that you want to grow using the resources from the company while providing help to the patients. 

“I want to be able to help more patients and provide more to the clinic/hospital in the next 5 years. I am also excited to be able to join the clinic/hospital to gain more knowledge that I have not learned before in my previous workplace.”

“Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years” Sample Answer for Business Analysts 

Business analyst works for a company by analyzing the data and giving advice to help the company. Therefore, don’t go to an interview without doing any research on the company because emphasizing your interest for the company and how you can help the company with your knowledge will be the best answer to “where do you see yourself in 5 years”. 

“Business analysis is about working with a very large database. Since this role requires me to deal with types of information that I have much interest in but have yet to get the opportunity to explore, I hope that joining the company and being able to work with more information from different segments can allow me to improve my knowledge base and also help increase the company’s sales.”

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--- Originally written by Ryan Goh ---

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