Ruchin has a job interview at his dream company. He’s done his research and is confident about his chances. The interview goes well until the employers stump him with a question he isn’t prepared for: “Where do you see yourself five years from now?”
It’s a tricky question, isn’t it? If you’ve appeared for job interviews, you know how stressful this situation can get. But the question isn’t limited to job interviews. Several managers ask their teams the same question. Do you want to know the reason for this question? Read on!
Not That Question Again!
If you think about it, when someone asks you ‘where do you want to be in five years?’, it’s impossible for us to know. Life is uncertain and you don’t even know what’s going to happen the next day, let alone five years later. But the question isn’t a way to gauge what exactly you’ll be doing in five years but what you think you’ll be doing for yourself.
Employers love to ask this simple yet tricky question because they want to hire self-aware individuals; they want to confirm whether you’re the right pick for the organization.
Here’s what your (potential) employer is really trying to discover:
If you have a long-term career strategy
If you know how to define success for yourself
The ways in which you plan to pursue your goals
Whether your ambitions are aligned with the organization’s goals
Your interests and whether you have the right attitude
How you’re going to use your strengths to drive business success
Whether you’re a good social and cultural fit for the workplace
So, How Do You Answer: Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?
Preparing for the question ‘where do you see yourself in five years?’ is a good exercise to reflect on your personal dreams and aspirations. It helps you figure out what you enjoy doing and what’s meaningful to you. The more clarity your gain about your long-term goals, the more confident you become in setting expectations and priorities.
Here’s how you can prepare the answer to this question in advance while examining your personal and professional goals.
Note Down Your Feelings
Consider working for the employer and the job title you’ll be in—how do you feel about it? Consider your personal feelings as you think about your future in the organization. Label your feelings and think about how the organization can make you feel valued. You can ask yourself these personal questions for self-reflection:
Will I learn new things at this job?
Will I have a healthy work-life balance?
How will my value in the job market increase?
Think About A Typical Day
Instead of focusing too much on specific responsibilities, think about a typical day in the workplace. Write down your thoughts and reflect on the things that’ll make you happy at the end of the day. Ask yourself these questions to think about how you’d like to spend your day:
How do I make connections at work?
What are the skills that I should pick up?
What are my expectations at the end of the day?
Try To Visualize Your Goals
The goal-setting process is time-consuming. Even if you can’t put a finger on your long-term goal, you can start small by focusing on the things you value. For example, if working with marginalized communities makes you happy, you can think about joining the development or non-profit sector.
Do Your Homework
One of the most effective ways to tackle the question ‘where do you see yourself five years from now’ is to identify the employer’s expectations. Go to the ‘Careers’ section of the company’s website and check out the details on the particular job opening. If you want to impress them, show them that you know enough about them.
Express To Impress!
Once you’ve done the preliminary preparation, it’s time to effectively convey your thoughts and expectations. Not only should you communicate clearly, but you should also exhibit confidence while convincing your potential employer with your answer.
Harappa Education’s Speaking Effectively course is designed to help you deliver ideas with precision and leave lasting impressions on people. The PAM (Purpose, Audience and Message) Framework will teach you all about connecting with people. The Interview Questions framework will guide you about the most commonly asked interview questions. Build powerful communication skills that guarantee career success!
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