Do you remember what you had for dinner last Saturday? Most of them don’t. Imagine being asked to think 5 years ahead in the future. Tricky, isn’t it? Don’t you wish you also had a crystal ball to look into, like Professor Trelawney of Harry Potter fame? This question is the interviewers’ most favourite. They almost always ask this to every candidate they get a chance to. They just want to know if you’re in this professional relationship for a long haul. They don’t want you breaking up with them anytime soon!

What they’re really asking is, what are your goals regarding career growth and what is your vision for yourself. Let’s look at 3 better ways to answer this question.

Think on career goals

Developing career goals is very important as that ascertains your growth in any job industry. There needs to be a career path outlined from the job position you have applied to now, and a step-by-step plan needs to be created. This is of great personal benefit too, as once you make such a plan, you’ll be accountable and informed of your career moves. While you’re deciding your career path, don’t forget to add the job you’re interviewing for. You need to include it and then chart a map to your destination, five years later. If you have a well-researched and a logical answer, it’s going to impress the recruiter and your five-year future may not be impossible to achieve at all!

Have a vision

Dreaming is one thing, and having a vision is another. The former need not necessarily come true, but the latter definitely will if you’re persistent with your efforts and if you work towards it. Another great way to answer the above question would be to imagine what all would you want to incorporate into your resume after 5 years? Is there a vision you have for yourself? Say, you would want to receive an award for the best literary skills and be a part of the Mensa High IQ society. That could be your vision after 5 years. Having a vision is very important as it drives you to achieve results in the present. A solid and realistic vision will really help you be motivated. If you’re able to do this, then you can answer the question easily, as well.

General answer

Yes, having a general answer cannot be too bad in this case. Let’s face it. Future is flexible and there is a lot of room to explore and grow. You can keep you answer generic by stating you want to reach a top position, work in the senior management and work on more diverse projects than yu’re doing now. While this indicates that haven’t thought much in depth about the future, it is also in your favour as it shows you’re ready to keep the future felxible. It shows you are daring to take up newer and bigger responsibilities and are not afraid to grow. This information alone is enough for the interviewer to gauge your interest level in the job and in the profession.

You’ll gain more confidence in answering this question time and again. Make sure you’re consistent with your career goals and your future, and you’ll ace this question!