Once again, one of the most commonly asked questions in an interview is ‘where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?’. Maybe going out to frequent trips to tour the world? Or, having a nice bungalow by the beach side? Yes, it’s a difficult question when a lot of us are indecisive about what we want to have for dinner tonight. Why would recruiters want an answer to this question? How would you possibly have an answer to it? Let’s see.
Why do recruiters ask this?
They ask you this question for two reasons, mainly. One, they want to know if you’re
going to stick around and stay put in the organisation and the job role to be given.
Second, they want to see what you envision for yourself and whether that aligns with the company’s long term goals. A lot of people get very ambitious and say things like, ‘ I see myself seated on the other side of this table, I see myself getting many promotions’, which is not a very great thing to say. They really don’t want to hear that. Plus, there are also candidates who build pipe dreams like doing business or travelling the world, or even some who fumble with ‘hmmms’ when asked this question. That also isn’t a great way to respond.
What they really want to know is whether this current job position which they are
offering you, will you be content with it and are you in it for the long haul, in sickness or in health? They are spending money to keep you, and they want to know if you’re worth it.
How to answer and prepare
The first way to find an answer to this is to ask yourself about your career goals. Even if they’re not related to the position you’ve applied for, it’s okay. Write down the few numbers of dreams and goals you have for your career. Try thinking long-term now. Try to chart out a career path for each of the goals you’ve written down. Let’s say you want to work at Google in sales. You read about the company culture, the training programs they provide, the networking opportunities they provide. This will give you an idea of what all to achieve in order to reach a good position in the field you want. If you don’t find all the details on the website, check up on additional courses you can take up to upgrade your skills and chart out a plan of action.
How this will help you is, you’ll actually know which position you want to be and at what skill level. This will give a proper foundation for your answer than keeping it vague and unclear. But be careful to not indicate that you’ll be using this job as a stepping stone or don’t hint at bigger and better opportunities, else all this effort will not bear any fruit.