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How to answer the interview ‘five years’ question

answer the interview 'five years' question

What is the best way to answer the interview ‘five years’ question? You will probably be asked the question “Where do you see yourself in five years” during a job interview. For many applicants, the question of personal assessment of their future career is one of the most difficult in the interview. But how do you answer this question? The fact is, there is no one-size-fits-all answer!

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answer the interview 'five years' question

Why do they want you to answer the interview ‘five years’ question?

Strictly speaking, there are three questions that the HR specialist asks you:

  • Can you motivate yourself? What drives you? HR experts expect you to perform better if you have a clear goal in mind.
  • Do you fit into the company? You can only be a promising employee in the long term if you follow the company’s goals and find common intersections.
  • How long do you plan to stay with the company? If you clear your desk after a short time or when the competition’s first tempting offer, the staff not only has double work, but is also badly ahead of their superiors. Employees looking for a long-term job have much better cards.

Find the right answer

When you answer the interview ‘five years’ question, you should therefore consider the following points:

Development process: 

You cannot know which direction your career will take today  after all, you are not a clairvoyant. So do not go into how your professional future should look in five years. Instead, say what development you are aiming for, what you want to learn, and whether you are ready to take a leadership position.

Motivation: 

Companies are looking for committed, enthusiastic employees who above all want to develop further. Call them. You may want to expand your professional skills or take on international projects. Show something that motivates you personally.

Matches: 

What distinguishes your favorite employer? Is the company an industry leader who constantly comes up with new developments? Is it socially committed? Is it particularly family-friendly? Identify and use these contact points to your advantage – but only if they correspond to your personal goals and values. Dishonest answers immediately exposed the HR manager and this leads to major negative points.

Perspective: 

Even if you have no answer to the question “Where will you see yourself in five years?”, State that you want to achieve the desired goals or development stages in the long term. This suggests that you will be with the company in a few years.

Also emphasize that you see the best conditions for a career in this company – but also that you represent a great added value for the company.

Important: what has been said must come from you and suit you. Getting inspiration is allowed.

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