Interview Questions: “Where do you See Yourself in Five Years”

Interviews are tough. Things only get worse when the interviewer asks the dreaded “where do you see yourself in five years” interview questions. You know the question is coming, so we’re here to make sure you have everything you need to answer it. With our help, we’re confident you’ll nail the interview and land the job!

What to Do:

Keep it Vague

When it comes to interview questions, specific answers are generally better. They give the interviewer more insight into who you are and why they should remember you. This is the exception. With this question, you want to be broader in your answer. Getting too in-depth in your answer will only get you lost in a tangent. Employers mostly want to see that you have goals and ambitions. They don’t want to hear how you plan on having their job in the future.

Answer this question with a general statement about the direction you want your career to take. Focus on things like moving up in the company you work for and learning more about your industry.

You’re in For the Long Run

Another important thing to include in your answer is that you’re applying to be a part of the company for the long term. No company wants to hear that they’re just a stepping-stone in your career. They want to hear how you’re going to stick with their company and help it grow. Stress that you see a future with them and that you have the desire to advance your career along with the growth of the company. The “five-year” question is really a question about what your five-year plan is with them.

It’s All About Enthusiasm

The enthusiasm you bring to your answer will go a long way. Bring the energy and show employers why you want to be chosen for the position. The enthusiasm for the position and how it’s going to grow your professional career shows that you’re someone who’s passionate about what you do. This question can be boring, so bringing good energy to your answer will definitely make you stand out amongst all the other candidates with whom you’re competing against.

Consider talking to experts

The best advice you can get is from a professional who is already working in your field, for quite some time now. They generally are aware of the ins and outs of the particular discipline and can tell you better what the recruiters expect to hear from a potential candidate. In case you are preparing to be a lawyer, experts like Alex Gotch can provide you with the assistance you need. Likewise, you can find an expert in the field of your interest.

What Not to Do:

Don’t Stress Yourself Out

Employers use this question for several reasons. It shows how you answer complicated questions, your goals, what you want to accomplish within their company, and your ability to think on your feet. Don’t fluster yourself. If you need to, take a deep breath, give yourself a moment, and then answer the question once you’ve had a moment to think. Keep your answers simple and get to the point.

Just remember, the employer wants you to succeed. The company wants to find a great employee. Better yet, you already know you’re a great candidate. All you have to do is relax and show them your best self.

Don’t Get Too Detailed

Every employer will appreciate ambition and goals. However, they don’t want to hear your whole life’s plan. If you’re too specific, you might bring up the goals you have for yourself that the company feels like it can’t meet. You really only want to stress the thing you’re going to accomplish in the position. Anything outside of that and they’re not really interested in it. Of course, you can mention things such as the coding classes you took as a kid (maybe from one of those online programs for kids) or the internships you completed during your grad years. But, anything more than that wouldn’t be appreciated. And definitely, don’t fall into the trap of getting sidetracked talking about things like starting a family or taking that vacation you’ve been daydreaming about.

Don’t Flip Flop

This question out of all the interview questions is especially dangerous for anyone who’s unsure about the exact path they want their career to take. Consequently, you don’t have to know exactly what you’re going to be doing for the rest of your life. That being said, your employer doesn’t need to know that you’re also considering a career switch to the culinary industry. Instead, stick to what this exact job can do for you.

Watch Your Words

Out of all of the advice in this article on interview questions, this is the most important. While interviewers want you to succeed, they do have countless candidates to get through. If there’s anything they can do to disqualify you, they will. The things you say can make or break it. You don’t want to say anything that can have the possibility of making you seem like a bad fit. Be professional and stick to the question at hand.


While all of this advice is worth taking to heart, your friends at JōbSource want to get more specific. Here are some examples of great answers to the “five-year question”

“One of the things that attracted me to this position is the opportunity to take on many roles. This position has many responsibilities and I believe that will give me great exposure to the ins and outs of the industry. I can’t wait to work with a different department and grow in this position. My five-year plan is to use this job to hone my skills and advance at this company!”

“Within five years, my goals are to be recognized as an expert in my field and a reliable source for our team. I want to develop close relationships with our clients, department, and company. I want to grow and take on new challenges, ultimately reach a higher position over the course of this time.”

Utilize these examples and expand on them. These are a good launching off point for you to craft your own answer on just this, but lots of interview questions. Good luck and remember that you’ve got this! When you’re ready to find your next job, visit one of our JōbSource branches or apply online. Your next job is waiting for you!