The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

March 06, 2018

How to Answer: ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’


It’s hard to predict what questions and scenarios will arise in an interview. However, questions like “why did you leave your last job?” and “where do you see yourself in five years?” continue to play a part in many interviews.

Interviewers ask where you see yourself in five years as a means of getting to understand your career goals and how this position fits into that trajectory. They show interest in this because they, of course, want to hire someone who is motivated and ambitious, with a good work ethic and longevity in mind.

Don’t Sweat the Specifics

It’s important to keep your response generalized, especially if you don’t see a direct correlation between this position and your future self. Be honest but broad. Reiterate that the skills acquired in this job will equip you on your journey. Feel free to reference what skills they may be but don’t feel pressure to suggest that you want to hold a specific title at a specific company in five years, especially if that is not the truth.

Talk About Your Staying Power

You don’t necessarily need to say that you hope to be at this company in five years but as much as possible stress that you have an interest in a long-term career with them. This will also help to curb any concerns they may have about short tenures present on your resume. Show honest intention to stay that proves to the hiring manager that you are worth the investment.

Be Realistic

Never let your enthusiasm towards the role waver during the interview. Show your ambition to grow and learn but keep goals realistic. Mentioning goals of what you hope to learn in the role doesn’t necessarily allude to a five-year plan but it lends itself to a portrayal of your future self which is in the realm of the interviewer’s question.

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