When you’re asked the question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” by a hiring manager, it’s important to understand that they are trying to gauge whether you are committed to staying with the company for a long period of time. This is because they have likely had experiences in the past where they hired someone who seemed like a great fit, but ended up leaving the company soon after being hired. This can be a frustrating and disappointing experience for the hiring manager and that’s why they want to ensure that you are not just looking for a quick solution to your financial or employment problems.
In order to give a good answer to this question, it’s important to be honest and show that you are committed to building a career with the company. For example, you could say something like “I can’t predict exactly where I’ll be in five years, but I would love to build a long-term career with this company and who knows, maybe you’ll be my final employer.” By saying this, you are showing that you are interested in staying with the company for a long time, and you are taking a positive approach to your future.
It’s important to remember that the hiring manager is not looking for you to have a specific plan or to know exactly what you will be doing in five years. They just want to hear that your future goals align with the company’s future goals, and that you are committed to being a part of their team for a long period of time.
For example, you could share a personal story about how your career has taken unexpected turns in the past and how you never know exactly where you’ll end up. You could say something like “In the past five years, I thought I would be working at an investment bank, but that never happened. Instead, I ended up in private equity and then in consulting. Now I’m here, interviewing with you. I never know exactly where life will take me, but I’m excited about the possibility of building a career with this company.”
Hiring Manager: So, where do you see yourself in five years?
Candidate: I think it’s always difficult to predict where I’ll be in five years, but I hope to have a successful and fulfilling career with your company. I understand that as a hiring manager, you have been burned in the past with employees who leave after just a short period of time. I want to assure you that I am not just looking for a quick solution to my financial or unemployment problems, but instead I am looking for a long-term career here and to grow with the company.
Hiring Manager: That’s great to hear. It really makes a difference when a candidate shows that their future is aligned with the company’s future. And it’s not just about giving us the right answer, but about being honest about your goals and aspirations.
Candidate: Absolutely. To be honest, I never know where life will take me, but I would love to have a long-term career here and see where it leads. I believe that with my skills and experience, combined with your investment in my development, I can make a significant contribution to the company.
Hiring Manager: That’s great to hear. And it’s not just about having a certain title or reaching a specific goal. It’s about having a fulfilling career and making a difference. I once had a candidate who was brutally honest with me when I asked the same question and it really made a difference. It showed his honesty, humility, and humanity, and I could immediately imagine working with him. It was the catalyst for a successful five-year career with my company.
By being honest and genuine in your answer, you can show the hiring manager that you are committed to building a long-term relationship with the company, and that you are not just looking for a quick solution to your employment problems. By taking this approach, you may even end up impressing the hiring manager and setting yourself apart from other candidates.