What Do You See Yourself Doing Five Years From Now? Ten Years From Now?

In a job interview, the hiring manager may ask you a question such as, “What do you see yourself doing five years from now,” or “What do you see yourself doing ten years from now”

When the hiring manager asks this question, he’s checking to see if your long-term goals are aligned with the job or company to which you’re applying. He wants to know if you will be committed to the particular job for an extended period of time.

Points to Emphasize

To answer this question, you’ll want to focus on goals that are at least somewhat connected with the job.

  • Discuss long-term goals to show your self-motivation and consideration for the future.

  • If you have plans to start a family, mention how the job you’re applying for will give you skills related to responsibility and industry.

  • If you plan to stay in the same field, emphasize how the current position will help prepare you to move up in the company.

  • When applying for an upper level job with no mobility, discuss how you want to continue growing and learning in the field.

    The hiring manager asks this question to gauge how well the job will positively match with your long-term goals.

    Mistakes You Should Avoid

    When an interviewee isn’t prepared for this question, he or she may not answer correctly. In order to give the best answer, avoid these common mistakes:

  • Don’t say, “I don’t know,” as it shows a lack of self-determination.

  • Avoid listing goals that are irrelevant to the job unless you also demonstrate how the job will help you achieve those goals.

  • Try not to have goals that show no interest in mobility, as you may come across as complacent with the status quo.

  • Don’t specifically mention that you want the hiring manager’s job, or anyone’s job in the company. Say “a manager” instead of “the manager.”

    To assure the hiring manager that you’re fit for the job, you’ll want to avoid irrelevant plans for the future.

    Sample Answer

    A great answer to a question about long-term goals is the following:

    In five years from now, it’s my hope that this position will have helped prepare me for a supervisory role in the field. Within ten years I hope to have more classes and certifications under my belt and to have started a family.

    No matter your gender or career goals, you can answer this question in an honest way that will show your dedication for continued growth.

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