When you go into a professional interview, the hiring manager wants to gauge who you are and whether or not you will be a good fit for the company. This sometimes requires questions that are not strictly related to the work environment or position. For instance, you might be asked, “What specific goals other than those related to your occupation, have you established for yourself for the next ten years” The interviewer is asking about your personal aspirations, but what they really want to know is if you will be with the company for a while. The hiring manager also wants to know if you have given any type of thought to your future.
Points to Emphasize
The hiring manager is partially asking this question, so he or she can get to know you better. However, the interviewer is still primarily concerned with how you will fit into the work environment.
- Emphasize how your personal and career goals align.
- Explain why you want to achieve your aspirations.
- Focus on skills and character traits that would also be useful in the work environment.
- Highlight the fact that you have given thought to the future.
If possible, refocus the conversation on how you are dedicated to your career and driven to succeed. Relate your response to the position and work environment.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Even if you know that you plan to move on to another enterprise within ten years, make a point to show genuine interest in staying with the company for a while.
- Do not give too vague of an answer.
- Do not become flustered and nervous as you respond.
- Avoid talking about activities or hobbies that may reflect negatively on you.
- Do not imply that you have no intention of working with the company or industry in ten years.
On some level, the hiring manager wants to know if you are in it for the long haul. Take the opportunity to show a sense of loyalty in your response.
Here is an example of a good answer to the ten-year plan question:
In ten years, I’d like to see myself still with my spouse and sending my oldest child to college. As such, I want to be in a good position financially with a steady high-level management position in this industry. For me, the success of my personal life is tied with my professional advancement.
Remember that the company is looking for good employees that will last. Take these concerns into consideration as you form a response.