How to Answer Question "Where Do You Want to Be in 5 Years?" in an Interview

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Answering this challenging interview question isn't about providing specific details. According to Brad Karsh, founder of the career consulting company JobBound, interviewers want to see that you can plan ahead and think about the future, and that you're a good match for their organization. Think in broad terms and discuss how your strengths and current skills can help you obtain your goals. Address how your goals can benefit the company.

  • Familiarize yourself with potential career ladders for the job you're interviewing for. Researching potential the career paths can confirm you're pursuing jobs appropriate for you.

  • Prepare a realistic career progression for the job you're interviewing for. Develop a career progression that identifies skills needed for future positions. Write your resume to reflect that you have the skills needed.

  • Practice answering the question in a confident and concise manner before the interview. Participate in mock interviews to improve your comfort level.

  • Reply to the actual interview question with realistic career expectations. Demonstrate that through research you have a solid knowledge of what the position entails and what the next logical career moves are. Share how your strengths support your chosen career path.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ask the interviewer about the career paths of those that previously held the position.
  • Dress and conduct yourself in a professional manner to project a strong first impression.
  • Don't insult the interviewer with overconfident or smug answers about your career inspirations.

References

  • Photo Credit business woman #12 image by Adam Borkowski from Fotolia.com
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