What do you consider the hardest interview question? Employers ask questions to eliminate candidates based on skill and confidence, but many of their questions are focused on examining whether or not you are a good fit for the company and position. Asking about your goals is a good way to judge your ambition and drive.
Early in your career, employers will want to know why you are interested in this position and how it fits in your overall plan for your life. Early in your career, employers may worry that you may leave prematurely when something else comes along. For mid-career professionals, employers may be looking more closely at how you may contribute to the company and help it grow.
There are a few approaches you can take when answering the interview question "Where do you see yourself in five years?"
Discuss Your Long Term Goals
Be truthful about your plans. If you are not excited about this position and what it will do for your career, that will come through loud and clear in your answer. Discussing your long term goals will show that you put thought into applying for this position and how it will fit into your plan.
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Describe Your Ideal Position
Do you want to take on a management role? Do you enjoy sitting quietly at a desk doing your work in solitude? Do you dream of working from home? Talk about how this position will get you closer to this goals by gaining new skills.
Identify Your Wants and Needs
General answers will be bland and easily forgettable. Stand out by telling an employer what you want and how this position answers your problem. Do not show indifference or lack of satisfaction with what this position could offer if you want to impress an employer.
Define Success From Your Perspective
Within five years, do you want to be successful? Of course you do! What does that look like though? You want to increase sales, train teams, lead projects, and ultimately make this business successful. Say so and specifically how you plan to be an instrumental part of this success.
Employers aren't simply looking for goals but objectives, how you plan to get to that goal. Before your next interview, you should really consider your goals and how much of your goals you are willing to share.