Q4: Where do you see yourself in five/ten years?
Welcome to One Up Your Career – the daily info-vitamin capsule ?? by Unnati to help you growth hack your career.
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On 21st May, more than 80 years ago, Amelia Earhart landed her flight in Northern Ireland becoming the first woman pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic. Aviation in the 1900s was a rare profession for women but she aimed higher and discovered what she was truly capable of.
Today’s job interview question requires an answer with a similar approach. No one knows what the future holds but keeping a higher goal reveals your ambition and the confidence you have in yourself. The right answer lies between going overboard and being modest.
By asking this question the hiring manager wants to see if your future goals align with that of the company. Recruitment is an expensive and time-consuming process and the interviewer wants to make sure that you will stay with the company for the long haul.
Your answer will also reveal your take on success. Do you see yourself leading a team, learning a new process, or buying a car? Of course, the hiring manager is looking for someone who has clear goals and is sure about where they want to be!
Before I write about the points to mention in the answer let me tell what you should NOT be your answer:
Wrong Answer 1 – I see myself as the CEO of this company.?
It is good to be funny but your interview is not the time or place for this.
Wrong Answer 2 – I am not sure. Maybe I will pursue my hobby. ?
This is the wrong answer for obvious reasons. Shows a lack of sincerity and a fickle mind.
So, how do you approach the question?
Know the career path
You must know the career path that you are embarking on. For example, if you have applied for the job of an inside sales executive then find possible areas to branch out in. Some companies might offer multiple options after a sales executive position like sales trainer, team lead, quality analyst etc. So, you need to be aware of which path you want to take because each role will take you in a different direction. Also, research about the company you are going to apply for. Each organization has its own growth path depending on the size and culture. In a startup, you can probably head a division within two years but an MNC might consider you for the managerial position only after 6 years. Know your audience. Aiming to be a manager in the latter case will not be realistic.
The learning curve
Mention the things that you wish to learn within five years in order to achieve your goal. If you see yourself as a manager in five years than talk about what skills you want to hone. “I am interested in taking up assignments and working beyond the job role to gain experience in team management and leadership so that I can become a manager in five years”. An answer like this shows clear rationale of how you plan to equip yourself for upcoming years.
Simply stating your dreams is not enough. You have to convince the manager that you have the capability to work towards it. And the best way to do so is by describing the practical steps you wish to take for reaching the goal you have set for yourself.
What is your current role and where do you see yourself in five years? Answer this question by replying to the email or leaving a comment on the website and I will help you craft it better.
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