CMU School of Drama

Saturday, February 08, 2014

The Key to Answering "Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?"

The Muse: You're breezing through an interview—answering all the questions about your work history and interest in the company with great examples and clever anecdotes—when the interviewer throws a slightly more personal question at you: "Where do you see yourself in five years?"


Becki Liu said...

I think that's a funny concept to answer that question with "I want your job". That's never a good response. I never like that question though. 5 years... so much can happen in five years. Only two years ago, I thought I was going to be an architect! Where do I see myself five years from now? Hopefully in France. But who knows, maybe I'll have to put France off for a few years. Job wise, I am very ambitious, almost too ambitious. To a point where I want to achieve the unachievable. I thankfully never had to answer the question "where do you see yourself in 5 years?" Because I don't know... I personally need to stop thinking about the future and start thinking about the now. Look at the now and be in the now.

Aamer R. said...

I agree with Becki, you should never tell the person hiring you that you want to replace them. I have always been a really indecisive person and take forever answering questions like that. But I definitely found this article helpful since it brought up different parts of a possible answer. I definitely like the suggestion of list options of where I see myself and what goals to have depending on that. The options make the indecisive part of me very happy :P

rmarkowi said...

I have thought about what I would say to that question a lot, especially during this time of year when summer applications are going out, so this video piqued my interest...and was totally useless. I'm sorry, but she laid out the basic things that everyone will know how to answer (goals, length of stay...), but gave vague answers with qualifiers on both ends. Particularly length of stay...essentially she said don't answer the other questions badly. And for reasonable goals...she just said don't aim too high or too low. Thanks. I knew that. But where should one aim? Above, below, or along side your hiring manager? That's what I want to know.

Keith Kelly said...

I think this question is wonderful. When we go in for an interview we typically prepare questions about the company and focus less on ourselves. The employer is interested in what you see yourself doing for the company and where you wish to be in the future. It's smart for employers to ask this question because it filters out the good from the bad. Interviewers need to have some clear ideas about their future before going into the interview. Kat Miller laid out some very interesting points that I will take with me going into upcoming interviews. Strategy and thought are important to consider before answering this question because it gives the employer a good idea if your wright for the job or not.

Emily Bordelon said...

I never know what to say when answering this question. I don't want to sound too pushy, but also don't want to sound like I'm not planning on trying very hard. I think this video helped to lay down some general guidelines that will help me to have a more realistic idea of myself and well as provide a good answer that will leave a good impression in interviews. I tend to have relatively small goals in my life, so this will help me to know what I can and cannot say in situations that require me to show what I can and will do.

Ben Vigman said...

I don't know, I think that's a pretty tough question. I would imagine that relatively few people actually know where they will be in 5 years. I suppose that is a slightly different that where you SEE yourself in 5 years. I suppose it is slightly easier to form an ideal of where you want to be than to actually predict the future. Regardless, I don't think I could answer either format of the question.

I would be more interested in what value this question has to interviewers. Perhaps it is a way of judging the interest level of an applicant?

Lukos said...

I am not a big fan of this question. Maybe its because I will probably never have a job and instead have work. As much as i would love to land some work that would take 5 years of my life its highly unlikely. Too much can happen in 5 years and i have fallen into the trap of planning to far ahead to the point where i lose my place in life now. So for now i might be looking generally what i will do after i graduate but after that i don't think ill be planning that far ahead for a while if ever.

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