There are a lot of questions that throw job seekers off their game in an interview, even some of the more common ones. But while you’re preparing for your next meeting with a potential employer, it’s important to consider your answers to these questions. One of the most common is “Where do you see yourself in five years?” The question is designed for the employer to better understand how you fit into their long-term plans. Here are a few things to think about when preparing to answer.
Be honest about your long-term goals.
Honesty can go a long way. Sure, you don’t ever want to say you’re not really interested in working in this career forever, but you can make your goals in line with the company. What is it that you do see yourself doing in five years? How can that fit into the corporate environment?
How can this job help with your future?
So, what is it that this company does? Maybe it won’t be your specific job that will hold your interest for five years, but maybe the company has other departments or products that excite you. Make your answer relevant to their specific business to show how much you know about them.
What skills can you develop at this job?
Frame it in terms of what you want to learn. How can this company help you develop important skills for your future, whether it’s with them or not? Be specific about how you see yourself continuing to learn within their specific corporate environment.
What opportunities could the company have?
Lastly, do some research into the company and the types of opportunities they have. What do other people do? Check out employees on LinkedIn and see how they’ve progressed their careers with this specific employer. Use that to create a narrative that fits your long-term goals and needs.
Whatever you do, make sure that you are consistent and concise with your answers. Don’t sound as though you’re reciting pre-memorized answers. Stay relaxed, confident, and be honest with this potential employer.
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