5 Great Answers to “Where do You See Yourself in Five Years?”

“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” This is a difficult interview question for many people to answer. For college students and recent graduates, searching for jobs can be daunting even without contemplating the near future. However, there are several good answers to that dreaded interview question.

1. Voice Interest In A Long-Term Career

No recruiting manager likes the responsibility of replacing workers. When most interviewers ask candidates where they see themselves in 5 years, they want to hear that the candidate plans to stay with their company. For a general answer, simply express interest in working with the company on a long-term basis. Many students who apply for jobs are applying for positions that they plan to stay in for several years. It is good to tell a prospective employer that stability and growing within a company are important personal goals.

2. Express Interest In Future Promotion

If there are any promotion opportunities within the company, express interest in working toward those by earning merit. This gives recruiters reassurance that a candidate will not become a quick turnover and an added HR expense. Be specific when talking about promotion opportunities. HR managers want to know that candidates have really researched higher jobs, their duties and some key employees who are role models. Showing enthusiasm for staying with a company is a good way to move higher on the list of considered candidates. Never express interest in a completely different type of career that implies a move to another company.

3. Suggest Personal Goals

Simply telling a hiring manager that future plans involve staying with the company is good. However, it is much better to explain personal goals that will benefit the company and add individual value. For example, a student applying for a marketing position could talk about personal goals to improve outreach efforts for the company. Although companies want to hear that candidates have a desire to stay with them, they also want to know what candidates have to offer them.

4. Show A Desire To Grow As A Team Player

Since many people do not stay at their first job for more than 5 years, most employers know that recent graduates will move on. While they understand this, it is still important to put forth a good effort. Aside from poor management structure or an unfavorable work environment, another reason for high turnover in some companies is the workers. If there is a lack of cohesion, express a goal of trying to build a strong teamwork culture in the workplace. A good way to scope out a company’s problems with turnover is by reading reviews of former employees. Tailoring answers to meet a problem with a solution is a beneficial idea.

5. Display An Eagerness To Learn

When employers ask the dreaded interview question, they already know if a candidate is experienced or inexperienced. Recent college graduates are actually preferable to them in some cases. They can train, mold and shape recent grads into what they want them to be instead of trying to break unwanted habits of experienced but stubborn workers. When the dreaded question is asked, tell the interviewer that the next 5 years are a good opportunity to learn the company’s procedures, adopt the company’s culture and grow as a professional.

According to the Washington Post, about 80 percent of students graduate without a job. It takes time to find a good job. Patience is an important attribute, and being armed with the right interview answers is also a major benefit.

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