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questions future

‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’

Why are recruiters asking this?

Recruiters ask future-oriented questions to understand your expectations for your career, your ambitions, and if this position is a match. 

It might be uncomfortable, but you should be humble and honest. Think about the position you’re interviewing for and how it is a match with your professional goals, without being over-ambitions (i.e. “I want to be the CEO!”)

The reason people ask this question is to learn what skills you want to use, what your interests are, and what you value. You don’t need to focus on job titles or force yourself to match the role you’re applying for exactly. 

And what if this position is not what you really want for your career, but you need a job? Then frame it honestly but leave it open-ended. After all, we never know what the future may hold. 

Checklist for a great answer 

  • Be honest
  • STAR method
  • Less than 2 minutes, keep it brief
  • Select a professional situation
  • If appropriate, make a light joke

Examples

I am excited about this position at XYZ Corp, because in 5 years I want to be viewed as someone with deep expertise in the e-commerce sector. I know that’s something I’d have an opportunity to build on here as an account manager. I’m also excited to take on more managerial responsibilities in the next few years and even lead certain campaigns. I’ve had some wonderful managers and initial results, so I aspire to continue to develop these skills in myself so I can be given more responsibility moving forward.

Other similar questions

  • Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?
  • What is your dream job?
  • What are your career goals?
  • How long do you expect to work for this company?
  • Why are you changing careers?

How do I get better at these questions?

PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE! 

The illustrious economist and statistician EF Schumacher once said: “An ounce of practice is generally worth more than a ton of theory.” We at Mockmate strongly believe in exactly this, which is why we created our AI-powered job interview simulator.  Now is the time to stop reading blog posts and watching YouTube videos, and begin to perfect your interview skills by actually doing it! Get started here!

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