Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years: How to Answer

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? This has become a frequent question in most interviews. It can leave you in a sweat because who knows what they will be doing in five years?
Most of the time, people haven’t looked that far into the future. When you’re interviewing for a job, you’re mainly focused on the then and now, not thinking about one year in the future, let alone five!
Answering this question honestly is the best way to go, but it’s best not to get too personal. Thus, it’s best to be prepared beforehand to ace that question and show your commitment.
In this article, you’ll find the best way to answer that question.

Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years: What They Want to Know

Learning about your future ambition and goals will help your employers understand you more. By asking that question, managers want to know if you are a good fit for that job or not.
Companies want to hire active, ambitious, hardworking, and committed people. So, they need to know your upcoming plans right from the start. Understanding the motivations behind that question might help you answer it better.
Here are a few end goals for it.

See If You’re Committed

By knowing your future plans in these upcoming five years, the employers will see if you mean to stick around or not. Hiring new people wastes money and time, so companies search for committed people who plan on staying put.
Therefore, these managers need to know if you see yourself in the next five years still doing the same job or if you plan on going somewhere else.

Judge Your Ambition

Companies need to know about your ambitions and goals before hiring you. They want to see what you’ll bring to the table and what goals you hope to achieve by working there.
Declaring your ambitions will help them decide if you’re overqualified or inexperienced for this job. They might find themselves unable to meet your ambition and growth, or they might find your goals not ambitious enough.
For example, saying you haven’t thought of that or that you might be in the same position after five years can be a real bummer.

Assess Your Future Plans

Asking about your future plans will help them know if you’re interested in this position or not. If you plan on evolving in this job and if your future goals include it, then you’re invested in it.

How to Answer That Question?

Preparing before answering this question is vital. Blurting out the first answer in your mind or stumbling over your words can cause you to lose the job. So, it’s best to ask yourself this question and plan out your answer to say it confidently.
Follow these steps to come up with the perfect answer:

Fit Your Future Goals Into the Job

It’s essential to decide on your future goals and ambitions before answering. After that, it’s time to connect your plans to the position. Relate the job to your aspirations by explaining how it’s going to help you achieve them.
Imagine your future self five years from now and figure out how this job can make you be that self. It’s critical to demonstrate to the employer your interest in the position by highlighting the experiences and skills you can gain from it.

Honesty Is the Best Policy

There’s no need to lie if the job doesn’t fit your future ambitions. However, if you see the job as a temporary position, there’s no need to say that. Stick to the truth, but remain tactful. Instead, be generic with your answer.
Focus on the skills you want to gain, the value you hope to add, and the opportunities you aspire to get. Generalize your answer, but not too much, so as not to make them skeptical of your intentions.
So, instead of saying, “I’d also like to be a sales manager by then,” or mentioning certain companies that you hope to work at. You can say something along these lines:
“I intend to work as hard as I can during the next five years to gather experience. I hope to be able to state that I've developed permanent and trusting client connections at the end of those years. I’d also like to be among the team's top salespeople.”

Don’t Overdo It

There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious, but you don’t want to sound arrogant. Keep your ambitions realistic. It’s best to stay rooted if you want to reach the sky.

What to Avoid?

There are a few things to avoid when answering this question:
  • Turn the question into a joke: downplaying questions isn’t only unprofessional, but it’ll also showcase you as someone with no vision or ambition
  • Being blunt and specific: volunteering and saying unnecessary information might leave a negative impression on your employer
  • Going too far: chatting about personal things or rambling on can embarrass you

Example Answer

Here’s a suitable answer to that question to learn from:
In five years, I’d like to be an expert in marketing who can guide and help others with their ideas. I will have done several campaigns and worked with several mentors, which would have given me more experience to take on a bigger role as a team leader or a head of the marketing department.
With the various clients this company works with, I’ll have more knowledge in different fields and learn about what strategies work best.


So, what is the best way to answer where you see yourself in 5 years? The best way is to give a general idea of what you hope to be after five years. No one is asking for a detailed answer or certain dates; it’s only a question to judge your way of thinking.
Therefore, it’s important to prepare an answer that fully expresses your ambition and aspirations for the future. Also, remember that the way you choose to express this answer is as important as the answer itself.