There are some universal job interview questions like “tell me about yourself” “what are your strengths and weaknesses” and of course the trickiest of all “where do you see yourself in the next five years?”


Most interviewees when asked this question, are overcome with perplexity not knowing if to be frankly honest or give an answer that would impress the interviewers.

Some CEOs have given an insight into what employers hope to find out when they ask the question “where do you see yourself in the next five years?” Here are a few;

Employers want to know how honest you are

Of course, every ambitious person should have a plan as to how he wants his next five years to be — and all employers are fully aware of this. Unless you are the type that completely lacks ambition — but that may not even be held against you, there is not a wrong answer to this question. “I really want to hear honesty. The major motivation I have in asking this question is to see if;

1. You have a general plan for the next five years.

2. Whether your plans are realistic or not.

3. How your plans can factor into your potential role at your new job” says ramdom111

In any case, the employer expects an honest answer relative to your skills and competency. Maybe you are a short timer and will be working for only a few months. Who knows, you can be the type that wants to stay on the job for a longer duration. Only an appropriate answer can tell the kind of employee you’ll be.

No employer wants to hear how bad you want the job

There are many ways to answer the question. How you choose to answer it will determine how the interviewer will draw his conclusions. For example “I have no experience in this field but I am a fast learner. I also enjoy helping others grow and inventing new ideas that can help in problem-solving. So if the company see these values in me down the line, I would be glad to work myself up to be part of the leadership or decision making role in this company”. Do not go about telling the employer how bad you want the job and how you would do anything to keep working for the company. This portrays desperation and insincerity.

Employers want to know how long you plan to work

“I never used to ask this question thinking it was stupid until I saw an employer on Reddit narrate of how a prospective employee told him he planned spending his next five years in a foreign country and only needed a six months job to save some capital for the trip” says another CEO. This question is very important to the employer in order not to make the mistake of hiring the wrong person for the job. Also, it is important so as to take note and not invest so much or too little in an employee. Your answer gives the employer an idea of what to expect from you and where exactly to fit you in case you get hired.

Employers need to know where your real interests lie

In case of future reference as to personal skills development, every employer needs an in-depth understanding of the interests and passions of his employees. How you answer this question gives your employer a sneak-peek on how far you hope to grow in your new found career. An appropriate answer shows you have a genuine interest in the field you are looking to work in. A wrong answer proves otherwise.

Try as much as you can not to be so casually optimistic. Don’t be the ” I see myself at the top” type. This would expose your juvenility on career development and portray you as someone who feels “entitled”. Also, don’t be the big talker. Do not make any bold statements like you are going to be your interviewers boss in the shortest possible time — especially if you have no idea about the inner workings of the company. “Being confident is great but make sure to back it up with a plan of action that makes sense in reality” Broforceone

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