Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Many job seekers are afraid to answer this Top 10 question because an answer that is inconsistent with the current position could disqualify them. But at the same time, who wants to be doing the same thing for the next five years? The best and safest way to answer this question should be based on the logical progression of the position you are interviewing for.

That way you’re showing them you want to do the current job at hand, but as you get better at it, you would like to take on more responsibility and grow in that position.

(I have 3 samples answers for you below)

DO THIS when answer: Where do you see yourself in five years?

  • Your answer should reflect commitment to the job.
  • Give them a real plan for this position and where you see yourself going in it.
  • Show them how you’ll do it and the resources you’ll need along the way.
  • Prove you have solid plans on how to attain your future goal.
  • Since they are looking 5 years in the future, allow them to visualize you in this position 5 years from now. Show them a natural progression of you in this role.
  • Be realistic with your 5 year plan.


  • Don’t tell them your plan is to use this position as a stepping stone in your career or they will feel like you are using them for your own personal gain.
  • Don’t give them an impossible, unrealistic 5 year plan.
  • Don’t tell them you want their job – that is far too threatening.
  • Don’t tell them you want to work here for a while and then move to another company that is your dream job.
  • Don’t tell them you see yourself making more money.

Don's advice for you...

Start with your short term career goals or goals for the position and then move towards the long term and explain WHY that is the direction you want to move in. If you don’t say why, it’s harder to figure out if you are just sprouting off a meaningless answer or if your heart is really in it.  “In the short term, I plan to work as a [blank] and focus on [blank].  Then as I progress in this role, I could see myself working into [blank] area.

Sample answers to:  Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

1.) In five years I would expect to have been successful in this position to the point that I am able to impact major department decisions. At that time I would be looking to take my career to the next level and become a team lead.

2.) Five years from now I hope to have been able to build this position to oversee more clients and to become a senior consultant. I work every day to become worthy of having my dream job and I would bring that determination to this team every day.

3.) My plan is to build up this position as much as possible. I value the power of the individual to grow where they stand. In five years I plan to look back knowing I did my best to leave this position better than how I came into it.

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