When you are asked by a recruiter “Where do you see yourself in the next five years?”, remember to respond carefully. While it is perfectly fine to think that you want to run your own business, climb the corporate ladder to an executive position, run the company you are applying to, or even take the position of the recruiter, it is not advisable that you speak out loud whatever comes into your mind.
Even giving answers like “I don’t know what the future holds, after all, no one knows what’s going to happen tomorrow let alone five years from now” won’t do you any good.
Think of this question as an opportunity to boost your chances of landing the job. A good answer to this question can go a long way in helping you get the job. So do not take this question lightly and do your best.
If you want to come up with a perfect answer then you need to answer several short-questions beforehand.
What does success means to you? What are you exactly aiming for? What is the career path that you want to take? What interests you the most? What are the two-three most important things to you in your career? What will satisfy you?
The answer to these questions will help you find your goals which you can in turn use to make a career path for yourself.
It is essential that you realize that you do need to be ambitious, but you also have to be realistic at the same time.
The question “Where do you see yourself in the next five years?” is posed to you because the hiring managers want to know your short-term as well as long-term goals along with how ambitious, motivated, committed, and realistic you are.
So approach the question by outlining where the position you are applying to could take you in the next five years and how your professional goals will align with the direction your career takes by joining the company. While you do have to answer as if you are a member of the company already, do not mention it explicitly that you want the job to achieve your ultimate goals.
Prepare your answer carefully and make sure that it is realistic. Then practice. Remember that by practicing to speak confidently and having the right body language, you can convince the recruiters that you are indeed the candidate they are looking for.