F is for… Where do you see yourself in FIVE YEARS?
Preparation for this question includes writing your own general Five Year Plan. Both our Career Development Notebook and Prompt 52 encourage you to write a Five Year Plan. So hopefully you will already have a five-year plan in place. You just have to tailor your five-year plan as part of your job interview preparation. This means you need to think about where the job you are interviewing for fits into your five-year plan and what you would want to be doing in your first five years on the specific job, not just want you want to be doing in five years.
By asking this question the Interviewer will by trying to assess whether your career aspirations match their expectations of their ideal candidate and the advertised role. They may be looking for someone with staying power, not someone who is using the job as a stepping stone for their next job. Or they might be recruiting for someone with the intention of filling a slightly higher level role in a few years or be keen for them to progress with the company.
Consider this question in light of each role you interview for taking into consideration – your plan, the company’s likely expectations for the role taking into account the job description, traditional career paths and corporate culture.
If this question does NOT come up at an interview as a candidate and their plans for the role over the next few years have not been outlined (or you have not been given any indication of their career development process) this might be a question you want to ask – how do you see the role and the candidate filling the role developing and progressing over the next five years.
Using your career journal will help you find inspiration for Interview Questions and help you prepare, practice and review your answers. This can be a great technique which is why I have chosen to use the A to Z of Interview Questions Posts as Journal Prompts. If you don’t already have a career journal this is the perfect excuse to get started.