"Where do you see yourself in 5 years?", this is one of the most frequently asked tricky questions in an interview. Job seekers often make numerous mistakes while answering this. A well structured and planned answer to "where do you see yourself in 5 years" can set you apart from the other candidates. This article will help you recognize what the interviewer thinks while asking you this question and how you can deliver the best answer to this question. 

Before framing an answer to "where do you see yourself in 5 years?", it is imperative to understand why the recruiter asks you this question; only then can you arrive at the best answer to it.  

When you are asked where you see yourself in 5 years, it is a pure question about your career goals. Employers want to know your goals and check if it aligns with the job they're offering. They wish to know if this new job role will satisfy you in the long run and if you intend to stick to the company in the future. Employers run a check and see if you have realistic expectations for your career, and they gauge you on your vision and ambitions. 

Most jobs need training. No employer would desire to invest their time and money in a candidate who is planning to leave. Hence, companies aim to hire excellent prospects for their businesses, those who are enthusiastic about the job, and those who are dependable.

Now that you know what an employer's intention is while asking you, "where do you see yourself in 5 years?", you can frame an answer accordingly. You can certainly reply honestly but it is essential to present your answer well, in a way that can help you get hired.  

Think of this question as an opportunity for you to carry out a little career planning as well. You must think for yourself and check if the job you are applying for aligns with your broader professional goals. This way, you can get an insight into your career direction before formulating an answer.  

Here are a few magic tips to help you answer "where do you see yourself in 5 years?" smoothly.

Have a plan

Do not answer this question with an "I don’t know" as this shows that you have no seriousness towards this job and your career. It shouldn't look like this job is just a way to pass your time or an opportunity to break your unemployment gap.

Keep it real

It would be best if you stay grounded while answering this question and not bring up unrealistic expectations. For example, you should refrain from saying that you see yourself as a COO or a CMO in the next 5 years. Giving such unrealistic replies will give the employer a feeling that you are over-ambitious. Hence, abstain from speaking about promotions or senior job roles. 

Think long and short term

So, how are you supposed to answer this question? My tip to you is to present your answers as actions rather than just goals. It is advised that you break this question into parts: one as a short-term goal and another as a long-term goal. This will help you channelize your answer and provide good clarity to the interviewer. 

Show sincerity

Here's a sample answer that you can build around. You could say, "For the next couple of years, I would like to immerse myself in this job and improve my skills around it. After which, I would like to take up additional responsibilities and help others in the organization with my expertise." Saying this shows how focused you are on this role, how excited you are to learn new skills, and at the same time, it also shows that your learning will benefit the company in the future. Make sure to mention a set of actions you will undertake to help facilitate your growth and not the ultimate goal by itself. Answering this way will make you look like an asset to the company in the long run. 

Preparing for this question is a great exercise in understanding your passion and what is meaningful to you in the future. Take the time to think about it and present your answer well. This way, there are more chances for you to be hired, and you will be truly happy about where you will be in the next 5 years.  


In this article, you have seen the best way to answer "where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?". Additionally, you received an overview of what the employer thinks while asking you this question. A vague answer to this question can wreck a great job opportunity for you. 

Hence, be sure to build a brilliant answer by following the tips given in this article. For further details, be sure to refer to the following video -

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