A commonly asked question to prospective employees is “Where would you like to be in your career five years from now?”. Interviewers ask this question to see the level of commitment a person has towards the short and long term goals of the company. Hiring new employees is costly, and if the person’s goals align with the job description, this shows dedication to stay with the company.
You should avoid saying “I don’t know” in response to this question, since it indicates that you are not prepared or lack ambition. In order to best answer this question during an interview, the prospective employee must be prepared ahead of time. Research the company and prepare short and long term goals that support the company’s mission statement. Consider what skills you have and plan to develop through experiences to meet personal and professional career goals. Ensure that your goals line up with the correct department or industry that you are hoping to work in. If unsure of the skills and general experiences needed, talk to someone in the field to gain insight. Your plan to stay with the company should demonstrate that you are intentional in reaching your goals, yet flexible enough to adapt based on the company’s needs.
A prospective employee can be successful in an interview with a plan on how they can contribute to the success of a company. By emphasizing skills and an eagerness to gain competency and improve, this shows the ambition and positive impact the person can have on the company’s work team and culture.