Growing up, you may have pictured your career going one way. In reality, it’s gone in a completely different direction. Going forward, you don’t really know where you’re headed – except that you’re open to new opportunities and possibilities.
So, when a hiring manager asks you the inevitable “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” question, it can be tough to answer. The truth is: You don’t know. But you don’t want to sound like you’re uncertain, unfocused, or simply happy to sit by and let your career flap in the wind.
Why do hiring managers ask this question to begin with?
As top recruiters in Tempe, PrideStaff knows it’s typically so they can understand how the job opening fits with any career goals or paths you might have in mind. They’ve likely been burned before by a candidate who seemed like a perfect fit – only to leave after two months because the position didn’t “align with their career path.”
Your answer to this question can help pinpoint to a hiring manager whether you’re a strong fit for the job. For instance, if the job has the potential to lead into management, and you hope to become a manager one day, then it’s going to make you a better contender for the position.
That said, you don’t have to answer this question with a specific plan in place or goal in mind. Most people don’t know where they’ll be in five years, let alone next year. So when you answer this question, just consider why this position interests you and why it makes sense for your career right now. It’s also ok to tell them that you’re not sure about the future.
Your response could sound something like this:
You know, Mike, I can’t say for certain. But I know I’m looking for a company where I can establish some roots. I want to find a position where I can take on new challenges, grow as a professional and make valuable contributions to the team. I’m not just looking for any job, I’m looking for a place to build a career.
One key point here is to be honest in your answer. If you don’t see yourself in a management role one day, don’t lie and say you do just because you think that’s what the hiring manager wants to hear. If you twist the truth, you could wind up in a position and with a company that’s not the right fit for you.
Do you need more help finding job leads and acing interviews?
Call the employment experts at PrideStaff. As top recruiters in Tempe, we can give you access to job opportunities that aren’t always advertised – ones that are a great fit for your skills and experience! Contact PrideStaff today to learn more about how we can help you.