I would like to know how to answer in a panel a question of “where do you see yourself in the next five years to come? “
This is always a tricky one to answer, because you are not sure what is in the interviewers mind when they ask it. Actually I am not sure they always know what is in their mind, or what they expect to hear!
This is just one of those questions that interviewers use to provoke conversation with you, and get to learn a little about you and your career goals.
Other versions of this question, which need to be treated in a similar way, may be phrased as;-
- Tell me about your long-term career goals
- What would success look like to you in 5 years?
- What do you want to achieve in your career?
Bear in mind you may be on tricky ground here, because you can’t envisage their plans for the company or for you. So it may be a good idea to keep your answer a little bit vague. This is not a tactic I would advise generally at interview, but may be politic here.
Remember that from an employer’s point of view, recruiting, interviewing, induction and training of new staff are time consuming and expensive, and distract them from the main thrust of the business. So they are looking for candidates who are motivated and hardworking and who are likely to stay with the company.
They also want to know that success in this position is important to you, so you will perform well if selected. They don’t want someone who is not that bothered about this role, so you don’t want to give the impression that this is just a filler till you find what you really want.
So your answer seeks to reassure them that you want the job, will stick at it, will work hard, be good at it , but would be willing and capable of accepting new challenges, being flexible about changes, and growing with the company if that is appropriate. While at the same time you are able to fit into the existing company structure.
Quite a tall order!
So this is why keeping it general may be a good plan. Neither you nor the interviewer know what the future holds, so resist naming specific job titles you aspire to. Instead indicate that you are ready to commit to the company and want to develop your career with them. And that you really want this position, and see it as a great next step.
Hope this has helped