Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Arran Williams, November 5, 2015

Candidate A: I will be the CEO of this company
Candidate B: I will be happy in my current position
Candidate C: I will be doing your job
Candidate D: Not in this job
Candidate E: I want to be earning £50,000 or more

Which is the better answer?

The truth is none of them…

‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ is one of the most popular interview questions and in our experience the one that people struggle with the most.

When I finished University I didn’t know where I wanted to be in 1 year let alone 5 years!

Before we start offering you advice on how to answer this question, it is important to understand why this question is so frequently asked.

Firstly, employers want to find out whether you are looking for a job or a career.

Secondly, employers want to find out whether your own goals align with those of their company and that you are on the same or at least similar page.

Lastly, employers want to find out if you are highly motivated toward the offered position.

So now we understand why, we should probably discuss some pointers on what it is that interviewers really want to hear…

Dedication to grow within the company


Emphasise on how you wish to grow and excel in the position that you are actually applying for.
Employers will be impressed at the knowledge that you have of the position as this shows that you have come prepared. Don't worry you are not expected to know the full details of how you would get there, but it's good to show that you are willing and want to be a dedicated and loyal employee.

Your skill set

dog skills

This is a great opportunity to show off your skill set and demonstrate what an asset you will be to the company/organisation. Explain how your current skill set can help to lead to the company to a greater success due to your contribution, emphasising on how you can leave your mark in 5 years.


spongebob gif

Employers want to know that you are excited and enthusiastic at the prospect of you working for them. When answering this question, show them that you are genuinely happy to talk about future prospects within the company. Make sure that your tone is upbeat and positive to confirm your passion.

Being Realistic

big deal

Whilst being ambitious is a very desirable trait, it’s equally important to be realistic. Claiming that you will become the CEO of the organisation in 5 years time might (and probably will!) come off as both arrogant and cocky.

Instead, research the company before and get clued up on job progression. A helpful tip would be to look on employer profiles on Linkedin and get a rough idea of their progress.

And finally…

Being Prepared


Just like everything that you prepare for for the big day (clothing, journey, questions to ask etc) this should also hold the same importance!

By using these pointers, you should be able to construct an answer that will both impress and confirm your interest in the job.

Good luck!

Do you have any additional advice on answering this question? Let us know in the comment section below.