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How to answer "where do you see yourself in five years"

A common interview question is "where do you see yourself in five years?" What the interviewer is really trying to determine is where your personal career goals coincide with the growth path for the position you are applying for. Some companies are looking for someone who wants to grow in to bigger roles but other companies want someone who will master the role they are applying for and keep doing it for many years to come. You probably won't know what kind of company you are talking to in the interview, so how do you answer this question?

Be general.
Don't be too specific in your answer. Unless you know for sure it's a company that wants employees to grow in to bigger roles don't tell them exactly what job title you want in five years time. It's safer to just give a general answer.

Focus on a long term career.
Explain you are looking for a long term career with the company. This shows you are really interested in the company itself and you aren't just looking for a job anywhere. Demonstrate to them that you intend to stick around and you won't leave in two years time. 

Mastering the role.
Focus on wanting to learn as much about the role as possible. Show them that you are interested in the role and you want to be able to do excellent work for the company. Let me know you have a growth mindset.

My current goal is to find a position at a company where I can grow and help with new challenges in time. In the future I’d like to take on more responsibility and get involved in projects. Most importantly, I want to work for an organization where I can contribute for the long term.

A career coach can help you prepare for an interview.

You might also be interested in reading: Questions you should not answer in an interview.