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Posted 20th January 2020 • Written by People First •

Job Interview Tips - “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

This is a difficult question to answer because there’s not really a right answer but, as with most interview questions, there are wrong answers!

What might be your honest answer (“Not here” or “Doing your job”, etc.) is not what you should say.


The reason people ask the question is because they want to know more about your career goals, that they are realistic and fit what is possible in the role, that you are ambitious (if that’s good for this job), motivated and are serious about them and the job.

Even though most people have no idea what they’ll be doing in 5 years’ time and are applying for different jobs in different industries (even the interviewer may have left in 5 years’ time!), make sure you have an answer ready to show you have a plan and an idea of what you want to do, and that it includes them.


Start by doing research into the company; look at their website because it may describe career paths in more detail and the job spec might mention training that’s available.

Stress your interest staying with them in the long-term, so they feel they won’t be wasting their time and money training you and that you’re planning your future with them, even though in reality a million different things could happen (to you, to the job, to the company, etc.)

Show your enthusiasm for the job and the company, talk about wanting to work somewhere you can use and develop your skills, learn new ones from colleagues and take on more responsibility over time.

But don’t be too specific either and say your plan is to be a Director with a salary of £xxx,xxx (unless you’re going for a sales job); you need your answer to be realistic.

Don’t scare them or give a reason for them to be concerned you have alternative plans; for example, if you mention you’re going to do an MBA they think you’ll leave, or that you’re going to set up your own company then their investment in you will be wasted, or that you’re planning/hoping to go travelling the world.

Keep your answer focused on them and convince them that you plan to stay and grow with them.

Click to see more Interview and CV tips from People First Recruitment to help in your search for a Mandarin speaking job, a Japanese job, a Language job or a job in Supply Chain, Procurement or Demand Planning in London & the UK