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Answering job interview questions honestly: Where do you see yourself in five years?


Secret Agent
Staff member
What do you do when a potential employer asks you psycho-analyzing questions such as “where do you see yourself in five years?”

I, for one, have never had the same job for more than four years... I work for myself now, so I havenMt had to deal with this question in a while, but it was always a tricky one.

I would usually say something along the lines of “if I am able to continually grow in my career here, then I would hope to be advancing here several times over the next five years.”

Only thing is, I often times would end up feeling like I wasn’t advancing. I do think my answer was honest though. We all feel differently going into a job than when we leave and often times that has to do with how far we can go in that company.

Some people are happy with keeping the same job for five years. I was never that type. I always want to be growing. That’s a big plus to some employers but a threat to others. Personally I think companies who encourage growth and welcome employees who desire that make for better employers.


Well-Known Member
I'm coming up on 5 years in September (technically in May but we have a stupid way of counting it).

My goal was to move from being an IT Temp to a permanent technician or a higher grade IT technical expert. I had achieved both of these goals within 1 year. I had 2 promotions to new technical levels in IT (I went from a service advisor level 1 to service advisor level 2 and eventually to technician level 3. After that I made a move to the Events department where I became an AV Engineer. I am currently the technical lead for that team. I haven't really gone up so much in the last couple of years. Unfortunately, while my job is pretty good, there really isn't room for growth unless I get lucky and a broadcast engineering position opens up. Those guys have all worked at my company for years though, no reason to think they're going to need a new person or that any of them will retire. I like my job but in the long term, this may make me look for work elsewhere, whether that's a return to IT or some other creative solution.


Registered Member
I've never been asked the question, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" during a job interview before because the jobs I've applied to over the years have been dead end, menial jobs that don't pay well.


/ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5
The last time I've been asked that, it was for a job that I didn't apply for (they got my name from my graduate school) but it was a big company (in the top 50 of Fortune 500 list) so I showed up to the interview. But it was also a period of my life when I didn't have a lot of plans aside from a month long tour. So when they asked me, I laughed and said honestly that I have no clue. I'm not even sure what I'll be doing in a couple of months, much more a year...or 5. They (it was a panel interview) seemed surprised at my honesty. Must have worked because a week after they wrote to say they'll hire me and are willing to wait until I return from my tour, haha.