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In our previous blog How to Handle Awkward Interview Questions – Part 1, we looked at ways to answer some of the classic ‘difficult questions’ an interviewer is likely to pose.
In this second part of the blog series, we look at what could potentially be viewed as the trickiest question of all at the present time...
…Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A challenging question at the best of times and certainly now, during a global pandemic, perhaps not the easiest thing to answer! However, it is a question which interviewers still tend to ask as the want to know if you actually want the specific job you’re interviewing for and if you see yourself working at their organisation for the long haul.
As a candidate it can be hard to know how to answer this as you don’t want to sound like you lack ambition but you also don’t want to sound like this job would just be a stepping stone to something better.
In a recent Forbes article on the subject, Adunola Adeshola, author of the piece, highlights that you should do the following three things to answer this question well:
“Focus on the responsibilities you hope to partake in over the next five years. Next time try something like, “In the next five years, I see myself growing and becoming an expert in [job function/industry]. I see myself still working on challenging projects like [specific projects mentioned in the job description or interview] and probably taking on even more challenging work as I learn and develop even more skills.”
“Focusing on how you want to feel when answering this question also gives you the chance to subtly infuse the elements that are important to you in your next career move. Plus, if the company’s culture and values align with your career goals (as they should),this will give you the chance to further prove to the interviewer that you’d be a great addition to the team.
Here’s an example of what you could say: “I see myself feeling excited about the work I do. I see myself working with colleagues and a manager who still inspires and empowers me to keep growing and stretching myself to achieve and exceed expectations.”
“Companies want to hire problem solvers and team players and this question is a great opportunity to show that you have a strong desire to make an impact over the next five years. Focusing on how you plan to contribute is a creative way to do that without predicting the future and mentioning specific details that may or not happen five years from now.”
By only focusing on these three things, you’ll be able to answer this question with more confidence and authenticity, and you’ll likely increase your chances of getting hired. Find out why authenticity is so important at work in another of our blogs and read the full Forbes article here.
Nothing can ever completely prepare you for what an interviewer might ask but hopefully armed with this information you can make a great impression when asked the most common yet difficult questions, which can help you on your way to finding your dream job.
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