“What’s Your 5-Year Plan?”

“What’s Your 5-Year Plan?”

“Where do you see yourself in five years?” It’s simply another variation of this dreaded interview question. But when you’re not sure of where you see yourself next week or next year, it can be tough to answer.

That said, for a hiring manager looking for a solid answer, your response could make an impact on whether you get an offer. Why?

As one of today’s leading staffing agencies, Peoplelink knows when hiring managers ask this question, they want a better understanding of your career goals so they can ensure the job and their company aligns with them. They want to know if you do get hired, you don’t simply want “a job”;  you’re genuinely interested in “their job” and not looking to make a career move six months down the line. Learning about your goals can help them do that.

So what are some of the best – and the worst – ways to answer this question? Here’s a look:

When You Don’t Have a Plan

You can say something like: “While I don’t have a specific plan for where I see myself in five years, I do envision myself as a successful professional in the field, learning new skills that help me contribute to the overall success of the company.

When You Do Have a Plan

“In five years, I see myself in more of a management role. I’d ultimately like to be in a position where I can use my leadership and people skills, along with my industry knowledge to benefit the company and my co-workers.

What Not to Say 

Some of the worst answers you could offer include:

  • “I’m not really sure.”
  • “I’ve never really thought about it.”
  • “Relaxing on a beach in Mexico.”
  • “Retired.”
  • “Running the company.”
  • “To be your boss.”

While you should never respond with any of the above worst answers, you should always be genuine. If something isn’t true for you, don’t say it. Remember, you’re simply trying to help the hiring manager understand whether or not the position is a good fit for where you’re going in your career. So if you offer a phony answer, you may wind up in a role or at a company that’s not well suited for you.

If you’d like more advice for getting and preparing for job interviews, let Peoplelink know. As one of today’s leading staffing agencies, we will listen to your needs, find out about your career goals, and do our best to help you get where you want to be. Ready to get started? Contact us today or search our jobs now.