"Ideally, five years from now, I would love to see myself growing into a more prominent leadership role within your organization. My career interests align very nicely with your company's goals which helps me to see a great long-term fit here."
The interviewer would like to know your longer-term career plans. It's impossible to know where you will be in 5 years but you need to assure the interviewer that, given all possible circumstances, you could see yourself as a long-term fit for their position.
Specific Career Examples
"In five years I plan to remain here, as a teacher, but perhaps work as a learning leader as well. I am ready for the additional responsibility, and I understand that your school would help me to achieve that long-term goal."
"I currently manage a small production team; however, in five years I would like to grow into a regional management position. I researched the career path in your organization and saw that you spend a great deal of time grooming your employees for quick promotion."
"Five years from now, I would like to be an executive assistant in your c-suite. I am gaining a great deal of experience as an administrator and feel that I will be ready for this responsibility in that time frame."
"Five years from now, I would like to be supervising or managing a marketing team of my own. I feel like I am progressing at a rate that will make this a possibility."
"In five years I would like to be seen as an authority in the SaaS industry. I would like to be well-connected and trusted when it comes to my work here."
"Five years from now I am interested in running my franchise. I have researched the requirements you have set for potential franchise owners and have already started saving my money to purchase my location."
Tell me about a career related goal that you set and did not reach.
Professional Answers Preview
"Last January, I set a goal to learn the Python programming language by June; however, a few unexpected work-based projects came up which slowed my progress. Instead, I have been practicing and studying the language every Sunday evening. I hope to be comfortable with the programming language by August."
Tell the interviewer about a goal you set for yourself, but failed to meet. Show the interviewer that you are ambitious and, rather than giving up, you are going to try to achieve that goal again. Everyone has goals they have failed to reach so do not be embarrassed about that aspect. The interviewer is more interested in knowing that you are persistent and tenacious.
Specific Career Examples
"Last year I set a goal for myself to test as an expert user in Excel. I studied online tutorials for weeks and took mock tests as often as I could. When the time came for me to test, I graded at only an Advanced level. I was disappointed that I did not test as an expert; however, I still did very well and continued to work at it."
"One goal I had in mind was to attend two workshops per year, focused on leadership. Volumes in my current organization increased exponentially, which was excellent. However, my goal fell by the wayside. I would like to get back on track with this goal once time allows."
"I set a goal to be a retail store manager by the time I was 25. This goal did not happen, as the company I worked for, for five years, was acquired by a competitor just months before my promotion was to take place. It was a disappointment, but this is what's driving me to apply to bigger and better roles, just like this opportunity!"
"This past year, I wanted to double my sales quota, earning a commission check of $80,000. I worked very hard by making additional cold calls, doubling up on my customer touch points, and being available for my clients 24/7. In the end, I did not reach my goal. However, I did beat my quota by 40% which was still an excellent achievement."
"One goal I set was to take our girls' soccer team to Nationals this year. We practiced frequently, and very hard. We didn't make Nationals, and the girls were disappointed. I took it as an opportunity to take the momentum and re-focus their efforts on next season."
"I set a goal to receive a promotion to marketing manager last year. I did not get the promotion; rather, they transferred an existing manager from an alternate location. It was a disappointment, but I understood their side. It's often easier to transfer than to retrain a new person."
"I am thrilled to be interviewing here for your robotics engineer opportunity. I believe with the talents and skill set I bring to your team, we will solve some very challenging problems. This role is an opportunity I have been seeking for some time now, so I plan to stay for the long term should I be lucky enough to be hired."
This question is a short variation of the typical interview question, 'Where do you see yourself in five years?' Instead, the interviewer may ask more directly, 'Where do you see yourself in the next year?'
Interviewing, hiring, and onboarding is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor for any company. The interviewer wants to know that, if engaged, you will see this as a longer-term fit. Discuss your career plans, goals, and how those fit with what this company is offering. Describe your passion for this opportunity, and what you like about the company for which you are applying.
Specific Career Examples
"A year from now I would like to be learning and growing in a friendly organization that cares about its customers and its staff. I have been progressing in the administration field for the last three years, and I know there is more to learn such as tricks in Excel, and technical writing."
"My twelve-month plan is to join your organization and earn my way into a floor manager position. I have a great deal of experience with team management, customer dispute, and inventory. I believe you will see me well-suited for a management role in a short amount of time."
"One year from now I would like to be well versed in your production operations, and be leading your production team. Perhaps having a few new hires, I would also like to see myself making an impact on your company's employee retention rate and safety records."
"One year from now I would like to see myself climbing the ranks as your top sales representative in this region. It's important to me that I am a winner - I'm competitive!"
"One year from now I would like to be a solid part of your faculty and this community. It's important to me that I become involved in the community and the lives of my students which is why I would also seek a volunteer opportunity closely related to the school's goals."
"I am currently completing my Copyblogger Certified Content Marketer course. One year from now, I would like to be applying this knowledge to my role with your organization."