MockQuestions

Common Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your next job interview, here are 30 common interview questions and answer examples.

Common was written by and updated on January 8th, 2022. Learn more here.

Question 9 of 30

Where do you see yourself in five years?

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Advice and Examples: Where do you see yourself in five years?

  1. 9.

    Where do you see yourself in five years?

      The Goal

      The interviewer wants assurance that you're a fit for the company now and in the future. They also want evidence that your career goals match what the company can offer you. The goal of your response is to show the interviewer that you are clear about your career goals and that you believe their company can provide you with the career challenges and growth needed to remain happy five years from now.

      What to Avoid

      Avoid answers like, 'In five years, I plan to work here, maybe even in your job!' (insert awkward laughter). The interviewer will quickly see that you have not done your research on the opportunity, and you're trying to mask that fact by telling a joke.

      Pro Tip

      Conduct some LinkedIn research on the company and its team members. Gain a better understanding of the typical career trajectory of the people who held this role before you. For instance, your LinkedIn research may show that the previous general manager was promoted to regional manager after five years and then promoted to area director after three years. This research would give you a strong sense of what is reasonable for career growth in the organization. If you have stable tenure with jobs in the past (the length of time you've been there), be sure to highlight this positive factor.

      How to Answer

      Start by understanding your career goals in the present and five years into the future. Take a look at the career growth options with the company. If any of these stand out to you, it's a great idea to mention them to the interviewer and clearly outline why these growth options are a match for the career trajectory you envision for yourself. Your expressed interest in specific internal growth opportunities will solidify that you are, indeed, seeking a long-term fit with the hiring company.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am looking for a long-term career opportunity. As you can see, I have had solid and consistent career growth. I would love to see the same pattern of success and tenure with your company. As an international organization, I understand that this company has global leadership opportunities that arise from time to time. If I could work my way into a leadership role here or in another country, I would be thrilled."

      Rachelle's Admin Example Answer

      "Five years from now, I would like to be an executive assistant supporting one of your corporate executives. I have built a great deal of experience as an administrator and feel that the next step to EA is reasonable in that time frame. To meet this goal, I plan to learn more about employee recognition software and begin to build more tech prowess with systems such as Hootsuite and Salesforce."

      Rachelle's Manager Example Answer

      "The next natural step in my career is to be granted the role of general manager with your production team. In five years, I would like to grow into a regional management position. I researched career path opportunities in your organization and see that you spend a great deal of time preparing your employees for promotions, which I was happy to see. I believe that to make a jump in five years from general manager to regional manager, I should focus on strengthening my exposure to inter-departmental communication and remote employee management."

      Rachelle's Sales Example Answer

      "In five years, I would like to be seen as a sales leader in the SaaS industry. I plan to be well-connected and trusted regarding the work and results that I bring to your organization. To achieve this goal, I plan to take on every continued education opportunity presented to me with full enthusiasm. I plan to learn everything that I can from my leaders and have already begun to seek a mentor."

      Rachelle's Retail Example Answer

      "I am interested in running a franchise location of my own. I have researched your organization's requirements for franchise owners and have already started saving money to purchase a location. I believe in the brand story and plan to be fully invested now and in the years to come."

      Rachelle's Teacher Example Answer

      "I value stability and longevity. In five years, I plan to be at your school, perhaps as the learning leader of the math or science department. To reach this goal, I will seek out opportunities to mentor others. I will volunteer to be a coach of a sports team within your school to make stronger connections with the student body. Also, I will continue to grow professionally through ongoing education opportunities. Down the road, I plan to get my master's degree in leadership, another valuable asset to the school that I will call home."

      Rachelle's Marketing Example Answer

      "In five years, I would like to be leading the digital marketing team and working towards a directorship position. I have seen examples of this career progression in your organization and want this same career trajectory for myself. To achieve this goal, I will dedicate myself to continued learning and will become a mentor to others while also seeking an internal leader to act as my professional mentor."

      27 Community Answers

      Anonymous interview answers with our interview experts feedback

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "Although it is hard to see what job title I would acquire in 5 years, I would see myself moving up the ladder to managing a team of creatives based on my performance level. I am eager to help the company in any way I can."

      Rachelle's Feedback for the Answer Above

      Brilliant response!

      How would you rate Rachelle's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "I am looking for a long-term fit in my next position. As you can see, I had steady progress and career growth in my previous company. I would love to see the same success with your company. I noticed on your website you have global leadership opportunities. If I could work my way into a role like that, I would be thrilled!"

      Rachelle's Feedback for the Answer Above

      A perfect way to use the MockQuestions example answer! Mentioning a specific role that you'd like to grow into is an excellent way to respond to this question.

      How would you rate Rachelle's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "I am looking to grow with Stryker long term in this role as the company grows and expands. If there is an opportunity for a regional or national role, I would be interested in growing in that capacity."

      Rachelle's Feedback for the Answer Above

      This is specific and measurable.

      How would you rate Rachelle's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "I see myself at the same company with which I am interviewing right now. I am not planning on job-hopping because I have done enough of that at my internships and would like to settle down, relax and thoroughly learn the tech of a single company. I prefer to remain in an engineering position rather than a business one. I feel e-commerce is the future so I am confident in remaining in this space."

      Amanda's Feedback for the Answer Above

      It sounds like you feel ready to take on a new professional challenge! The interviewer is using this question to determine if this role is a good fit with your overall goals or something you're interested in only until something better comes along. You can use this question as an opportunity to talk about how this position would challenge you, enable you to take on bigger responsibilities, and fit with your overall career goals. This makes it important to talk about how the role you're applying to would help you gain the experience or skills needed to help you get to where you want to be in 5 years. A well-considered response can show the interviewer that you've considered the advantages and disadvantages of the position, when it comes to the potential impact it will have on your future.

      How would you rate Amanda's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "I plan to build a long-term career with your company, if given the opportunity I will still be here and will be seen as a productive, trusted, and reliable member of the team, whose service skills and knowledge of the job will consistently add value to the business."

      Amanda's Feedback for the Answer Above

      This is a good place to start! Companies typically want to hire those that have a desire to stay over the long term. However, I'd suggest improving this response by being more specific about where you see yourself. Employers often ask this question to gain a clearer insight into your future goals and how those goals match up with the position you're applying for. However, it doesn't mean you have to name a particular role you want to be in. It could be as simple as naming skills you want to gain, the path you see yourself taking to becoming a respected manager (Is there another role you need to advance to first?), naming a particular committee or project you'd like to work on, or talking about any additional training or certifications you'd like to earn that would help further your career. Where possible, draw connections between your career goals and the skills or traits required by the job description for the role you're applying to.

      How would you rate Amanda's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "I am in the process of getting my PMP certification, also, I am looking for a long-term fit in my next position. As you can see, I had steady progress and career growth in my previous company. I would love to see the same success with your company. On one hand, I would look to take on more complex projects to tune up my project management skills, on the other side, I am looking to take on more leadership roles. I noticed on your website you have global leadership opportunities. If I could work my way into a role like that, I would be thrilled!"

      Amanda's Feedback for the Answer Above

      Great job! You've shared how you see your career progressing and what you're currently doing to help you achieve that goal. You've also identified how you see your career path aligning with additional opportunities within the company.

      How would you rate Amanda's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "I plan to be in the leadership position in the same area of business I am working. I set a goal to myself to learn as much about the process and the business. This will put me in a position to mentor new employees and impart my knowledge."

      Chad's Feedback for the Answer Above

      Good answer! Mentioning that you plan to advance to a leadership position and mentor new employees in the future is a smart approach. You may also want to consider expressing a desire to work for the company long-term.

      How would you rate Chad's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "I see myself working here as a registered nurse. However, I would like to serve on a committee, and I would like to play an active role in transitioning babies."

      Amanda's Feedback for the Answer Above

      Demonstrating long-term loyalty is often appreciated by your employer. Consider strengthening your response by talking about specific committees you'd like to join and how you see participating benefiting the employer and yourself. For example, would your participation provide specific insight into improving operations or streamlining workflows? Would you gain expertise in cross-functional collaboration or making presentations? Finally, share how both of these things - committee participation and transitioning babies - play into your long-term career goals.

      How would you rate Amanda's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "I want to be a sales leader well known in my industry. I want people seeking me out to work with me and trust me with their events."

      Stephanie's Feedback for the Answer Above

      This is a great start and it's clear that you're excited about professional growth, but I suggest developing this response a little more to show some specific, measurable goals that you hope to achieve in the five years ahead.

      How would you rate Stephanie's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "In five years, I would like to become an expert in this industry. To meet this goal, I will work hard and learn new knowledge and skills. Also, by working with other people in different areas, I will gain a lot of experience. Hopefully, in five years I will be an expert and share my experience with other people."

      Kevin's Feedback for the Answer Above

      It sounds like you’re hoping to give the general impression of wanting to grow within their company. But as there is likely no company position titled ‘Industry Expert’, you haven’t offered your interviewer any tangible goals. Not to mention, working with different people in different areas is probably part of the basic job description, and doesn’t offer anything unique. Nor have you exemplified an understanding of the type of career trajectory growth that exists within the company. By referring to the departments of their business as ‘different areas’, it is clear you haven’t done your homework to prepare you for the interview, which speaks to your work ethic and a lack of the motivation required for being promoted from within.

      "In five years, I would like to find my way into a leadership position in this department. I did my research and learned that they promoted the previous general manager to regional manager after five years, and then promoted to area director after three years. So I will do whatever I need to in order to meet this goal. I’ll work hard and learn, learn, learn. I’ll tap every resource at my disposal, enhancing my knowledge and skills whenever and wherever I can. Hopefully, in five years I’ll be a general manager for our department, or whatever role the firm sees fit to put my skills to the test."

      How would you rate Kevin's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "My goal right now is to find a position at a company where I can grow and take on new challenges over time. Ultimately, I'd like to assume more responsibilities and continue to expand my skills and challenge myself to think of big ideas. But most importantly, I want to work for an organization where I can build a career."

      Cindy's Feedback for the Answer Above

      That's great. Can you craft the answer to fit specifically into a potential (or general) need of the organization? Most employers want their talent to stay, grow, and most importantly contribute more. How do you envision yourself contributing more as you grow your skills?

      How would you rate Cindy's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "I want to be a leading researcher in the domain of data management system. I have expertise in research, as well as development of systems. Doing research in my Ph.D. in this domain with a prominent researcher, like my advisor, has helped me to invent and develop new ideas that are not available in today's systems. I want to do good research like this and make an impact in innovative data management solutions at Facebook."

      Cindy's Feedback for the Answer Above

      Terrific. Can you draw a closer connection between your goals and what Facebook can do to satisfy them?

      How would you rate Cindy's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "I am looking for a long-term career opportunity. As you can see, I had steady progress and career growth in my previous company. I would love to see the same success with your company. In the next few years, I would like to excel in my role in your company, know my team members to create good working relationships and be helpful to my team. Within five years, I'd like to earn a promotion to a leadership position where I can mentor my team members on customer service. I also plan to enroll in a course where I can learn another language. I will learn Spanish because this is the second-largest language spoken in the world. In this way, I can better help to provide extra service to customers that speak other languages."

      Stephanie's Feedback for the Answer Above

      Excellent response! This shows that you are driven, focused on your own professional growth, and are interested in establishing a long-term relationship with this particular company.

      How would you rate Stephanie's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "I want to make a commitment to this career and I want to build my career here. Fortunately, because I already work on the site, I'm crushing goals as we speak. My five year goal is to be mentoring and teaching new teammates and watching them succeed, knowing that if they are succeeding, I am too. I would like to become the trainer for the farm equipment and cattle and swine activities. It's an extremely big goal, but with what I have learned in the four years I've been here, it's totally possible if I put my heart into it."

      Stephanie's Feedback for the Answer Above

      Great response; your five-year plan shows a commitment to continued growth, leadership, and dedication to the company.

      How would you rate Stephanie's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "I'm in-house counsel for the company, with an even greater capacity to support company objectives."

      Rachelle's Feedback for the Answer Above

      This is an excellent goal! When providing an answer to this type of question, I recommend also including the action steps you plan to take to achieve this goal.

      How would you rate Rachelle's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "In the next 2-3 years, I plan to really master this position, excel, and be the best in it. I am driven to be the best at what I do, and I want to work somewhere where I'll have opportunities to develop my skills and work with people I can really learn from. I want to assume more management responsibilities and build a career here."

      Rachelle's Feedback for the Answer Above

      What would 'moving up the ladder' mean to you? I recommend avoiding overused or cliche terms and really take the time to dig into the heart of your answer. What are the next natural steps up from this role, and what skills/credentials do you need to gain those promotions? When it comes to leadership responsibilities, are you referring to leading a team or perhaps being in a more client-facing role? (*This is a good start but not quite there :) I advise really digging into the recommendations above.)

      How would you rate Rachelle's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "In my career, I have continued to take on more and more responsibility. Coming into your company as an associate manager, I would expect to be either the manager or director of a group in the next five years."

      Rachelle's Feedback for the Answer Above

      If possible, be sure that this is a natural path of an associate manager. For instance, you want to make sure that this 5-year goal is reasonable.

      How would you rate Rachelle's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "In 5 years I see myself possibly in at another level of engineering but still be working towards improving my professional skill along with my project management skills."

      Rachelle's Feedback for the Answer Above

      If you can, try to be more specific. Take a look at what job titles are available to you in this company, and mention one that caught your eye; along with how you will go about gaining the credentials needed to be awarded that position.

      "In 5 years, I see myself applying to a bigger engineering role with ABC Company, such as (job title). I plan to work on (skill A), (skill B), and my project management skills in an effort to get there one day. It's important to me that I am continually working on improving my professional reach."

      How would you rate Rachelle's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "When I was an MLT, I had a goal to become an MT. That was my goal. Being with a hospital setting gave me a wide experience. But I always wanted to learn new skills and new instruments. So for me to do that I have to change the facility."

      Lauren's Feedback for the Answer Above

      It sounds like you are looking for a career advance. I assisted with crafting a response that reflects your eagerness to grow.

      "Thus far, I have fulfilled my career goals in becoming an MT and gaining experience in a hospital setting. In the next five years, I would like to continue to grow and learn in the industry. I am seeking long-term employment to develop my skills and career."

      How would you rate Lauren's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "I am seeking a long-term fit with the USPS, as well as looking for career growth options."

      Kristine's Feedback for the Answer Above

      Great answer! Your interviewer will be glad to hear you're looking to stay with the company long-term. A couple of ways you can expand upon your answer would be to mention career growth in the past as evidence you are capable of growth and promotion. You could also explain how the role you want would help prepare you for a management position. I have revised your answer with this suggestion.

      "In five years, I see myself in a management position, making myself available to co-workers and management at all levels of operations. I believe this path aligns well with my career trajectory so far. I think being a (say the position you want here) would help me build skills and company knowledge that would prepare me for a management role."

      How would you rate Kristine's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "I see myself holding a senior role in UX design. I see myself as an authority in my field, and I like to put my skills to use, making a difference in people's lives in some small way. Are there opportunities to progress in your organization in UX design?"

      Rachelle's Feedback for the Answer Above

      The question you ask at the end is great! Trying to discover steps that you can take to fast track your progress is a smart move.

      How would you rate Rachelle's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "Well, I see myself here at Dollar Tree in five years running my own District and teaching my store manager to hire people to replace them so they can move up. And so can I. I don't see any reason why I wouldn't want to retire from Dollar Tree. I also shop at Dollar Tree almost every day. It's a solid growing company"

      Lauren's Feedback for the Answer Above

      Fantastic response. Interviewers are always looking for candidates who envision a long-term tenure with their company. I made some minor edits below.

      "I see myself working for Dollar Tree in five years. I have aspirations to move up in the company and eventually manage my own store. I want to create leadership opportunities within the staff I manage for all of us to learn more and grow within the company. I view Dollar Tree as a growing, thriving business (one that I shop at almost daily)."

      How would you rate Lauren's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "In five years I see myself still working for this company. At that time I would have come of age and maturity in my understanding of the company's culture, goals, and products. This understanding would allow me to help lead the company to higher heights."

      Rachelle's Feedback for the Answer Above

      This response sounds a bit scattered. Try walking the interviewer through the path that you would ideally like to take with their company. This could include mentioning a role a few steps above where you are today.

      "In five years I see myself advancing into a role similar to the district manager position you currently have posted. To achieve this with your company, I would seek out additional coursework and training opportunities. I would dedicate myself to your culture, goals, and products."

      How would you rate Rachelle's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "Your organization cares about the growth of your employees, and I do want to grow in my career. I would like to finish an advanced degree in my field during that time. I am looking for a long-term fit with my career. I would like to work closely with the hospital liaisons advancing into a leadership role to improve outcomes for our clients."

      Rachelle's Feedback for the Answer Above

      Your answer is very helpful for the interviewer, and they will easily be able to picture you in growth mode within their network. Nice job!

      How would you rate Rachelle's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "Five years from now, I hope to see myself leading a team that's designing a brand new type of joint replacement. I dream of working at the forefront of my field."

      Rachelle's Feedback for the Answer Above

      This is a nice and specific response. If the company offers a titled role where this could happen, be sure to mention that specific title and one or two responsibilities associated with that role. Then, you can jump into the action that you will take, to achieve this goal.

      How would you rate Rachelle's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "My next five years will be spent mastering every detail of the role of this position and the company. I also want to adsorb myself within the culture of the company with hopes to grow along with my fellow team members and other employees. Once I have shown a consistent ability to execute the job, I hope that I take the next step toward becoming a long-term member of this company."

      Rachelle's Feedback for the Answer Above

      I have re-worded this slightly so that the answer has more impact. It's great that you mention growth while also mastering the initial role.

      "Over the next five years, I would like to be working for {company}, absorbing myself in the culture, and mastering every detail of this position. Once I have shown my ability to deliver exceptional work, my hope is to gain promotion to {next job title or opportunity}."

      How would you rate Rachelle's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "First, I would like to see significant results in the role that I am applying for, and see strong business growth. I am very focused on new challenges and taking opportunities, so I see myself taking my career to the next level and having another role in the company with more responsibilities such as Store Manager or Regional Manager. I am internationally oriented; I would see myself either still in Europe or the USA."

      Rachelle's Feedback for the Answer Above

      The final sentence is the most detailed, which is what the interviewer would like to see. Try adding more specifics rather than general statements. I have offered an example below.

      "As a skilled {job title}, I am interested in eventually gaining new responsibilities such as managing a team or training new hires. I saw your job posting for an International Management position which piqued my interest. I plan to work hard and focus on new challenges so that your company will consider me for similar roles in the years to come."

      How would you rate Rachelle's Feedback?