Those Dreaded Interview Questions

18 Feb

Article Title: Those Dreaded Interview Questions
Author Byline: Jeffrey Metzger
Author Website:

Recently I asked a question on my Facebook page about which interview questions you like the least. The question that most people pointed to was “So…where do you see yourself in five years?” We’ve all heard it. Heck, I’ve had to ask it! I don’t like this question for a variety of reasons but mainly because there’s no correct answer! The answer to this question will tell the interviewer absolutely nothing about your ability to do the job. This question has found its way into the standard interview script and it won’t go away.

By all means, please resist the temptation to say “I want to live on a tropical island and have people serve me fruity drinks with umbrellas in them”. Although clearly, that’s where you’d like to be in five years.

Many answers can get you in trouble. Aim too high and you might be perceived as cocky or arrogant and give the impression to the interviewer that you won’t stay in the role very long. Aim too low and you might be perceived as not having initiative.

So how do you answer it?

This question is about goals (please see… The Ocean, and Why We Should Set Goals). We should all have goals…short-, medium-, and long-term goals. Five years is right in the medium-term goals range. So as you consider your answer to this question, and you should give this some thought well in advance of your interview, keep your medium-term goals in mind. You have no idea what this perspective organization will look like in five years, and neither does the interviewer. Begin by reassuring the interviewer that you’re hoping to make a long-term commitment to their company. Let them know you’d make good use of the training they will provide and translate it to meaningful contributions to their organization. It’s not out of line to say something personal to add a human touch.

For example:

(Smile…lean forward) “Well, I can certainly see myself as an employee of this company as I feel that I have exactly the kinds of skills that you’re looking for. I will give the type of effort that will create opportunities for me, and that excellence at work will lead to additional responsibility. So while I can’t say specifically where I’ll be, I’m confident that with my work ethic and positive attitude, future opportunities will take care of themselves.”

The key elements of your answer should be: optimism, long-term commitment and enthusiasm for growth!

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

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