Updated: Oct 20, 2020
And how to ask this question in a different way.
This is one of the most common interview questions. Even though this year shows us how plans, strategies and desires can radically change, this question continues to be asked.
The interviewer is trying to understand: 1) do you have a career plan, 2) a clear idea of your future role, 3) as well as your thoughts on your development.
1. If you do not have a clear answer. Options of unwanted answers: “I don’t know”, “I do not plan for 5 years ahead”, “I didn’t think about it”.
Even if you have not yet fully figured out what you would like to do in 5 years, try to develop all possible scenarios. And share how your scenarios will be applied depending on the situation in the next year or two. Thus, you will not hide the truth, but also show your readiness in terms of strategy and decision making.
2. If you have an answer.
Try to find a connection with a vacancy in your story, and how working in this role can help you move towards your goal in 5 years. What you would like to learn during this time, what experience you want to get.
3. If you have an answer, but it is not connected with the vacancy (for example, “I plan to sell coconuts in Thailand”).
See point 1 and work on possible scenarios (if you fail to travel to Thailand).
Even if you have not been asked this question, it will come to you sooner or later. It is always useful to have a ready-made answer.
Think today, how would you answer?
P.S. If you are a hiring manager: the question is already so common that it sometimes provokes a negative reaction from candidates. You can formulate it in another way: “How would you describe your approach to career development? What place does a career have in your life? ”