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How to Answer 'Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?'

Preparing for a job interview often involves preparing answers to several ‘classic’ interview questions, and they don’t come much more classic than “where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

While this may appear to be a very simple, bog-standard question, there is a right way and a wrong way to answer it, and how you go about explaining your response is key.

Generic questions like this one may seem pointless, but with today’s job market being so highly competitive, hiring managers are putting more importance on how candidates respond to them.

So, to help prepare you for your next job interview, let’s take a look at how to answer the dreaded question “where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Job interview: “where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

This can be a tough question for many, even if they have a well-thought-out 5-year plan in mind. It can be very easy to panic and give a generic, unrealistic response that doesn’t actually shed any light on your suitability for the role or the company.

For instance, interviewing for an entry-level role and telling the interviewer you plan on sitting in their chair or running the company 5 years from now is unrealistic and uninspiring. Instead, use this as an opportunity to show you have done your employer research. Perhaps you could discuss your likely career path in this particular organisation or within the industry in general. You could talk about how this role can help you achieve your career goals etc.

If you’re still not sure where to begin, don’t fret, here’s a “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” example answer:


“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” sample answer

“I’m aiming to be a [name senior role that’s a promotion or two above the role you’re interviewing for] five years from now. I believe that getting this job will enable me to improve my skills in [list skills specific to the role] so that, over the next five years, I can progress my career and help contribute to the growth and success of [company/organisation].

“I look forward to taking on more responsibilities within the company and utilising the knowledge and skills I have developed throughout my career to mentor other members of the team in order to aim for more senior leadership roles.”

Advice on finding a new job at HRS

We hope you found this advice useful, and we wish you all the best in your job search!

If you’re looking for more expert advice on finding a job in the life science industry, keep up to date with our blog. If you’d like to speak to one of our friendly recruiters, you can get in touch at the link below.

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