“Where do you see yourself in five years?” 

When you’re looking for a new job, it’s hard enough to plan ahead for the next five weeks, let alone five years! However, you can be sure to run into a question like this along the job hunt. Hiring managers like them because they get to the heart of your long-term planning as a professional. You might also hear the question phrased like:

“Where do you see this job taking you?”

“What are your goals for this position?” 

“What are your long-term career goals?”

No matter how it’s said, it’s important to show you’ve put some thought into a realistic path for your career that takes you from day one at the company to a position of growth and sustained success. 

Before you answer, here are some things to keep in mind when responding to, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” 

Always Lead with Enthusiasm 

Stumbling out of the gate with a hesitant, “Hmm, I don’t know” or vague pessimism, “Hopefully still working here!” is never a good look in an interview. Instead, lead with enthusiasm! When answering a question about the future, it’s important to paint a positive vision for the listener. Start with the role you’re currently interviewing for as the first step, then walk them through your idea of an incredible career path at the organization.  

Please note: While cracking a nervous joke about being the CEO some day or taking your interviewer’s job might seem like a good idea in the moment, do your best to avoid this move. Not only is it inauthentic and take away from your true aspirations, but the odds are that your interviewer has heard all of these jokes before! 

Make a Clear Connection with the Job At-Hand

While enthusiasm is key, it doesn’t do much good if you’re focused on the wrong things. For example, if you were interviewing for a medical biller role, but answered the question by saying, “Well, I’m applying to be a medical biller today, but what I’m really interested in is stand-up comedy,” you probably won’t land the job.

Instead, make a concerted effort to draw a direct line from the job opportunity at-hand and where you expect to be in the next five years. Perhaps the medical biller role you take on today could lead towards additional training and certifications down the line, eventually securing you a position as a billing manager that’s guiding the direction of the department. 

Use It as an Opportunity to Show Off Your Research 

This is a great opportunity to show off the research you’ve done! Organizations will often note opportunities for professional development and continued learning on their company website. If this is something you’ve noticed in your research, inquiring about the learning and development programs available to employees could help you stand apart as a candidate invested in growing at the company.

Additionally, you can use your response as another opportunity to connect your career story to the overall goals of the company. Is there a particular challenge the organization has stated as a focus for the future? Now’s your chance to share how you can be a part of the solution in the years ahead, all while advancing your career at the same time.

Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

Are you still unsure of what your career will look like in five years? Consider connecting with the hiring experts at Medix! Our core purpose is to positively impact lives, and that means our team is here to guide you on the path to career success – not just land a job. Get started today at careers.medixteam.com

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