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by Paddy Collins on June 29th, 2018

This is the sixth of the series of typical interview questions. For each question we outline why the interviewer is asking the question and how the interviewee should respond to it.

Our suggestions should be treated as guidelines, always adapt them to your personal judgement of the situation and to your own particular experience and individual style.


Where do you see yourself work-wise in 3-5 years’ time?

Why is this question asked?

– To explore your self-awareness, your personal vision and your proactive career plan

– To evaluate whether your plan fits with the employer company structure and vision

– To ensure that you are not just ‘filling a gap’ or ‘escaping’  from a difficult situation of your current commitment

– To see how your projected career path can contribute to the company

– To verify whether your expectations match the company’s needs, possibilities and culture

– To gauge how realistic and achievable your ambitions and development expectations are

– To explore your flexibility and versatility to grow with the organisation

How to answer?

– Firstly, consider which direction the employer is growing or changing; think about the pace of their development

– Secondly, try to assess the employer’s work environment and culture – are they ambitious, dynamic – or more conservative?

– Show how you have always progressed in your roles thanks to your ability, flexibility and adaptability (present a summary of your development to date)

– Give examples of your commitments in the past to other companies to prove your loyalty

– Highlight how you intend to continue to professionally grow, add value and contribute to the employer’s success  – express how motivating this plan is for you

– Show how eager you are to invest, learn and progress within this role and emerging opportunities

– Emphasize that you are interested in progressing upwards with them at the right time (to show a little humility)

– Indicate briefly where you may be headed longer term, but remember to stay tentative!

– Present your priority – e.g., to do a very good job for the company, be satisfied with the challenge and the quality of own contribution

– Don’t focus on ‘self-interest’ matters – e.g., your development, promotion, convenience or salary  –  when you get the offer you can negotiate these further!!!


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