Job interviews are already a pain in the neck, and to add to that interviewers somehow manage to ask you the most annoying interview questions that they possibly can. We all have answered them – What are your weaknesses? Why should we hire you? And my personal non-favorite: “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
I really get tempted to answer it as “Chilling in Phuket on my lotto winnings” or “As President of the United States” or at least “As Ryan’s latest lover.” (You can change that name according to your preferred age, gender, and imagination!)
(Don’t take my advice on that!)
I am not sure what is appropriate or let’s say expected answer to this question. Most of us start framing an empty answer as soon as we hear - “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” Obviously your answer will seem vague unless you are a time traveler. You just want to come up with something that sounds realistic (and not dumb) to convince the interviewer that you are really interested in sticking to the company for a long-term, as you progress in your career path.
I am totally aware of the interview procedure and the tricks HR managers use to shortlist candidates. But asking unreasonable questions will only annoy the job seeker and put him in a tight spot.
So next time you hear the “5 years” interview question, look out, it’s a trap! You may think to answer it as “Sitting on your chair” or “Taking your position” so that you would come out as ambitious. Well, it might not sound that ambitious to the interviewer, who might lose his job due to your ambition! Also, you should know that this question is just a trap for the candidates, which recruiters mostly use to remove the not-so-perfect candidates.
I really wish that interviewers would get rid of this super annoying interview question. But if that doesn’t happen, frame your answer in such a way that you don’t reveal your Phuket or Presidential dreams, or not offend the interviewer by challenging him or his position.