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  1. #1
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    "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

    "Where do you see yourself in five years?"

    I've been asked this question in an interview before and I've spoken to managers who hate that question.

    Have you been asked the 5 year question? If so, how did you answer? What did the interviewer tell you about your answer (if you had the chance to ask...)?

    Have you ever asked someone that question in an interview? What do you look for in the answer?

    Discuss.

  2. #2
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    Re: "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

    I don't recall the last time I was asked this question, but I can guarantee that if I cared about the job, I didn't have any problem answering it in a way that maximized my "committment" to the company. Like going back to school "part-time" or buying a house in the community. I don't think I've ever told the absolute, unabridged truth on one of those stupid personality quizes either. But that's neither here, nor there.

    I'm sure that employers ask the question to gauge whether or not you're just wandering aimlessly around the universe, hoping that stuff you bump into gets you out of more trouble than it gets you into. I'm betting they want to see that you have goals and ambition. But I don't know, I've never really had a chance to ask.
    "And that, my lord, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped." ~ Monty Python


  3. #3
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    Re: "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

    That is the most useless interviewing question that could be asked unless your dumb enough to give a bad answer.

    ... In five years I plan on retiring off your companies settlement for the sexual harassment I will be instigating.

    ... In five years I plan on just getting by so I won't get fired.

    ... In five years I plan on having lots of kids and be a stay at home mom.

    I guess the question is designed to see if your dumb enough to not give a brown nose answer.

    ... In five years I plan on working really hard to help contribute to the success of your company using my skills in such a field. I hope to excel in my duties and be promoted to more challenging positions within your company for a mutual benefit.
    What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.

  4. #4
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    Re: "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

    It impresses me as a question that has a right answer, but one which the applicant has to guess on.

    If you state, "right here, working for you guys" then it may sound as though you have no ambition or it may sound like you're dependable.

    If you state something about moving up the corporate latter, then you may sound cocky... or that you're only semi-serious about the job.

    Personally, I hate the question. I think it's completely unrealistic in most situations to gauge where someone will be in 5 years. Think about how things changed after 9/11. Point being, there will always be unforseen things.

  5. #5
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    Re: "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

    I used to ask the job at interviews after I told them where I wanted to be in 5 years (at a better company, further in my career). I gave them the honest answer, the reasons why, and it calmed them down a bit.

    The reason I asked it was to make sure I can help them get that goal. If they wanted to work at a production company, I'd help them with their reel and resume, coach them on how to interview, etc. If they wanted my job, I explained what it entails and sort of 'groomed' them in how to do it.

    But I'm pretty sure I'm not asking it in the way that most managers do; I'm not looking for a 'right' answer, just a way to help them reach their goals.

    My favorite question to ask at an interview is, "So what are 3 of your biggest flaws." That is a test of character. Give me honest answers, and you got the job - give me bulls**t like, "I'm too detail-oriented", I'm showing you the door. I want to know your limitations, and more importantly, that you know them.
    What is it like to be Libertarian and an Atheist? Imagine having the freedom to believe whatever you want, without the responsibility of it ever becoming accepted in the majority.

    It's a truly magical feeling. Equal parts happiness and depression.

  6. #6
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    Re: "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

    "I see myself holding your job".

    That is definately a useless question on a job interview. I would be very careful around that interviewer. If you really want to answer that question best - just spin it around and ask them to answer it first, and then rip apart their answer.
    While laughing at others stupidity, you may want to contemplate your own comedic talents. (link)
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  7. #7
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    Re: "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

    Barring any calamities I have a 5 year plan. I also have a one year plan, a ten year plan and an immediate plan.

    Immediate Plan: My tournament. All indications are that it will be bigger than ever, 5 events, and about 300 - 350 competitors, (that's being conservative) though we are stocked, (trophies, boards,etc for 400 competitors. It's a massive effort with ten paid helpers and about 30 volunteers. I am playing the National Anthem on my guitar. (not ala Hendrix at Woodstock).

    To have my second (and larger) school open and running full steam by April. It takes much planning and coordinating as well as $$$ and much work to launch almost any business, but with martial arts there is much to buy as well as other fees that must all be paid up-front.
    However, I've no doubt that this school within one year will have more students than my primary location. (It's in a much larger town.)
    I am trying to finish an ebook I will be selling, (and possibly to place a copy of it in the "Professional" forum) It will be titled "Self-Defense for the Family." It does not give out any structured technique but rather focus's on all the surrounding facets required to keep oneself and their loved ones safe, whether it be out on a trip or in their own home. It is quite comprehensive which is why it is taking me a long time to finish it, including editing and re-writings.

    1 year plan:..........To open a third school, this one in another town about 30 miles from my primary location. It will not be a Taekwondo school. Instead it will be called "Auvenshine's School of Martial Arts". The reason for that is a friend of mine trained under Dan Insanato and received his black belt in JKD. He has a black belt in Kali, Escrima, Thaichichuwan(sp?) and is a red belt in Ju-jitsu. He does not do any Taekwondo. Whether I choose to also plant a TKD instructor there will depend on if I have anyone that I feel is competent, honest and dependable at that time.

    To get our acreage here fully planted with prairie grass, wild flowers and several more trees. We buy trees around 4 feet tall. By the time I die we'll have a freaking wooded lot. It'll be fun to see how big they get before I do pass.

    5 year plan:.......To have a total of 6 schools open and running pretty much by whoever I staff them with. If whoever I let run the school sticks it out long enough, (the way I set it up they risk nothing but time and effort, I risk the money) They will make 80% of the net. That way I will have one school where I get 100% of the profit and 5 schools where I get 20% of the profits. That of course would add up to 100% profits while my wife and I run the original location.

    I also plan on bringing about a "Super- tournament" that consists only of adult black belts. It will be sparring only with cash prizes of $1000, $500 and $250 dollars to 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. Any profits will be donated to two food pantries. One in Springfield and the other in Decatur.

    I also plan to begin at some point a free tournament only for students at my locations. That way students without the ability to pay can compete at least once a year.

    I plan to start a blues band and within the 5 years be playing gigs at various events and pubs. Of course with me at the helm with lead vocals and guitar. My stage name will be "Billy G. Blackard". Billy=me. G.=Buddy GUY, (my favorite blues player who is still alive) and Blackard was the last name of one of my best friends ever who killed himself 20 years ago. He was one heck of a good guitar player but because of his mental and emotional gaps never made the big time as he dreamed of doing.

    Ten year plan:.......To be retired but still playing music and keeping my toes in the martial arts. For my wife to be able to quit her day job. That would require several schools, some with day time classes. We will also have our business building paid for with an estimated appraisal of $250,000. We will have our home at least half paid for by then if not more. I will have hoped that somewhere within all the ten years that I am able to take a few weeks off to travel and visit friends and places I may never see again.

    That's my plan. That is, if the creeks don't rise!
    When the power of love becomes stronger than the love of power, there will be peace..........jimi hendrix.

  8. #8
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    Re: "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

    5 year plan? Career wise, to be an assistant Hotel manager.


    Eventually down the line, I want to get my degree in Hotel and Business management, and become a hotel GM. And sometime after that, I would like to either be in charge of a casino hotel or maybe running a Disney hotel. Depends on where we decide to settle after hubby retires from the AF.
    I can only be who He allows me to be, I can only stand where He places me. 1Peter 5:6
    The true man wants two things: danger and play. For that reason he wants woman, as the most dangerous plaything. ---Friedrich Nietzsche

  9. #9
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    Re: "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Harrison383 View Post
    My favorite question to ask at an interview is, "So what are 3 of your biggest flaws."
    I occasionally procrastinate if I don't feel challenged.

    I'm overly critical of time consuming training classes not critical to my business role.

    I sometimes become frustrated by team building events that I feel could be better spent working.

  10. #10
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    Re: "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

    Where do I see myself in 5 years?

    Still in school working on my PHD.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

  11. #11
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    Re: "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

    5 years later: on top of another buisness, and rich not caring about the person from my old company who asked me that
    my awnser:"my awnser is just to work my hardest sir, and bring this company to the top"

  12. #12
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    Re: "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

    The point of the question, imo, is to see if the applicant has any goals in life. A five year plan. Everyone should have one. Even if you don't hit all the points of your plan. Either way we never ask this question for experienced candidates. Just your basic call center agent who needs to learn ipconfig/release ipconfig/renew. I haven't been asked that question in ages, but I am pretty much assuming my answer would include my desire to return to school, and work at a domestic violence shelter as a counsellor, and moving back to the east side of the country.
    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." ~Bertrand Russell

  13. #13
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    Re: "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

    When I got asked the question, I think I said something akin to, "Running this store."

    My three biggest flaws?

    I don't empathise with coworkers.
    I don't work well in teams.
    I can be cold/distant with coworkers to the point of belitting them on occasion.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

  14. #14
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    Re: "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Harrison383 View Post
    My favorite question to ask at an interview is, "So what are 3 of your biggest flaws." That is a test of character. Give me honest answers, and you got the job - give me bulls**t like, "I'm too detail-oriented", I'm showing you the door. I want to know your limitations, and more importantly, that you know them.
    This was one that I got every interview that I went to. It wasn't necessarily "three" biggest flaws....it was put to me as "What do you consider your greatest weakness"

    When I was preparing for interviews last year, I went onto google...and looked up interviewing tips and literally memorized what to say. I was SO nervous about these interviews that I thought I'd get a block and not know what to say, so I prepared myself. One of my answers I memorized to the above question was:

    Interviewer: What is your greatest weakness?

    Me: ďI have had trouble in the past with planning and prioritization. However, I've taken steps to correct this. I recently started using a pocket planner ."

    I went so far as actually buying a pocket planner and utilizing it so I wouldn't feel like I was lying.

    Here's the answer I used for the 5 year goal question....also memorized from a google site:

    ďWithin these five years, I want to work toward becoming the expert in this position that my coworkers rely upon. And in doing so, I feel Iíll be fully prepared to take on any greater responsibilities which might be offered to me in the future."

    I wanted to find something that I could that I genuinely felt about myself. If I tried to memorize something that was a bunch of b.s., I think the interviewer would have been able to see right through me. In any case, it worked and I got the job.

    Oh, and this is the answer I used for "Why should I hire you?"

    "Because Iím the best person for the job. I realize that there are other candidates who also have the ability to do this job. However, I have a passion for excellence and I believe that quality makes me the best person for the job."

    They LOVED that answer.
    Hyde and Sylouette
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  15. #15
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    Re: "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

    Usually such a question should be answered straight to the point without boring the hell out of the guys doing the interview.

    What they basically is trying to do is to see if you have ambition.

    And yes, I have been asked the very same question, my answer was short and sweet.

    To be on top of my corporate ladder, and setting the leadership example for others to follow.

    I am sure they like the answer because they never requested me to elaborate on it.

    If I will ever need to ask someone that question, I will definitely look for the following:-

    1. Can the person answer the question in one or two sentences sufficiently.
    2. Is the person positive about himself.
    3. Does this person have faith in his abilities, and if not, why should I then appoint him.
    4. It all comes down to ambition and that person's willpower to be successful in life.
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  16. #16
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    Re: "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Aspoestertjie View Post
    To be on top of my corporate ladder, and setting the leadership example for others to follow.
    Dang, that's good. I wish I had thought of that. It would have saved a lot of brain cells from dying off on trying to memorize all the crap I did.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aspoe
    I am sure they like the answer because they never requested me to elaborate on it.
    See, it would be just MY luck they would and then I'd be sitting there like....... (sweating bullets because I wasn't prepared)
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  17. #17
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    Re: "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

    I've flat out told some who once asked me that I that I would probably want their job....I got hired.

    More commonly I answer the basic...earning another degreeblah. bl;ah, blah.

    I have asked the question of others while I was interviewing them, the most common answer: I don't know.

    Actually in five years I want to be:

    1.) Pain free with a body that functions the way God designed it.

    2.) Sending my middle child off to college or the military (it'll be up to him. He wants to go to the Naval Academy). I'll have only one child in the home by then.

    3.) I want to begin the process of "reclaiming" my life after children. getting to know my wife again after 20 years living "married with children".

    4.) Working in a fun job that pays lots of money with great benefits with little supervision.

    5.) Living on or in view of a large body of water in Wisconsin or some other not-too-densley-populated state.

    6.) Travelling more for pleasure. Travelling less for business

    7.) Treating myself to at least a weeklong safari every year. Caribou in Quebec, Kodiaks in Alaska, Water Buffalo in Africa.......aaaahhhh I get all smarmy just thinking about that.

    8.) I want to be able to reasonably speak Spanish. That will be my third language.

    9.) become more active in politics. Perhaps even hold elected office.

    10.) I'd also like to start/join/whatever a non-profit organization that goes to places like Darfur and other regions where Orthodox Christians are persecuted and organize, train and equip self-defense militias there.

  18. #18
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    Re: "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartacus View Post
    I've flat out told some who once asked me that I that I would probably want their job....I got hired.

    More commonly I answer the basic...earning another degreeblah. bl;ah, blah.

    I have asked the question of others while I was interviewing them, the most common answer: I don't know.

    Actually in five years I want to be:

    1.) Pain free with a body that functions the way God designed it.

    2.) Sending my middle child off to college or the military (it'll be up to him. He wants to go to the Naval Academy). I'll have only one child in the home by then.

    3.) I want to begin the process of "reclaiming" my life after children. getting to know my wife again after 20 years living "married with children".

    4.) Working in a fun job that pays lots of money with great benefits with little supervision.

    5.) Living on or in view of a large body of water in Wisconsin or some other not-too-densley-populated state.

    6.) Travelling more for pleasure. Travelling less for business

    7.) Treating myself to at least a weeklong safari every year. Caribou in Quebec, Kodiaks in Alaska, Water Buffalo in Africa.......aaaahhhh I get all smarmy just thinking about that.

    8.) I want to be able to reasonably speak Spanish. That will be my third language.

    9.) become more active in politics. Perhaps even hold elected office.

    10.) I'd also like to start/join/whatever a non-profit organization that goes to places like Darfur and other regions where Orthodox Christians are persecuted and organize, train and equip self-defense militias there.
    Wow, you'd say ALL that in an interview??? *yaaaaaaaaaaaawn*

    If you're going to bore people in an interview with this long, drawn out answer.....you might want to learn Spanish a bit quicker. I hear landscape companies are always looking for people.
    Hyde and Sylouette
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  19. #19
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    Re: "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

    I have actually never been asked that question, not by an employer anyways.
    I have been asked this by teachers and friends, but never by an employer.
    The last time I was asked this question though was about a year ago by a teacher I ran into and I joined her class for a day so she asked me in front of the class where I saw myself in 5 to 10 years. The way I answered was I saw myself finally starting college after taking some time off, graduating, then starting my job at the hospital (I plan on being a nurse.)
    The truth about forever is forever never comes. The truth about today is that it only last until tomorrow. The truth about tomorrow is that its just another day.
    Keep sayin' my name baby, 'cause haters make me FAMOUS
    Jayson Micheal was born April 6, 2009 :-D

  20. #20
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    Re: "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

    It's funny I came across this thread, as I was just discussing this with some friends a few days ago. I always favour offering a conditional response to the question; I think it conveys that one is more dynamic and responsive to changing situations. Ultimately, what you hope to convey is that you wish to occupy a niche from which both you and the employer will derive the maximum benefit - but I've found that fabricating a couple of scenarios is a good way to offer the brown noser, "mutual benefit" answer while still appearing spontaneous.
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