Where do you see yourself in five years?


This is another very, very common question.

Align yourself with the company

When answering this, you always want to keep in mind that companies want candidates who will align their future goals with the job that they are applying to. Believe it or not, having asked candidates this question myself, I’ve heard answers like ‘professional investor’, ‘charity worker’, and other professions that have nothing to do with the programmer position that they were applying for. If you don’t see yourself working in the same company in the next five years then that will almost always lead the company to decide not to hire you. Remember that no company likes to constantly re-hire new employees because that means re-training, and not to mention the effort of searching for new candidates. Employee turnover is never desirable.

Companies want people who want to progress

Another bad answer to this question would be to say something like "I’d like to be in the same position that I’m hired for". No company wants to hire someone who has no desire to grow and take on more responsibility as time passes. You should always have a reasonable goal in mind for the next five years, and be prepared to answer with this goal when asked this question.

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