May 2016 Careers Advice

"Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?"

Interviewers are looking to take on candidates who are motivated, proactive, work hard and are loyal to the role:  In Kosmos terms, it’s our ‘learn, grow, commit, excel’ model.  

When interviewers ask this question, they want to understand whether the role is part of your long-term career plan because if it is, you will be more likely perform well and stay with them, i.e. you will learn from your experience, grow within the role (and as a person), commit to the company and excel in the role.  Everybody is happy!

So what is the answer?

Often your initial response will be simple, something along the lines of “I would like to see myself within this company, having really got the role working well, developed it, and taken on new projects”.

But where do you go from there?

Enter the Kosmos ‘learn, grow, commit, excel’ model!

Learn & Grow
Elaborate by talking about your professional development, talk in terms of achievements and responsibilities.  For example:
•    Skills you would like to acquire or be using.
•    Qualifications you would like to undertake and complete.
•    Responsibilities you would like to take on.

Commit & Excel
Be ambitious yet realistic, you need to show you are ambitious and keen to do well but you also need to be realistic in terms of how quickly you can grow within the company (remember that it’s not just about company opportunities, it’s also how well the market is doing).
So try to be factual rather than emotional in your answer.  Here is an example of emotional versus factual:
Emotional: “If I’m not promoted in 3 years, I will be really disappointed”
Factual: “I'd like to have more responsibility in the next 3-5 years”

Emotional responses such as the one above, suggest that you will be dissatisfied if you are not promoted and hence the employer may read your response as a declaration that you might leave, which would show a lack of commitment and loyalty.

The factual response is succinct, committed and progressive and the interviewer will look at you in a much more positive light.

The ‘where do you see yourself in 5 years time’ question also gives you the opportunity to state what you can do for your potential employer.  

So before you go into the interview, as always, research the company and the role, and think about how and why you would fit in there.

Added on 13 May 2016