How do you answer "Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, etc. years?"
I'm not really sure how to answer this question without hurting my chances of getting hired. I plan on returning to school and getting my bachelor's degree. I'm not sure what I will be getting my bachelor's in.
Edit: Adding in its also a great opportunity to show you understand the role you e applied for by saying how it fits into your plan and what skills that job will give you.
If the role you're interviewing for fits into the path you're currently interested in exploring and you are interested in seeing how it can fit into your career development, you can give an honest answer of, "While I don't know exactly where I see myself in five years, I am eager to gain skills or continue to gain skills (whatever might be the case for your scenario) in XYZ to develop a strong understanding of XYZ or build a career in XYZ." You can mention that this specific role at this company will offer you the opportunity to dive into XYZ and provide you with the foundation to develop a role in XYZ field. If you're saying you are new to a specific field that this company will offer, you can stress your interest in this area and why, and how you hope to build this into a robust and strong career path in the years to come.
From my experience, it always looks good (even if you aren't sure you will do it) to mention that you're going to get your master's, Ph.D., or any professional degree. This helps them see that you are always looking to advance your education. I've always been a pre-med student, and I've always been honest that I planned to attend medical school at some point.
It also helps to mention competencies like building a successful team, working with others and leadership, etc.
For example, if I were applying for a Molecular Technologist job at X Lab and was asked this question, I might say something like:
In 5 years, I see myself in medical school and studying research in pathology. In 10 years, I can see myself as a practicing Pathologist developing novel treatments for Covid-19. This Molecular Technologist position at X Lab would not only utilize my skills, but I would learn new skills that can be applied to my future. For instance, as a Molecular Technologist, I would become an expert in qPCR analysis, which is widely used in the science community to find cures, and treatments and gain a better understanding of what is happening in the human body.
(Optional add-on)- In 10 years, I could see myself returning and becoming one of the physicians at X Lab.
Hannah recommends the following next steps:
I keep it focused on the company I'm applying for, even if I truly have no intentions of staying with that company for that long. They spend a lot of money hiring and training me, I don't want them to look at it as a bad investment. Is it a lie? Sure. Do "they" lie to us? Yup. "Oh, yea, there's never any problem getting time off, just let us know what you need. . . ." It's not a contract.
The reason being that it shows to the employer you have put more thought into your 5/10 year plan than just making statements on where you want to be.
I have been asked this in an interview and know it can be quite challenging to answer from experience. However, I find the best thing to do is to actually tailor your answer to the job you are applying to. I have been told by hiring managers that they are impressed when an applicant demonstrates their knowledge of the company and how they envision themselves progressing within those 5 years at the company. I think answering this way shows commitment and the ability to go the extra mile. Not only does it show interest, but it also may make you realize opportunities you may not have thought about within the company!
Best of Luck!
In my opinion, I think its best to answer those types of questions with a rather general but honest response. Where do you see yourself in 5 years ? I can def see myself having graduated with a bachelor's degree, wanting to further advance my career. In ten years? Completing a nice 10 year run with a respectable company and maybe being in position of authority....yada yada yada. Those were just examples.
I love to answer based on what I think at the time. Just know what you think in 5 years can change 6 months later and that's okay.
10 years ago I wanted to be a sports broadcaster after graduating University. Didn't work out and now I'm in Tech Sales but I love every minute of it.