What is the right answer to "Where do you see yourself in five years?"

  1. 0
    I have an idea of where I see myself in five years, but also, I have been involved in experiences that I weren't my initial interest and found out I had a passion for them. Therefore I am pretty open. Would it be better to answer with a straight-forward response, or should I go with "sometimes life leads you on unexpected paths but when you arrive you realize that you ended up in the right place all along, even if it wasn't what you originally planned."
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  3. 18 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Another possible answer I might say is, "Throughout my education I have made many goals and plans for the future of my career. One example is my interest in XXXX speciality. I recieved an internship in XXX specialty, so when I was asked if I wanted to switch to YYYY specialty, which I had never considered, I was torn. I decided to choose YYYY specialty to try something different. Although I still am interested in XXX specialty, during my internship I realized I loved YYYY specialty. Therefore, sometimes I try to map out my career, but I think it's also important to try new things and not be constrained by your own rigid plans. Therefore, I like to make goals, but I also keep my mind open to new experiences."
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    I think it's good that you're open. However, to me it sounds like you are easily pulled from 1 thing to another. I don't mean to be mean, that's just my initial impression.

    I think an employer is asking if you plan to take over her job. Or do you plan to get trained, at the cost of your employer, then leave?

    Let's hope more people answer. I don't have any definitive answer for you and am not expert at this type of advice. I wish you well.
  6. 5
    I interview prospective employees, and usually ask such a question. Here's what I am looking for.

    1. I want an honest answer, and will usually ask a few follow-up questions to ascertain whether or not the applicant has given me a fake, rehearsed answer that they think I want to hear. Much of my energy and focus when conducting an interview is invested in determining the degree to which the interviewee is telling the truth. You've pretty much "blown the interview" if I think that you are giving me less than honest answer.

    2. I want to hear that THIS job is one that will meet their goals for the next few years. I don't expect (or want) everyone to say that this is their "forever job," but I do want to hear (and believe) that the job meets enough of their goals that they will stay in it long enough to "pay back" the investment we will be making in them as we bring them on board, orient them, etc. If they seem too focused in "where they are going next," that's a bad sign. I want to hear the interviewee focus on succeeding at THIS job and becoming an expert at it (which will take a few years) and then be thinking of the possibilities for long-term growth and development in more vague, flexible terms.

    3. It's a strong "plus" if they discuss their long-term goals in terms of staying with us as an employee and/or within the specialty they are applying to work in, etc. -- even if it is not exactly within the same department, division, etc.
    NRSKarenRN, *4!#6, KimberlyRN89, and 2 others like this.
  7. 0
    I was asked this very question at my interview and said " In five years I want to be an expert in this field." Which I meant.
  8. 0
    llg, thanks for explaining the rationale behind this question. I've always wondered what the interviewer was looking for when they ask it. It's also part of our annual performance eval.
  9. 0
    I always want to say " working" LOL but thats not what their ears want to hear, so I would say furthering my education ect..
  10. 0
    Quote from llg
    I interview prospective employees, and usually ask such a question. Here's what I am looking for.

    1. I want an honest answer, and will usually ask a few follow-up questions to ascertain whether or not the applicant has given me a fake, rehearsed answer that they think I want to hear. Much of my energy and focus when conducting an interview is invested in determining the degree to which the interviewee is telling the truth. You've pretty much "blown the interview" if I think that you are giving me less than honest answer.

    2. I want to hear that THIS job is one that will meet their goals for the next few years. I don't expect (or want) everyone to say that this is their "forever job," but I do want to hear (and believe) that the job meets enough of their goals that they will stay in it long enough to "pay back" the investment we will be making in them as we bring them on board, orient them, etc. If they seem too focused in "where they are going next," that's a bad sign. I want to hear the interviewee focus on succeeding at THIS job and becoming an expert at it (which will take a few years) and then be thinking of the possibilities for long-term growth and development in more vague, flexible terms.

    3. It's a strong "plus" if they discuss their long-term goals in terms of staying with us as an employee and/or within the specialty they are applying to work in, etc. -- even if it is not exactly within the same department, division, etc.
    No doubt what you have said is true. I don't mean to insult you, but it seems like such a canned thing. How can you tell if someone telling the truth? Some people are desperate to start earning and will say anything to get a job sometimes.
  11. 0
    Quote from llg
    I interview prospective employees, and usually ask such a question. Here's what I am looking for.<br>
    <br>
    1. I want an honest answer, and will usually ask a few follow-up questions to ascertain whether or not the applicant has given me a fake, rehearsed answer that they think I want to hear. Much of my energy and focus when conducting an interview is invested in determining the degree to which the interviewee is telling the truth. You've pretty much "blown the interview" if I think that you are giving me less than honest answer.<br>
    <br>
    2. I want to hear that THIS job is one that will meet their goals for the next few years. I don't expect (or want) everyone to say that this is their "forever job," but I do want to hear (and believe) that the job meets enough of their goals that they will stay in it long enough to "pay back" the investment we will be making in them as we bring them on board, orient them, etc. If they seem too focused in "where they are going next," that's a bad sign. I want to hear the interviewee focus on succeeding at THIS job and becoming an expert at it (which will take a few years) and then be thinking of the possibilities for long-term growth and development in more vague, flexible terms.<br>
    <br>
    3. It's a strong "plus" if they discuss their long-term goals in terms of staying with us as an employee and/or within the specialty they are applying to work in, etc. -- even if it is not exactly within the same department, division, etc.
    No doubt what you have said is true. I don't mean to insult you, but it seems like such a canned thing. How can you tell if someone telling the truth? Some people are desperate to start earning and will say anything to get a job sometimes.
  12. 0
    Quote from Kooky Korky
    No doubt what you have said is true. I don't mean to insult you, but it seems like such a canned thing. How can you tell if someone telling the truth? Some people are desperate to start earning and will say anything to get a job sometimes.
    True. But if you are not going to believe ANYTHING a job candidate EVER says, then why have the interview at all?

    That's why I ask a lot of follow-up questions. I try to ascertain whether or not the applicant has done a lot of thinking about the subject and whether or not his/her answers are consistent with everything else said in the application process. It's hard to maintain consistent details throughout an entire application process if you are building it on a lie. Yes, it's possible ... but most liars will have a few inconsistencies or say things that don't quite add up.

    No ... it's not perfect. Sometimes people fool me. But that's all we can do -- ask some questions, ask follow-up questions, and see if it all adds up to form a consistent, believable picture of the person sitting in front of us.

    What's the alternative?


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