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There are many difficult questions during an interview, but one that seems to trip up most job seekers is “Where do you see yourself in five years?” People find this to be a difficult question because they don’t know where they want to be in five years. What might surprise you, however, is the reason they are asking that question has more to do with their company than your career goals.

What Are They Really Asking?

Every question asked during an interview has a purpose. They are trying to understand who you are and what you have to offer. The questions are designed to peel back the layers beyond a person trying to make a good impression to get a job.

Companies are looking for people who will perform well, fit in with the company culture and offer a good return on investment. Human resources are expensive assets. It takes a lot of money to find, hire and train candidates, so they need to know as much about you as they can before they invest in you.

So the question they are really asking is, “Why should we invest in you instead of another candidate?”

How to Answer the Real Question

You can answer this question even if you don’t plan on staying with the organization long term. Before you go to the interview, look at the position and the company and try to answer these questions:

  • If you were to get this position, what would your goals be?
  • What do you like about the company and the job opening?
  • What activities would you perform every day?
  • What opportunities does this company offer?

Answering these questions will help you shape a response to this dreaded interview question. You will show that you are serious about working for that company and that you are a good investment. It may also help you answer this question for yourself and solidify your career goals.

If you are looking to determine your career goals or need interview tips, contact the professionals at Job Store Staffing. We can help you review your skills and accomplishments and determine which field is a good fit for you.

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