Is it time to end the ‘Where do yourself in five years?” question?
We all know this is a stock question on any job interview – and probably one we all dread the most.
Most of us don’t know what we’re doing next week let alone knowing what we’ll be doing in terms of our employment status in five years’ time.
It’s not a question that crosses my mind much at all, but I came across it on a US website, which the author of the slightly ‘tongue-in-cheek’ piece argues that those conducting recruitment interviews should ditch it unless they want an Adam Sandler-esque response of ‘not dead’.
This side of the Pond we’re a bit less brash and the prospect of any potential interviewee answering in such a fashion – unless they’ve lost interest in the job during the interview – is nil!
But maybe, just maybe, the article’s author does have a more valid point in that anyone and any business working to a five-year plan needs to rethink what they are doing and to adjust the timescale.
The UK is set to go through unprecedented times because of Brexit which is bring wave after wave of uncertainty.
The UK employment market is certainly feeling the effect as many European Union citizens up sticks and go, while the UK’s standing as welcoming place for overseas workers has also taken a hit. Factor in the fact there are serious skills gaps in sectors, then how can anyone or any business adequately plan for the mid-to-long term?
Given this backdrop, it is predicted that staff turnover is set to increase and that employees won’t stay with employers for long – especially those most skilled as they will be very much in demand.
So, that brings us back to the point, should the ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?” question be ditched?
If you’re the one answering the question, probably yes, because you’re just thinking about giving an answer you think the interviewer wants to hear – about being successful, delivering impact and climbing up the ladder. You also have no idea how life will evolve to give a truly accurate answer.
From the hirer’s point of view, this isn’t a trick question, but it does enable the interviewer to understand your ambitions and goals and what motivates you – whether you are there for two years of five.
It is, in reality, a pointless question as there is no right answer, but given it part of the interview psyche, I’d be amazed if it was cut any day soon.
What do you think?