What are your career objectives over next 5-10 years? That should perhaps be one of the most difficult questions to answer in an interview. Of course, both the interviewer and the candidate are well aware of the fact that no one of them will be able to share the exact details about where they would be. You are expected to share a HOPE about what you would expect to happen with your career.
So, let us see a few simple career objectives for fresher or experienced over the next 5-10 years. Before that, let us understand why is this question asked in an interview.
- 1 Why Do They Ask – What Are Your Career Objectives Over the Next 5-10 Years?
- 2 How Should You Answer This Question?
- 3 So, What Should Be the Good Career Objective to Answer?
- 3.1 Let Your Answer be Simple [Career Objective for Fresher]
- 3.2 Focus on a Slow Motion Path [Career Objective for Interns]
- 3.3 Showcase your Enthusiasm
- 3.4 Have a Vision of Where Would You Want To See Yourself In The Next 5 Years
- 3.5 Showcase your Potential – [Career Objective for Experienced]
- 3.6 Showcase Your Previous Experiences and Achievements
- 4 What is The Employer Looking for In Your Answer?
- 5 Few Things You Should Not Say When Answering That Question
- 6 Passing Thoughts on Simple Career Objectives Statements
Why Do They Ask – What Are Your Career Objectives Over the Next 5-10 Years?
The basic purpose of the question is to gauge your career aspirations. The interviewer is making an attempt at understanding how does the current job fit in your grand plan of career growth.
Obviously enough, they would also want to know whether you are motivated, proactive, and stick to your organization for a prolonged period of time.
Do note that this question can take several forms and can involve a different variation of the question –
- What are your long-term career goals?
- What is your ideal job at this stage in your career?
- What are you looking for?
You need to be really wise in answering this question and pass a good career objective statement.
How Should You Answer This Question?
Well, the prime aim while answering that question should be to meet exactly what your interviewer is looking ahead to. Just ensure that you are showing up as if this is NOT the only job you have been looking ahead to.
Of course, you may have several career ambitions, and this one is not necessarily the final one you are looking forward to. But, if you commit the mistake of sharing that idea, you are bound to lose the opportunity of landing yourself in the job.
The employer is looking for someone who is excited at the prospect of joining them and views it as a huge career move.
Recommended Reading: How to Introduce Yourself at a Job Interview?
So, What Should Be the Good Career Objective to Answer?
Well, there are several ways you can answer that question. However, how you will be able to convince the interviewer would ideally be dependent on how effective you are in bringing forth your actual ideas with respect to career growth.
Of course, you would want to showcase that you are willing to go to any extent to achieve growth in your career, but at the same time, you also need to show a feeling that you would stay with the company for a considerable period of time. While it may appear to be easy enough, it would be quite difficult to convince the interviewer if your real goal differs from the current job that you are answering the interview for. Suppose your aim is to be a business analyst and you are attending an interview for the IT manager, it would turn out to be a massive task in itself.
Let Your Answer be Simple [Career Objective for Fresher]
Well, that would be a better idea if you are not aware of the exact development path or the growth prospects within the company. While most of the answers to the interview questions need to be specific, it would be essential to remain in a generalized mode for this particular question.
Boasting about yourself is something you should avoid at all times. Be truthful to the most possible extent. But, at the same time, do ensure that you are not talking only about yourself and underestimating the other contributors in the organization.
A good example of a simple career objective statement can be:
“I do not, as such, have any specific roadmap or plan for the next 5 or 10 years. I would want to learn new things. I know that learning is a continuous process, and I cannot fast track on it. I would want to work with the high-quality professionals so that I would be able to reach a stage where I can manage all the responsibilities that are handed over to me. I would only use this opportunity as a means of achieving a bigger role within the company or within similar organizations.”
This shall ideally be a good and simple career objective statement for a fresher.
Focus on a Slow Motion Path [Career Objective for Interns]
Indicate that you are excited to join the job and also excited about the learning possibilities available in the new assignment. Focus on the slow nature of learning through internal training programs.
A good answer can be, ” In the next five years, I would want to complete my internal training on the job. I have gained enough information about your organization and the career development options that it provides. I would be looking ahead to become a manager in the xxx department. That would be my top career goal.”
This shall be an ideal career objective for people showing up to join as interns who in turn desires a job in the organization.
Make it a point to let the hirer know that you know enough about the organization. Focus on your learning potential.
Showcase your Enthusiasm
A hiring manager will always be looking forward to the enthusiastic candidate for filling up the post. No matter whether you have it in you in terms of the qualifications or the skills needed for the job. Your zeal for learning new things and being focused on what you are asked to perform is the key to winning over the interviewer.
Be studious and enthusiastic enough when you make those projections into the future goals you may have. Ensure that your answer is genuinely grounded and enthusiastic to the core. But, at the same time – you also need to ensure that you are not boasting too much about yourself.
Have a Vision of Where Would You Want To See Yourself In The Next 5 Years
Before you can answer the question as to what are your career goals over the next 5-10 years, it would be practical enough to give a thought to what you have planned for your future. It would be a great idea to give a thought to the following areas –
- Are you looking for any specific job title?
- Would you want to attain a few technical or other skills?
- Would you expect to receive or get awarded a few specific certificates and awards?
- What exactly would you want to have achieved by that time in your career?
Think over those aspects and prepare your answers based on the actual career goals you may have sketched in your mind. However, make sure the career graph that you have been planning for yourself is actually related to the organization that you have actually planned.
Showcase your Potential – [Career Objective for Experienced]
If you are sure you have the relevant potential to achieve the best possible expertise in your chosen field, it would be an exciting option to bring that forth in your answer. However, avoid talking about yourself and talk about what you want to achieve – rather than what you can do.
A typical answer can be, “I would want to become an expert in the xxx field in the next five years. I want to gain expertise so that others would want to look ahead for tips suggestions. I have had a lot of great mentors in my past jobs and would expect the same degree of involvement in this position as well. I would want to connect with the larger company goals and initiatives and be a part of the company’s inner ring of influencers.”
This shall be a good answer in case you are experienced and desire to expertise in the field offered by an organisation in really short-term.
Showcase Your Previous Experiences and Achievements
If you have already achieved a better degree of performance in your current job, it would be relevant and worthwhile to showcase in your answer to this question. In fact, if you are really shrewd enough, you can make the best out of this opportunity to bring your knowledge in the field to the focus.
A good answer can be, “I would think my project management background would be quite useful and practical in achieving the best possible results in this role. I would want to lead the xxx team here so that I can put my past experience to some test, in addition to learning new things.”
The candidate here is attempting to sell an idea where they can create a new team and work with the interdepartmental skills. The candidate also is looking to work with other departments to bring in improvements in his own expertise.
Now, that we know what aspects should be looked into while passing a career objective statement, let us know what actually an employer is looking for in your answers.
What is The Employer Looking for In Your Answer?
The question is not exactly about what you will exactly be doing after 5 or 10 years. They have a few questions in their mind about your eligibility, and if they find the right answers that they are looking forward to, you are in.
Some of the critical areas that the interviewer is trying to understand is:
- They want to check if their expectations meet yours. In fact, they want to understand whether the goals you have set for yourself meet the needs of the job opening that you have applied for. The question may also be an attempt at estimating whether you are under-qualified or over-qualified for the job.
- They want to gauge whether you will stay with them for at least five years. It has been estimated that around 45 percent of the employees remain in the same job for more than five years. Companies always look for candidates who are willing to stay with them for a longer time frame. They do not want to spend effort and money on training and appointments, which can turn out to be extremely costly.
- The employer may also be trying to gauge whether you possess a sense of ambition or a drive to move ahead in life. Enthusiastic people are always an asset to a company. It may be much difficult to plan for things in the days ahead, but an enthusiasm to achieve success is always seen as a positive trait.
- The question can also give the employers an insight into the interests of your life. It can be trying to be an industry expert in a specific area, taking up leadership initiatives, and gaining a better knowledge of other allied departments.
Yes, with this we have understood the expectations of an employer and certain dos while answering the question. Now let us see a few don’ts while answering it.
Few Things You Should Not Say When Answering That Question
Well, we learned a few aspects of how to answer that wonderful and exciting and somewhat risky question. But, have you ever given a thought to a few of the essential aspects that you should NOT do when answering that question?
We would want you to understand that it is quite essential to answer the question rightly, but it would also be necessary to find a few areas that you should not do. Answering the question “what are your career objectives over the next five to 10 years?” is not comfortable enough, and we would want you to focus on what kind of answers you should avoid.
Passing Thoughts on Simple Career Objectives Statements
Those are a few excellent options you can opt for if you are posed with that question ever again in the interview. Of course, you may or may not be aware of what precisely what you will be after five or ten years. But, now that we have understood how to answer this question, that should not be a huge concern as such.
We hope you have been served well for answering – “What are you career objectives for the next 5-10 years?”.