If you’re interviewing for jobs, one of the trickiest questions to prepare for is, “where do you see yourself in five years?” If you’re like many people, you may not have a solid plan for the next six months, never mind five years into the future. But it’s an important question to ponder because many employers will ask. Here are some ideas on how to respond.

Focus on a Career Path

Suppose you plan to stay in the same general field, research career paths ahead of your interview. What is the typical progression from the position for which you are applying? For example, in a warehouse, you might be able to move up to team lead, then floor supervisor, and so forth. Find out how long people typically spend in each position and plan out your answer accordingly.

Stick to the Current Position

In some cases, it can be okay not to have a five-year plan, especially if you are relatively new to the field. Talk up the things that drew you to apply for the position in the first place, especially if it includes some creativity or the ability to wear more than one hat. This can signal the interviewer that you’re likely to stay for at least a year or two while you learn everything you can.

Talk About Results

Another option is to discuss what you want to achieve, rather than putting it into specific career terms. You might say that you want to become the best welder in town, or develop a process that cuts down production time by 10%, or work with management to implement new technology. Of course, if you go in this direction, it’s helpful to think of a few possible ideas to share with your interviewer.

There is no right way to answer a question like this. Ultimately, the interviewer wants to know that you’re reasonably stable and motivated, and that you’re not likely to leave in two months to start your own business or write a novel or backpack through Europe. So find a way to reassure the interviewer while staying true to yourself and your goals.

If you’re ready to take the first steps into your future, contact Pro Resources today.