October 17


Where will you be in five years time?

Where will you be in 5 years time?

I am not a fan of that question, even though they always seem to ask it at an interview. What is it suppose to describe about you?

Let me ask it this way rather, are you now where you envisioned yourself 5 years ago? I am sure the general direction was there, but who knows that exactly. There are so many variables in life, no one can know that for definite where they will be in a year let alone 5.
And with the current trend of business in companies, no one stays at a company as long as 5 years anyway.

People do not even stay at churches these long these days, so I really wonder why they still ask that question to people.
I think the better question is “What do you have planned for your life?”

Because that leaves the question open and allows the person to be more honest in their answer. I mean the 5 year question in the context of an interview, ha ha ha, how can that not be tailored to suit the situation.

I guess the other question could be tailored too, but at least its a more open statement. Or even better, how do you handle life now?

Maybe even a few exercises to see how people handle situations. (I guess you can see that I almost completely disagree with how interviews are done these days). Think about it…. When a company hires someone, they are asking you to spend a lot of your time there, one would think they would want to make well informed decisions, don’t you?

Yet they spend maybe 30 mins with you, and you really not yourself (I mean your authentic self) in the interview. So I think interviews should be a longer process to see if the people are a good fit and then both parties make informed decisions.

Also life is far too organic to define what and where all the time. I think its good to have a basic idea, but be open to possibilities.

And lets for argument’s sake say that you are asked the dreaded question about your 5 year plan and your answer is…..”I am open to possibilities.” Would they think you are cuckoo?

Yet its an entirely valid answer, because many people are not open to any possibility, you might be the very person needed to change the place….

So where will you be in 5 years?

This is a video that pokes fun, but has a deeper meaning, check it out if you like worship music and know the oldies and some new ones



5 year plans, Closed questions, Open mindedness

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  1. Since God sent me to Bible college and I am taking all these classes I think I understand the question and it’s purpose.

    Big planners and certain innovators have just that big plans. They map out where they see themselves going.

    When someone asks the 5 year question they want to hear about goals and vision. I think it is just as valid as asking where a person has been.

    Never mind it all I am hoping to create my own business in the next five years. May I never have to work for anyone ever again. The only interviewing I want to do will be to hire or when beginning a partnership. hahahahaha

    1. I hear you when you say they are trying to find out about goals and vision. If you read an earlier post http://thehonestone.wordpress.com/2011/09/12/first-impressions-last-2/
      then you will see my disdain for the current interview process.
      I don’t think the way we check out future prospective employees lack the real capability to see the “real” person. and likewise I think the 5 year question is almost impossible to answer with a definitive answer. I agree we should have vision and purpose and goals, but I think that could be found out simply by spending time with a person rather than asking a bland question. That said I think we all should spend more time with people before making our minds up about them.

      This world we live in wants everything yesterday and that really does not give anyone the “benefit of the doubt”.

      I agree with the reason they ask it, but not the results. I mean people simply rehearse what they will say and change it along the way (which is more how life really is).
      To end off I think its better to learn how people currently live, and how they have lived, to see where they will go.

      I also plan to go out on my own eventually, though I think we are never alone ha ha ha

  2. In a job interview, I think the HR person wants to hear you say something that can be interpreted as “I want to be here, working for you, in a position higher than the one I am interviewing for right now.”

    Otherwise, I make a point to refuse to answer the five-year question. Through most of the past 15 years I’ve been lucky if I can move toward a two-year goal, and the way things are now, it makes no sense to plan much farther ahead than one year.

    Am I now the person that I thought I would be five years ago? No, I thought I would still be single.

  3. I guess the reason I don’t like the question is for that very thing that H.R. wants. If they really truly wanted open minded and innovative people then they should be prepared for some wilder responses and the willingness to open themselves to a greater turn around of staff.

    I think goals are better if they are personal and not expected to satisfy what a company wants to hear simply because they want to hear it…..

  4. I can’t even answer that question in percentages, really. In five years, I will probably be one year out of grad school. I don’t know what I will be doing for work. I’m not sure where we will be living. I have better-than-reasonable certainty that I will still be married and my children will still be with me. But other than that, who knows? My plan for life is to get the tools to leave the world better than I found it, and consequently I am always open to possibilities. I’ll let you know how it goes 😉

    1. Leave the world better than I found it……I like that.
      I like the words you use, like probably and open to possibilities….thats what I mean.
      Every one these days seems to be obsessed with having definite answers when there really are not too many of those around…

  5. I once answered that question with: “Well, it depends on how valued I am here, and if you see my strengths and reward them or not.” (I didnt get the job. But in the interests of full disclosure, about halfway through the interview I realized I didnt want the job, hence the answer.

    I agree, these questions are stale and antiquated. I like your idea of long interviews, I hadnt thought of that!

    1. At least you realised that you did not want the job, some people simply sit there and say what they need to….. But for my idea of longer interview processes…… I can but dream ha ha ha.

    1. I guess you could say that is more or less what I mean, but I am referring to spending time as people out of the work space in order to find out who you really are. Interviews are not a good reflection of who you are as a whole person.

      Therefore I would like companies to treat a person accordingly

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