This open-ended question is one of the most difficult and stressful ones job seekers face. Employers ostensibly ask this question because they are looking for people who know what they want to do and who are focused on specific professional goals. If you lack goals, you will have difficulty answering this question. Be sure you arrive at the interview with a clear vision of what you want to do today, tomorrow and five years from now. Be consistent with the objective on your CV and the skills and accomplishments you’re communicating to the interviewer. Your answer should be employer-centred. For example,
“In five years I hope to be working with an employer in an increasingly responsible position that enables me to utilise my talents and work closely with my colleagues in solving important problems. I see myself taking on new and exciting challenges in an enjoyable environment – hopefully this will be with your company.”
Do not indicate that you hope to start your own business, change careers, or go back to school. Such responses indicate a lack of long-term interest since you do not plan to be around for long. While some may respond that they honestly haven’t really thought that far ahead, the interviewer may infer from this that the applicant lacks vision and goals.