One of the many questions that run through the minds of various individual is if there is need of sending a thank you email after an interview? Is there a possibility that this would change the decisions of the management? There is no drawback whatsoever of sending a thank you message after a great interview. On the other hand, it would be a significant loss to you if you lost the position to your opponent simply because you did not bother to sit down and draft a thank you email.
Will it make a difference? This will depend with the employer. To some a thank you email will improve a positive impression already created during the interview. Some managers see it as a polite gesture, which will go a long way in impressing them. The bone of contention for such employer will be if you cannot make an extra effort to get the job then what extra can you do for the company. In fact, some will see such a candidate as a liability to the company instead of an asset thus may no employ. Most employers agree that failure to send a thank you note while you competitors area doing so will reflect badly on you.
A few companies see no relationship between a well-crafted thank you email and getting the job. Could be their metrics of hiring a person are rather different, and such a note will not influence their decision. As long as someone meets the criteria and has the right credentials and did well in the interview, then there is no point of changing their minds simply because a thank you email does not feature in their database.
However, if you have to send the email, make sure it is well crafted, polite and does not at all sound desperate. It may go a long way in increasing your chances of getting your dream job. If it does not then, there is no much loss on your side
Five reasons why you need to get it right
- Sending a thank you email allows you to reconnect with you potential employers and create a good rapport with them.
- It is a reminder to the employer to keep you in mind out of the many candidates they have to consider
- It gives you another chance to market yourself
- It gives you the opportunity to address some issues that you neglected during the interview
- Helps to increase the employer level of comfort once he settles on picking you
The do’s and don’ts when writing the thank you email after an interview
Be prompt an immediate
Your message will only remain relevant if you send it immediately. Otherwise sending it after time has already elapsed will make come off as a person who does not keep track of time. In some cases, the employers may have interview too many people that you email may fail to be noticed if sent too late after the interview
Be specific and precise
As you write down that email, remember whoever you are sending it to may have limited time to read a whole piece of literature especially if they are supposed to figure out what it means. Do not beat around the bush. Make the point you want to pass across clear for the employer to understand. Good communication is essential.
Avoid typo mistakes
Any grammar or spelling mistakes will undermine your effort of finding the right kind of job. The written note will be offering the managers a chance to test your written skills. So make sure your game remains on top
Do not sound too desperate
While writing the thank you email may increase your chances of getting a good job coming out as too desperate may lead to the employers ignoring you as unsuitable candidate lowering your chances of getting the job.
A template to help you draft a good post-interview email
Do not send the wrong message
At no cost should you send the wrong message to your employer. Be more than extra careful as sending the wrong message communicates that you are unreliable and capable of making mistakes that may be too costly to the organization.
No one wants to hire a pessimist in his or her company. So keep the negative comments to yourself as they may discredit you from getting the job that you need.
A template- The structure of a thank you email
Paragraph 1: In this section start by expressing your gratitude for the fact that they took the time to consider to take you for an interview. You could say something like, it is with much gratitude that I take this chance to thank you for taking the time to meet and interact with me at a personal level. I appreciated you sharing the views that you have on your company’s strategies and challenges you may be facing.
Paragraph 2: Emphasize on why you are the perfect candidate for the job. In this section, you could include some of the information relevant to the job that you may have omitted during the interview. You can phrase it this way; I am aware your company is in need of a candidate who has skills such as A, B and C skills which will help the firm to deal with underlying issues and challenges you are facing, I am confident that the experience I have I will deliver exemplary result and thus be an asset to your company. Remember the goal of this paragraph is to communicate that you understand well the needs of the company and what they are looking for.
Last paragraph. Let your interest in contributing towards the company’s success come out in this subsection. Also, make a point of letting the manager know that you are open for further discussion if need be.
Regardless of different viewpoints by managers concerning a post-interview thank you email, as long as you thank you email is well written then there is no harm in sending it to your potential employer. Do your part and let them be the ones to determine whether your thank you note will influence their decision or not. After all, it is better to try than not trying at all.
Job Interview Question Tell Me About A Challenge You Faced at Work
One of the favorite questions of interviewers is about the challenges that interviewees have faced in the past. If you are on your way to a job interview, you should definitely prepare for this type of question. Questions about challenges can be intimidating as they reveal a lot about your fears and weaknesses. This is definitely not something you want your interviewer to focus on. The good news is that with preparation, you can use this as another opportunity to sell yourself.
Why Interviewers Ask the “Challenge Question”
Many have argued that the challenge question is irrelevant to the current job you are applying for. Every situation is unique, so its unlikely that it will happen again in exactly the same way.
More than an insight into your weaknesses, questions about past challenges also give interviewers an inkling as to how you handle yourself during difficult situation. While its no guarantee that you will react in the same way, they at least have an idea of the kind of person that you are. It allows the interviewer to find out your skills, knowledge and depth of experience and determine for himself whether you are suited for the position.
How Do You Handle Difficult Situations?
Distilled to its essence, the challenge question basically shows how you handle challenging situations. Here are some tips to remember when asked the “challenge question”:
1. The question can be posed in different ways, so its important to listen carefully. Interviewers, for example, can ask how you overcame past obstacles. Know what the question is before answering. I know, it can be difficult not to hit the buzzer when you know the answer, but you might miss your chance to show off your skills.
2. Pick a work-related example, preferably something that has a connection to the job for which are you are applying. If you are applying as manager for customer service, cite an instance when you took action when your company failed to deliver the goods. It goes without saying that you should pick an example where you prevailed. It is therefore important to reflect on this question long before your interview so that you can have several examples up your sleeves. This will also ensure that you have the best example at your fingertips. You don’t want to leave the room with the feeling of wanting to go back to correct an answer.
3. Be as specific as possible. Do not make pithy statements just to impress the interviewer. Further to example in #2, narrate the actions you took, the problems that you faced, and the eventual resolution.
4. Describe the challenge in positive terms. Yes, challenges are skewed in the negative, and that is why it is important to have a ready answer for the challenge question. If you have had the unfortunate experience of firing someone, describe why and how you fired someone, and then go on to explain how it benefited everyone. Remember, experiences are neither positive or negative. It’s how you spin it that makes it go one way or the other. That said, do not go overboard and ignore the challenge. The interviewer is more interested in knowing how you dealt with the situation.
5. As much as possible, do not use personal stories. Confine the narrative to your work life, unless it is related to the position. If you are applying as a nurse, then stories about how you cared for your invalid parent would be appropriate. Nonetheless, focus on what you did instead of your feelings during those times. Be as brief and candid as possible.
6. In case you have no work experience as of yet, use your achievements in school or extracurricular activities.
7. Do not fabricate a situation. Lying is never a good option. Your example does not have to be life-altering, they just need to be yours. It might blow up in your face, and there may be no going back from it.
8. While the challenge question is important, do not dwell too much on it. Answer it naturally, but be brief and concise. Stay on point – paint a picture of a person who can deal with whatever life hands out. That’s it.
9. Finally, don’t forget to explain why you consider the situation a challenge. Whether is a situation is considered challenging is a matter of opinion. So its important to make them understand where you are coming from so that you can converge on a point of understanding.
To add to it, you need to be able to show your analytical thinking while answering this question either in an interview or in an essay test. One company I know is Uber. Uber analytics test heavily gauges your ability to solve problems both in their essay questions as well as analytical questions. Be prepared.
Think Before You Speak
It bears stressing that you should be ready with this question before going into the interview room. If you have been to a few interviews, you probably have a template. Just remember tip #2 from above, and tailor your answer accordingly. Look at your answer from every angle, and see how it fits with the persona you want the interviewing authority to see. It’s not prohibited to use personal challenges as your story, but do not let that be your focus. If you have a sad story to tell (who doesn’t?), skim over it, and tell it only when absolutely necessary (and related to the job). Think before you speak.
You are not human unless you have been through challenges. But an interview is not the time for personal stories, no matter how moving they may be. It is however, a time to show off your skills and convince them why they should hire you. As this is a very common question by interviewers, they probably have heard every answer under the sun. What you want is to give them something to remember you as the answer to their hiring problem. You want them to impress them enough to make an offer. This is not to say that no interviewer will ask about personal things. They may push boundaries and ask for details. It’s up to you if you want to answer or not. While you can’t stop them from asking, you can be prepared with an answer that will let them know how you feel about it. At least share with them the lessons learned from it, and then move to the next one.
“How do you handle stress?” This is a common question interviewers like to ask, and it can be one that throws a lot of people off. The reason for this is because stress is seen as a weakness and in a job interviewer you want to only show your strengths.
This puts people in some what of a dilemma because you don’t want to admit you get stressed however to say you don’t, is just not true. It’s no good trying to make the interviewer believe you never get stressed, because remember, they are human too.
They will get stressed, and everyone does! An interview is not a test, its about the interviewer getting to know you as a person and seeing how you would fit in the role – if you tell them that you never get stressed, chances are they aren’t going to believe you, and this can make it hard for them to take anything you say for fact. So, what you need to do is show that, yes, you do get stressed, but you deal with these situations well and in a professional manner.
This is your chance to give the interviewer more insight into how you work and the way you think.
Nothing compares to seeing how a person performs in the job role, however obviously this is not possible when you are applying for the job as the interviewers aren’t able to see you in the working environment.
Therefore, the best way to handle this question is to give the interviewer the clearest picture of how you have dealt with stress in the past. You can do this by giving detailed, appropriate examples of how you have dealt with stress.
Examples are the best way to relay this as you aren’t just saying “I deal with stress well” but you are also giving them a practical examples to show that you do in fact know how to handle stress. This is a question that interviewers like to ask, so it is a good idea to think about it beforehand and think of some examples where you have handled a stressful situation.
When you are in the interview, if you are unprepared for this question, on top on your existing nerves, it can make it hard to recall a situation successfully and funnily enough, you may get stressed out! If you have some examples already thought out, you can call on these to give to the interviewer.If you have specific examples from previous work experience would be beneficial to add, particularly if these kind of situations could arise in the role you are applying for.
This would be a particularly good example as chances are, as the interviewer is asking these questions, they have an idea of what stressful situations may occur in the job you are applying for and to understand that you would handle these specific circumstances well, would be in your favour. Answering the question with examples enables to interviewer to see how you would handle a stressful situations in their employment.
Some examples you could provide are:
• A time you had to multitask and handle different projects or tasks at the same time
• A time when you had to adhere to a short deadline
• A time where you had to take responsibilities for others, for example if a college was off work and you had to take over some of their work load, as well as completing your own
When you are relaying a time you dealt with a stressful situation, try not to focus on how stressed you were. Although, as mentioned above, you should admit that you can get stressed, you do not want to emphasize how stressed you got as the interviewer may think you cannot handle stress as well.
Another thing to try and avoid is saying you get stressed by something which may be common in your job role. If you say you were stressed by something thats common in the role, the interviewer may believe you are unfit for the job and would become frazzled easily.
You should also try to remember, that when giving an example of a stressful situation that you have handled, not to chose a situation where the stressful incident is a result of your own fault in any way. Instead it should a result of external factors, outside of your control.
Once you have given examples of how you have dealt with a stressful situation, you could give an example of a potentially stressful situation that may occur if you had the job you are applying for. This can help the interviewer see that you fully understand your job role and what would come with it.
As well as this, it would help them see how you may excel in the job.
It may also be worth mentioning that you can thrive under a little stress as it can be a motivator for you. Again, an example would be useful to the interviewer to gain insight with how you actually dealt with it and how it motivated you.
It’s worth noting that this question may be asked in a different format, for example ‘How well do you perform under pressure?’. If this is the case, the same general rules apply, that should give examples of how you have handled stress in previous job roles.
Remember, when answering this question, the interviewer is looking for the following:
• You are aware that stress is a part of life, and everyone experiences stress in their work.
• You understand how stress affects you personally and professionally.
• That you can handle stressful situations successfully.
Its important to remember, stress is part of life and comes with a lot of job roles. The best way to handle this is to know yourself and how you react to stress and stressful situations. Once you understand this about yourself, you can make steps to help yourself deal with stress in a positive way. Let this understanding of yourself come across in your answers and examples to the interviewer. This will let them get a good understanding of how you handle stress.
If you keep this factors in mind, your answer will be great!
You are in the mid of an interview for that dream job. And then the interviewer poses that mind blowing question; “so what are salary are you expecting?” What are you supposed to do? Are you supposed to freak out and exaggerate? Or are you supposed to get desperate and underestimate your salary? Being in such a situation can be tricky. This is due to the fact that you are torn between giving a quotation that you think your employer might consider too high or giving a quotation that you think might make your employer think that you are desperate and maybe you don’t have the experience needed for the job. You don’t want to come out as either arrogant or overconfident. Giving a low salary quotation is very dangerous as you risk being underpaid for the rest of your career life. This question is tough. Before you answer this kind of a question, you are supposed to have a strategy on how you will tackle it. So what strategies would you employto answer the salary question in an interview?
Decline to answer the question
You got me right. Yes, refuse! But how? You can literary avoid answering the question but in a very witty manner. In some instances, however, an outright refusal is called for. Be firm but again do it in a very polite manner. Your word choice is very critical here when answering this kind of a question. Use phrases like ” I had love to know more about the position before and what kind of employee you are looking for before we get to numbers” Or even play their game and hurl the question back to them and ask them ” What is your salary range for this kind of job opening?” By saying this you are clearly showing that you are not willing to talk matters numbers. But there is also one great tip as you deploy this strategy; put a smile on your face!
Answer the underlying concern
Pretty often, when employers ask about salary requirements, what they are really interested in is knowing whether you are just wasting each other’s time and money. It takes money, time and effort to interview people. Trust me no employer wants to waste the three resources in interviewing somebody they can’t afford to pay in the first place. Now, how will you answer the salary question for this kind of an employer in the best way possible? Answer the underlying concern to kill the phobia in them. How do you do that? The word choice you use is again very crucial here. Answer them with this kind of a sentence; “If every thing falls into place, I am sure salary won’t be a problem in the first place” You have just killed the phobia in them. To crown it all, tell them; ” I am not here for the purpose of wasting your time and am sure if we decide that this is going to end good for me, am certain we will get to come to terms on the salary issue” This is a surefire way of arm-twisting your interviewer into forgetting about the salary question.
Pave it away with an open-ended question
By doing this you will literally avoid the salary question in a very witty manner. Your response should be like ” will you tell me much about what direction is the company taking in the next thirty-five years?” Or maybe you could pose it like; ” In the meantime, can you tell me much about how my performance will be tested?” By doing this, you will shift the attention of your interviewer in a very witty manner and at the same time avoid a very sensitive question that could enslave you or even deny you the chance of getting the job in the first place. As a matter of fact, research has it that this method of paving away from the salary question has a near perfect conversion rate across the many interviewees who have tried it out. It is very effective in shifting the attention of the interviewer. If you see that your interviewer has insisted that you be clear on that question, stand your ground and be firm as much as you can. Never make that mistake of talking about salary when there is no formal confirmation that indeed the job belongs to you. That could be very disastrous for you. Pleasantly decline to answer the question.
In some instances, you will have to be very clear on the salary question. In such a situation, it is advisable that you have done your research in a very good manner. Know the deep end and the high end of your industry. Make sure that you know very well whether this figures reflect on the salary or are inclusive of all other allowances such as insurance. If you are a woman, find out what men earn for the same job description. You are bound to find a discrepancy and when you have found it, negotiate for better terms.
Keep an open mind to compensation
Compensation is always a means to an end. When this question is asked, always try and keep the ball rolling. This is not the right time to negotiate for compensation as it can be done at a later time. There are countless ways to restructure a compensation. And you need to be very cautious too. Never turn down anything until an offer is extended. Stop imagining that you can start negotiating when you are not even sure that you have even landed the job in the first place.In a nutshell, answering the salary question can be very tough. The rule of the thumb in answering this question is knowing that whenever you are answering this question, always try to JUSTIFY your answer as much as possible. Be aware that you need to make a first-time impression rather than scare your employer from hiring you. If you have to give a quotation make sure that you justify whatever the amount you have given . When you use the strategies of refusing to answer their questions on salary, you win the respect of your interviewers and they even perceive you to be professional.
Resumes vie to get attention. If your resume is written with the receiver in mind, you will have a better chance at being called in for an interview. A well-written resume must include your skill set list. You must choose which skills to add to your resume list with care, and we’re here to help with this daunting task.
Types of Skills
As you fill in the resume template, the skills box can be overwhelming. You must first identify what skills should not be included on your resume. Workplace skills are different than your skills on the basketball court or the dance floor, unless you are applying as a coach or a dance instructor. The skills that you include in your list should be able to transfer directly to the job if you were hired to do it.
Workplace skills can be divided into two categories: hard skills and soft skills. Soft skills are skills that are not easily taught. Soft skills are highly valued in the workplace. Hard skills are skills that can be taught and measured in levels of proficiency.
Skills Employers are Looking for in a New Hire
Transferable soft skills are desirable in a candidate. Soft skills that you use on the basketball court or the dance floor can be applied to the workplace. For example, a point guard on the basketball court is used to observing and making good decisions for the team. Those who are used to mingling and networking possess communication skills that can be transferred to the workplace.
Hints in the Job Description
When you are determining which skills to include, reread the job description. The desired skills that are listed in the job description that match things that you are good at should be included in the skills list. However, you should never pad your skill list with things that you are not very good at because it will become obvious that you are unable to back it up with actions.
Skills to Include
Multitasking, prioritizing, organization, dependability, and interpersonal skills are among the most desirable skills exhibited by prospective new hires. Employers look for employees who can take initiative and solve problems without running back to management for every little thing. The ability to work independently without being micromanaged is an asset in many workplaces.
When you have selected the position that you are setting up your resume to apply for, be sure that your hard skills are compatible with those listed in the job description. If you are unqualified to do the job, then do not apply because you are wasting your time and the potential employer’s time as well. If you are unable to drive a forklift, do not list forklift driver as one of your skills.
Originality counts in resume writing. Be sure to include skills that make yours stand out in the stack of resumes. List skills that are uniquely your own combination. Combing lists and trying to meet the requirements of each job description should not prevent you from thinking outside the box. If you have skills that allow you to carve your own niche, be sure to include these. Expound on your skills by describing duties that you successfully performed in your past experiences. Just as you dress to impress at the interview, your resume must be dressed impressively with your skill set.
Soft Skills and Emotional Intelligence
People who are unable to work well with others do not demonstrate emotional intelligence. Understanding the way that words and actions can affect others and acting accordingly to promote a workplace conducive to productivity is a skill that cannot be measured, but it is a skill that corporate leadership values. Being a people person and having people skills prevents social irritations in the workplace. Although employees must be able to know how to do their job and do it well, it takes more than just being intelligent or well-trained to be successful in the workplace. Being motivated, a team player, and being self-aware are soft skills that lead to success.
Being motivated and goal-oriented are soft skills that get noticed on a resume. Employers typically want to know where you see yourself in the future. Having a plan for your future is an attractive quality to potential employers. It is especially important if you see yourself climbing the corporate ladder. Being able to speak about it in depth during the interview can win over the hiring personnel. Optimism may seem like an unlikely soft skill to list on your resume, but being optimistic and having a positive outlook sets the tone for your day and affects those around you. If you are on the frontline with customers, an upbeat personality can be an asset.
Conflict Resolution and Communication
Conflict resolution is a soft skill that can be included on the resume. Resolving conflicts between customers, other employees, or vendors is a necessary skill. Communicating effective praise to teammates, other employees, and leadership is a skill that the select few in the workplace have mastered. Handing out praise too frequently is ingenuine and is ineffective. Giving credit where it is due is appreciated and effective at reinforcing positive feelings in the workplace. This soft skill is one that will get you noticed and pulled out of the slush pile of resumes.
Summing It Up
Include a summary in your resume that demonstrates your ability to communicate your skills and abilities.
Emphasize your strengths and your willingness to learn new things. You don’t need to mention your weaknesses.
Employers can train you to do new tasks, but candidates who are employable with effective people skills are coming up in short supply.
If you can engage well with others and not just able to interact via texting and technology, you should showcase this in your list of skills.
Don’t overload your resume.
Choose your skills wisely to showcase your best skill set with confidence.
Tailoring your resume for each application is more work, but it will serve you well in the long run.
The bones of your resume can remain the same, but your showcased skills should fit the job you want.
How should you actually answer interview questions that vaguely ask you to describe yourself? There are things you should absolutely include, and there are mistakes you should absolutely avoid. Sometimes it is very difficult to organize your thoughts in the moment. We will provide you with a simple, yet very effective, framework you can follow in order to communicate the important things while leaving out the unnecessary.
What Should I Include?
Interviewers ask these sorts of questions for specific reasons, and they are almost always simply looking for you to present the best things you have to offer. In this case, you should take full advantage of this unique opportunity, and keep your stress managed. Of course, this is much easier said than done. We aim to assist you, however, and will provide you with a general framework to follow in order to answer these types of questions optimally.
You ultimately want to include your most pertinent strengths, and a brief description of what you are looking to get out of your career experience. You ultimately want to achieve this in a calm and confident manner. This is your opportunity to display your competence, for answering these interview questions remarkably can demonstrate your abilities to communicate, prepare, and execute plans effectively.
What Is the Best Way to Relay This Information?
The approach you take to sharing this information about yourself is critical. It is important to be organized, highlight the most important attributes of yourself, and inform your interviewer about what you wish to derive from your experience working with them. An excellent framework to follow in order to achieve this is: history, strength, goals.
You first want to briefly describe your (relevant) history. This can include where you went to school, your fields of study, your previous intern and/or work experience, or how you obtained other certificates and credentials. This list is not exhaustive. It is best to stick to only one or two of these things, as this mentioning of your history should be brief.
This is a functional way to incorporate information regarding your qualifications for this job, as well as preface the mentioning of your strengths. Do not use this period of time to list your achievements, and do not include irrelevant information that will only detract from the reasons why you are a perfect fit for this job. The facts you just got married, and finally made the difficult move you had been dreading, are great, but they have no place in a job interview. Remember you must remain professional at all times. It is best to take time before your interview to reflect and decide what sort of things regarding your history are best to include, and which will highlight your abilities the most effectively.
After you have introduced yourself via a brief description of your relevant history, you should describe the three strengths you possess that make you most suitable for the job. Focusing only on one might make you appear too narrow in your abilities, while listing every single one of your strengths can diminish the significance of them, and make you appear arrogant. Select only three. Describe them in enough detail to give your interviewer a solid gist of what you can offer, but not so much you that fatigue them.
Furthermore, failing to plan is planning to fail. Make sure you have a plan to follow. Before you arrive for your interview, do some research on the company. If you are applying to work there, you should probably have a good idea about what the company is and wants beforehand, but nonetheless, perform additional research to deepen your understanding. You should figure out the precise skills the company desires for your position. You won’t want to arrive to your interview and explain your best quality is your ability to collaborate if the position you’re applying for has you isolated behind a desk all day. Be honest about what you can offer, but remember it is wise to also cater your answers towards the company’s projected desires. For instance, if your job will have you isolated, instead of mentioning your wonderful collaboration skills, mention your great ability to individually generate work quickly.
Finally, briefly describe the goals you wish to achieve by working at this company. You can begin by stating something along the lines of, “I really hope to gain the valuable experience of…” or “I am looking to apply the skills I learned at…”
As much as companies seek to learn if you are the best fit for their open job, they also seek to learn if they can provide you with what you want and need.
Employment is two-way street. Interviews can be very intimidating, and you might find yourself agreeing to the company’s every condition, but it is truly unwise to comply unconditionally just so you will be hired.
You likely won’t want to work for a company that neglects your needs. Voicing your goals and what you seek to gain from the company can actually demonstrate that you are not willing to settle for less than what you desire.
To your interviewer, this trait might be desirable within itself. Companies likely won’t wish to hire the candidates who seem most desperate, but rather, will want to hire those who appear insightful and confident about why they applied in the first place.
Demonstrate that you have reviewed the available position carefully, and have consciously decided that it is a job you want, and can perform well. Your interviewer will absolutely be able to discern if your desire for their position is unique, or if this job is simply one of many on your list.
Interviews provide wonderful opportunities to effectively communicate why you are best fit for the available position. Review this framework we have provided you, plan accordingly, and never again freeze at the notion of vague questions that require you describe yourself. After all, you know yourself better than anybody else. It is incredibly unlikely your interviewer has ulterior motives; they simply want to learn more about you! Interviews can certainly be intimidating, but learning how to master them and present yourself as fully capable and competent are very important skills that can set you apart from your competition.
We’ve all been in this situation, you’re at a job interview, and the interviewer asks “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”. Ideally, in 5 years, I see myself sipping a glass of champagne on a beach somewhere, but that probably not going to happen, and that’s not what you should tell your potential future employer either.
Where do you even begin to answer this question?
Well, the best way to prepare is to expect it, interviewers love to ask this question and watch as you hit a wall, trying desperately to find an acceptable response. Prepare your answer to this question, because it might decide whether you have a job or not.
The best way to answer the question is with honesty, don’t pander to their needs, be honest, be yourself, and tell them where you would actually want to be in 5 years time, not where they would like you to be in 5 years time.
Be broad, tell your interviewer “I would like to see myself rising in the ranks of the company” or “I would have like to have gotten a promotion“, don’t be too specific, don’t say you would like to be in one specific position at the company, that shows a lack or abundance of ambition and self-confidence, aim high, and show your trust in yourself, this will give your interviewer a good idea of your personality, which is a deciding factor in getting a job.
Keep your answer short…
Don’t drag out your response, get to the point, one or two sentences at the absolute maximum for answering this question. The shorter your answer, the better, keep your interviewer entertained, they do not want to hear you droning on and on about how you would like to someday be a project leader, or manager, or get married and have three children.
The amount of clarity you provide in your answer will also give the interviewer a good insight into your character, and getting to the point shows that you want to get things done.
Don’t try to avoid the question, answer the question directly, don’t try and tip-toe around it. Your interviewer is asking you the question because they want an answer, not see how good you are at avoiding questions you can’t answer.
Don’t exaggerate, be realistic, you won’t be the CEO of the company in the next 5 years, nor will you be a millionaire living in a mansion in the Bahamas. This is essential, and will give interviewers a better scope of your character, they do not want to hire someone naive, who has way too high ambitions, and no sense of reality, nor do they want to hire someone with low ambitions.
Never tell your interviewer, for example, you would like a pay raise within the next 5 years. If your expectations are too low, you show a lack of confidence in yourself, which is a big red flag and will get you eliminated right away.
Focus on the company you’re applying to, they are looking for commitment and reliability, someone they can trust. Do not express your interests in working for other companies, or leaving the company in the foreseeable future, they want their company to be your priority, they don’t want to hire you if you think you might leave, or have big plans outside of the company.
If you can see yourself working full time at their company in 5 years time, that means you are probably a good candidate for the job that the interviewer mightt actually consider hiring.
Okay, this tip might seem strange, but it is so unbelievably important.
Don’t try to be funny. Don’t do it. Never, ever, say “in your seat”, or anything like it, you will be instantly eliminated from the list of potential employees.
Even though this might be your first impulse, seem friendly, crack a joke, the question is serious, they want to know your ambitions and where you honestly see yourself, not how good a stand-up (or in this case sit-down) comedian you are.
Another thing not to do is talk about your personal life, talk strictly about your position at the company, talking about personal life, such as saying that you would like to have children, shows the interviewer you are going to be spending quite some time away from the company, focusing on things that will not earn them money, therefore avoid talking about personal issues or ambitions.
Highlight your strengths, make yourself stand out from the crowd, you most likely have unique strengths that your interviewer is interested in, for example, mention your exceptional organizational and coordinating skills, which could help you lead a team at the company in the future.
Use this question to your advantage, instead of the interviewer tripping you over, impress them, show them your preparation, and your dedication to getting this job, it tells the interviewer a lot about you and your work ethic. Here is a different perspective when answering where do you see yourself in 5 years question, a bit different than mine own. And definitely not something I recommend but interesting to take a look. The story is basically Deniz, the owner of The Career Mastery sharing with his interviewer that he has no freaking idea where he sees himself in 5 years and he still gets the job with PwC Consulting. Gutsy move indeed.
By far the best advice, is to stay calm, this question is a trick, it is a test to show the interviewer how you can cope with unfamiliar situations, after all, you don’t get asked to look five years into your future every day.
Don’t freak out when the question comes up, answer the question, and move on, act as if the question is just like any other, even though it is arguably the most nerve-racking question you will be asked.
In conclusion, be general, keep it short and get to the point, don’t be under- or over-ambitious, focus on the company you’re applying to, be serious and don’t joke, highlight your strengths, but most important of all, stay calm.
This question is definitely meant to trip you over, but with just a little bit of preparation, you can ace it, and at the same time, show off some of the unique qualities you have that make you stand out from the crowd.
We hope some of these tips will help you out with your job interview, especially when you are asked for where you see yourself in 5 years time.
Interviews are always scary. It doesn’t matter how many you’ve been to before, most people get nervous. When we feel under pressure, our body goes into fight or flight mode and this is what causes us to be in a state of anxiety.
However, there are some steps you can take to help stay calm leading up to and during the interview. Here are ten tips I have collected to help you to stay calm in an interview.
- Be prepared.
You should know about the company – what products they sell, services they provide and their general ethos. It’s likely they will ask what you know about the company and also why you want this particular job. If you have knowledge about the company you will be able to answer these questions with confidence and make your answers relative to the job. If you don’t know much about the job and you fumble an answer together, this could throw you off your game for the rest of the interview. It’s also good to be prepared before the interview – make sure your CV is printed, your outfit is picked out and you have your journey planned with plenty of time. If you feel rushed and unprepared before you even arrive, you will continue feeling this way throughout the interview.
Obvious really isn’t it? Of course you breathe but I mean focus on your breathing. Breathe in, count to ten, release your breath slowly and repeat. This is an immediate and effective way of calming nerves. Take time before the interview to focus on your breathing and if at any point during you feel overwhelmed, just make your time and take a deep breath.
When we are nervous, our body goes into fight or flight mode and this can cause our listening to be affected. If you have to ask for a question to be repeated or you answer the wrong question, this won’t come across well but also you will realise this and it will only make you more nervous. Take a deep breath and listen carefully. Focusing on what the interviewer is saying will also help block out the voice in your head which is telling you to be nervous.
Whilst rehearsing is beneficial you don’t want to sound like a script. The interviewer will be able to tell if your answers are over rehearsed and it will sound false. However, think about what points you want to get across during the interviewer. Perhaps doing a practice interview will help you think about how you would answer certain questions, or get you used to answering a question on the spot. If you can’t do a practice interview with someone else, speaking in front of the mirror can help you focus on your facial expression and eye contact.
5. Arrive early.
Arriving early is important as you don’t want to run into the office, looking frazzled because you are late. Give yourself time to sit in the car or outside the building and get yourself together. Also allow time to find out where you are going for the interview. Sometimes if you are interviewing in a large building, you may need to navigate yourself to the other end. You should also have time to go to the bathroom. If you are nervous you may need to go anyway! But you don’t want to be sitting in an interview, hoping it would finish soon as you need to run to the bathroom. This also gives you a chance to check your appearance – although you may have looked perfect when you left, its always reassuring to double check before you go in – so you don’t spend the whole time playing with your hair hoping its not out of place.
6. Remember your interviewers are human too.
The person interviewing you is not going to be reading off a script, anymore than you should be. They are a person too and the interview is a conversation, not a test. Its also good to remember that the interviewer may be nervous too and if you make a small mistake, it happens to everyone and they aren’t going to write you off immediately. Also remember, they understand you will be nervous – they would have had to do an interview to get the job to interview you!
7. Smile and think positively.
It sounds cliché but smiling is a huge ice breaker. If you smile at the interviewer as you greet them, it can help put you both at east and make starting the interviewer pleasant and smooth. Also, if you think pleasant thoughts, it will be you a positive frame of mind and this can help calm your nerves. It will help you look relaxed which is noticeable to the interviewer.
8. Focus on your positives
Being nervous and anxious will just make you think of all the reasons why you shouldn’t get the job and what will go wrong in the interviewer. Don’t let this overcome you. Remind yourself why you deserve the job and what you are good at. Think about the reasons you would get the job – on your strengths – and focus on these.
9. Remove the stress that you can
There is a lot of things that can make you be stressed for an interview. If you can eliminate any of the things that may make you second guess yourself then do it. If you are worried about finding the place for the interview, go a few days before so you know where the building is. Or for example, if you are unsure on what you should wear, call the Human Resources department and ask them. This can help eliminate worrying of extra things on the day of the interview.
10. Remember if you don’t get the job, its not the end of the world
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself about getting this particular job. Remember there are lots of other jobs out there. Think about it this way – if you don’t get this job, you have had a practice interview for another job in the future.
Hopefully all these tips will help you keep calm for you interview, but the best bit of advice you can take with you, is to be yourself.