Interview Question: "Where Do You See Yourself in 10 Years?"

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated August 18, 2022 | Published November 5, 2021

Updated August 18, 2022

Published November 5, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

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"Where do you see yourself in 10 years?" is one of the most frequently asked questions during an interview for entry-level positions. This can pose a difficult question, especially if you're still exploring career options or don't have a set career path. Preparing to answer this question before the interview shows the hiring manager that you may be a good addition to their company. In this article, we explain why hiring managers ask this question, explore how to answer this popular interview question, and provide examples with sample answers to guide you.

Why do hiring managers ask, "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?"

Hiring managers ask, "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?" to know if your long-term career plans align with those of the organization. They also want to get a clear understanding of how you intend to grow with the company. Hiring managers use this question to pick suitable candidates who can work long-term with them. A candidate who shows commitment to grow and gain more experience is a better investment for the overall company.

For this reason, it's important you're self-aware, motivated, and goal-driven in the job. Show the employer how the position serves as a way to achieve your career aspirations and dreams, which would help the company. Let the employer see that hiring you benefits the future of the business.

Related: HR Interview Questions: Preparing for Your Interview

How to answer, "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?"

To prepare your answers for this common question interviewers ask, consider these steps to set yourself up for success:

1. Research the company and position

Research the company. Know their goals, the type of talent and skills they value, their competitors, their customers, and the areas they wish to improve. You can gather this information from the company's social media page or website. Before your interview, memorize the job description so you can reference it easily. The more information you know about the company, the better you can align your goals with theirs.

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2. Think about your future

Aside from targeting the company's goals, think about specific goals you want to achieve in 10 years. For example, the management position you wish to be in and the training and certifications you want to acquire. Thinking about your future makes you prepared for any variation of questions the interviewer may ask.

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3. Relate your response to the position

To show enthusiasm and interest in the job, ensure your answer correlates with the job position and the organization. The interviewer wants to know if you plan to stay in their company for an extended period. For example, if you're applying for the role of a sales marketer, you can say that in 10 years, you wish to be the head of a sales marketing department.

4. Be determined and realistic

Show the employer you're goal-driven and ready to develop your skill set. Be honest and realistic about your aspirations concerning the job position. The employer wants someone who understands the role and can deliver effectively. For example, it's more realistic to be the head of a department than the organization's CEO in 10 years.

Related: Responding To "What Are Your Career Goals?" (With Examples)

5. Tell the employer what you want

Do not hesitate to tell the employer your needs and wants. While you want to align your goals with theirs, it's essential you're honest about your long-term goals. Even though your response may not relate to the role, share what you're passionate about in your career. If the interviewer sees you as a potential candidate, they may assign a role to suit your needs.

Related: How To Answer "What Are You Passionate About?" (Plus Examples)

6. End the interview with a question

Asking a question shows the interviewer that you're attracted to the role. It is also a way you can get more information about the company. Simply ask, "What is the company's management style?' or "What is the organization's long-term plans?"

Related: 14 Questions To Ask a Recruiter When Considering a Job

Example answers

If you want to give an excellent response to the question, "Where do you see yourself in 10 years? ", here are some example answers to enable you to craft a unique reply:

Example 1

This example explains how a microbiologist who wants a better career path can describe their goals in 10 years:

"Through my degree in microbiology and research into your organization, I notice that this job offers me a better career path. I have my ideal career in mind, and it's essential I work with an organization that supports it. I am drawn to the position of food scientist at your company because your mentoring scheme and internal training can help me further develop my skills. I see myself making a genuine impact on the department's growth by integrating new work ethics.

In 10 years, I hope to be in a position where I can use my experience to mentor others and help the business attain its potential. What does the career path for a person in this position look like?"

Related: Should I Bring My Resume to an Interview? (With Tips)

Example 2

This example explains how a system analyst who wants to improve their certification can describe their future plans:

"In the next 10 years, I want to diversify my portfolio in marketing as much as possible. I see this company as an opportunity to enhance my professionalism and develop a creative skill set long-term successfully. I want to work in a business environment that offers every employee knowledge and experience to thrive. I noticed that you have a system analyst entry-level training scheme. I would love to participate and complete such a scheme within my first few years of working in the company. What are your long-term goals for someone in this position?"

Example 3

This example explains how someone who wants to develop their skills within the company may describe their 10-year plan:

"I admire your company's significant role in producing solar outdoor lights for the promotion of clean and renewable energy. In 10 years, I would love to contribute to the environment through solar energy independence. I am excited about the opportunity your organization offers to develop my skills.

I see my opinions and ideas impacting the company positively, and I would use my leadership and problem-solving skills to work towards my goals. I hope to improve within the job position and continue to grow and learn in this organization. What does success look like in this role, and how do you measure the performance?"

Example 4

This example explains how someone who wants a leadership position may describe their long-term goals:

"After reading the job description, I am intrigued by your organization's role in society. I am thrilled at the chances of working with you long term because your company has a reputation for providing advancement opportunities to employee's career growth. I want a position that requires long-term commitment because I'm driven to attain my goals and those of the organizations.

In 10 years, I hope to lead larger projects since being a leader is one of my current goals. I also see myself using the experience I've gained to influence and mentor others for the company's productivity. What are the characteristics of someone who would excel in this position?"

Example 5

This example explains how a graduate may describe their 10-year goals:

"One of my long-term goals involves mentoring in a management position, and your company is an integral part of this plan. I am excited to have a future here because your company provides personalized managerial trainings which can help my goals and aspirations.

Over the next 10 years, I see myself taking and leading complex projects as the role allows. I want to build lasting relationships with customers, and I hope to positively impact the company with my new skills. What does the career path for a person in this position look like?"

Tips to help you answer the interview question

Follow these essential tips to present an outstanding answer for the interview question:

  • Give a sincere response. It's ideal that your answer is both realistic and sincere. Being insincere appears unprofessional, and it leaves the interviewer with the impression that you may not work long-term in their company.

  • Prepare for a variety of interview questions. Some interviewers may not directly ask about where you see yourself in 10 years. They may ask you about your long-term career goals, your future plans, or what success means to you. When you're prepared for these variations, you can professionally answer these questions without fretting.

  • Consider why the job position interests you. Before the interview, think about why you applied for the job, your passion for the industry, and your opportunities for advancement. This helps you outline and relate why you're intrigued by the position to your career goals.

  • Show enthusiasm for the job. When you're enthusiastic about working for the company, the employer may see that you're likely to stay in the position for an extended period.

  • Be professional. While some interviewers may appreciate humour, others may not. So, it's best you remain professional and sound sincere while answering the question.

  • Keep your answer open-ended. While discussing how the company's resources can improve and further your skills, mention how fulfilling your goals also benefits the company. This makes the employer see how the cultivation of your skills would complement the success of the business.

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