A job interview at any age for most people is a daunting activity. Interviews, no matter the level of experience or expertise, are more often than not accompanied by nervous anticipation. 

Luckily, with the growing usage of the internet, you will find many tools, tips and tricks online on how to ace your interviews. From common interview questions to what to expect in the technical interview round, one has access to immeasurable information on how to prepare well for an interview. Of the commonly asked interview questions, a personal favorite of the HR department across fields is: “Where do you see yourself in ten years?” This question is asked regardless of age, level of experience or industry. And it is an important question to answer as thoroughly and specifically as possible. 

In this blog, we will explore the reasons behind the question of your ten-year plan, what the expected answer is and how you can effectively answer this question and wow your interviewers. 

Let’s start by understanding why this is one of the most commonly asked interview questions. Simply put, an interviewer wants to understand the level of commitment you’d show towards the company through this question. It is to gauge whether hiring you would be a long term investment for the company or you have a short-term approach. When hiring, it is essential for companies to know that you are willing to grow with the company. Although some companies may not give your stint too much importance, if a recruiter asks you where you see yourself in ten years, it’s usually an indication that they’d like to see you as a long-term asset. 

Now that you know the reason behind the question, let’s understand how to effectively and impressively answer this basic question. 

The first step in answering this question (and in your interview preparation in general), is to gain as much knowledge as is possible about the company that you are interviewing for. Most companies nowadays have a strong online profile and presence. So, as the first step, gather as much information as you can about their activities, policies and ideologies. 

Knowing about the company isn’t enough. It is just as important, if not more, to be aware of your own career plans and desired professional direction. Chalk out what you’d like to be doing, both short term and long term, and determine how working at the said company in the said role would benefit your professional growth. Writing it down will give you the clarity needed to be able to answer the question of where you see yourself in ten years. 

There are a lot of insights that you can also gain from the general job description provided by the company. Going over the job description will allow you to align your own career goals with that of the company. It will give you the necessary information to determine not only if you are the right fit for the company but also if the company is the right fit for you. Once you have a clear idea of this, you will be able to draft the answer to the question more clearly. 

It is important to show your interviewer that you have done your homework when it comes to knowing about the company. It is also relevant to show that you have clarity of thought when it comes to your own career trajectory. Your answer to these questions must therefore be a combination of these two as the answer to the ten year question, more often than not, tells your recruiter whether you are a right fit for the company. 

It is best to draft your intended response in advance, taking into account the research you have done on the company and the career path you have chalked out for yourself. This need not be specific and necessarily address a full ten years, but it must be sufficient to show your interviewer that you have done your due diligence when it comes to the company, and you have a well-thought-out plan of professional growth. 

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