We have all been in an interview and things are going reasonably well.  You can't get the best read on what the interviewer is thinking but you know that s/he does not completely hate you.  Just when you're feeling confident, they throw out that question that you have heard a thousand times before and you never know how to answer it the right way.  You spew out a bunch of sentences that you hope will form an audible answer but it's a crap shoot.
I am going to take up a few blogs and explore some of these questions, how to approach them, how to prepare for them and, more importantly, why the hell do they ask these questions in the first place .


First Question:


"Where do you want to be in 5 years?" 



It is one of those questions that a hiring manager will ask and wants a direct answer but what the answer is, does not matter as much as how you answer it.  I recently wrote a blog about 'the message' that you are trying to deliver.  My point in that blog is that it is not always about what you say, but how you say it.  That is what this cookie cutter question is all about.



There are many different ways to successfully answer this question but only one way to blow it – not have an answer.  If the first word out of your mouth is "err" or "ahh" – you're all done.  Just pack it up and walk out.  If your answer is, "Jeeze, I never thought about it," give them a fist bump and move on.  Let's be honest, no one has a crystal ball and knows where they will be in 5 years – but you have an idea of what you'd like to be in the future.  That's where your answer should start.


First, let's talk about why they are asking this question.  They simply want to find out if you have direction.  That's it.  Do you know where you are going in life?  Are you steering