"Where do you see yourself in five years" is often an annoying and lazy question asked by potential employers on the same level as "what's your greatest weakness" and "how do you deal with a difficult situation". Most interviewees give standard canned responses but you can differentiate yourself by knowing enough about the company, the position, and your skill set to offer a thoughtful response.
Image: Michael Ruiz
Career weblog Work Awesome advises that when answering stock questions to put together the research you've done on the company and the position, your knowledge of your own skills, and your motivation for a long-term commitment to craft an answer that paints you as ambitious but loyal. Here's their suggested template for a response:
"I've been a long admirer of [company] and the way it [does this / and that]. You have a real reputation for delivering excellent [services / products] — I even [used this / that] the other day! My skills in [marketing] have helped my current company achieve [this] and I believe that they'll transfer seamlessly to the role of [role x]. In five years' time I hope to still be with the business, perhaps even leading the [department] team, but I know that there will be many great internal opportunities that could be a good fit for my skillset and interests."
Keep in mind that you shouldn't make up ambitious goals if they don't reflect what you really want as we mentioned in another guide we covered on how to answer this and similar questions. Be yourself, just know going in what the company's business and culture are like and how they fit into your goals and skills.
How to Answer "Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?" [Work Awesome]