I recently got a great comment on my post: Where Do You See Yourself Five Years from Now? Lori wrote to tell us her answer to that very common and oh so annoying interview question. Actually, she told us how she used to answer the in five years (or five years in the future) question and how she just answered it in a new way that got raves!
How Lori used to answer that common job interview question:
I have always gone with, “Moving towards promotion within the company.” And it has been an ok answer but never an attention grabber with any interviewer I’ve sat in front of.
Lori’s new answer to the stale old five years question:
This time, I changed my answer at the last minute. Someone told me that right now more than ever interviewers are looking for skilled “people” and not Scripted Interview Robots.
So I focused on what I felt was best for my family and said, ” I have 2 children. One in Junior High and one in Elementary. It is crucial that I remain intact geographically to allow my teenager the best stability and growth possible. Therefore, I aspire to be in THIS position. There is ample room for growth within this area and so my answer is, in 5 years, I expect to be right here, continuing to exceed expectations and growing daily.”
They LOVED that answer!
I love it too, Lori. What a great honest – and yet good for the employer – response. For me the best response to this question is one that feels real – and definitely NOT scripted!
Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I wish you the best of luck!
Why scripted interview answers don’t help you
And now back to Lori’s terrific point. What people so often don’t get is that interviewers want to see the real person – and not, as Lori points out “scripted interview robots”.
I get so mad at websites that tell people to deliver these pre-packaged scripted answers that can only hurt the candidates. Even with a few small tweaks, they often come off flat at best and insincere at worst. Your answer has to fit the circumstances and the flow of the interview. And they have to reflect the real you. So please don’t memorize these scripted robot interview answers, and please don’t use them. They will only work against you.
What about those unscripted interview nerves?
Oh…I’m sure some of you are thinking “But I get so nervous. A scripted answer has to be better than looking nervous.”
No. It’s not. At least nervous is real. (Of course, there are some things you can do to help ease your nerves a bit.) But these bad answers often come off wooden or worse yet phony – even though the interview “expert” authors make them sound as if they are THE answer. The same answer for everybody? Oh pullease! And yet I’ve interviewed folks who sound like they are doing exactly this – repeating something they found that they think we’ll never realize came from a web page.
Seriously…you will not help yourself by regurgitating scripted interview answers you find on the internet. These will NOT get you the job – unless the other candidates are even worse.
If you need help, by all means check out a variety of websites and blogs and use the interview answers you find to help formulate a general answer in your mind. But when you get to the interview, use your own words and your own sense of truth when you answer interview questions. The more real you are, the better chance you have.
Even if you get your inspiration elsewhere, make the answer your own!
Remember…employers are less interested in the exact answer than in how you present yourself. The bottom line for them is whether you’re the person for the job and whether or not you seem like someone they’d actually like to work with.
Scripted robots need not apply!