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Employers Reveal What They Want To Hear In Response To "Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years"

Employers Reveal What They Want To Hear In Response To "Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years"

Finally the answer.

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We all hate that question: "Where do you see yourself in five years?" It's an imposing question because it's hard to see beyond our present. So then why do employers torment us with those terrible words?

Well, u/s1256 was just as curious:

Employers of Reddit, what do you really want to hear when you ask "where do you see yourself in 5 years"?

Here were some of the answers.

No But Seriously

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I had dinner with the CIO of Fortune 10 company when I was younger and he asked me this. And because he was a funny guy and I'm a dumb -ss I answered "In your position."

We both got a good laugh and then he was like "No really."


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Told my hiring manager "it depends what I get out of this job". He wanted to know more. Told him this was my first time working in this field and while I enjoyed school for all I know I could hate the job. Told him my long term plan is to build a career but if I don't like what I'm doing it's not good for me, the service I was applying to, or the patients I'd meet.

Basically his face lit up and the whole panel loved me. I now sit on my butt for most of my shift and get paid half decent to do it.

Be Cool, Boy

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I used to never ask this question. I thought it was stupid. Then, I saw an employer on Reddit tell of a time that a prospective employee said that they planned to be spending their life in a foreign country in the next five years and was just looking for a job for six months to save up for the trip. I have asked that question every interview since.

It's not that there's something we really want to hear, it's just that there are some answers that we really DON'T want to hear.

As long as your answer isn't essentially "training me is a waste of your time and money," it's a good answer.


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My last interview in August, I told the woman interviewing me that in a little over 5 years I see myself at the company Christmas party and you ask me how long I've been here now and I say 5 years and you say wow has it been 5 years already.

At last years Christmas party she was telling everyone how it was the best response she ever got to that question.


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I know that "doing your job" or something of the like isn't the best answer, but I like to hear people who have realistic expectations about how they could grow in their job. So things like: "moving towards a leadership role" or another answer that shows they know what the job they're applying for is, and they know what it can lead to and plan to work towards that, always impress me.

Just Gotta Keep Em

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I was interviewing candidates for a sales position recently. If they told me they were interested in developing skills in project management and would eventually like to move there, that's fine. We have project managers too, so even if I lose them in the sales department after a couple years, they're still valuable to the company. If they told me their dream is to become a writer, however, that would be a red flag. We don't have any writers on staff - although that is like 5% of marketing's job.

As a personal anecdote, I started at my last company as an applications engineer. After about a year I was becoming extremely valuable, as I was the only applications engineer at the company (and my performance was excellent) and was ready for a promotion. I was told there was no promotion available to become a sales manager or something like that. After I said I was going to leave, I was offered a promotion to a senior applications engineer... kind of a fake promotion.

I left after about 1.5 years at that company to go work as a product manager at a competitor.


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Any sort of plan or ambition.

Moving On Up

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I answered this question at an interview with "I'd like to be in Mexico drinking a beer on the beach" it got a good laugh but they asked me to be serious so I said "If I don't at least have your job in 5 years then neither of us have progressed very far". I got the job and had their position in 2 years.

Best Time Available

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I really want to hear honesty. The major motivation I have in asking it is to see if 1- you have a general plan for the next few years of life, 2- whether I think that's realistic, 3- how that may factor into your potential role at my work.

Maybe you're going to be a clock rider. You're a warm body. We'll throw small change your way and never give you more than you can handle.

Maybe you're going to school/moving/whatever and won't be able to work for us after (x) time. I want to use the time we have to the best ability without wasting it.

Maybe you're in it for the long haul. We may throw training and extra responsibilities, as well as extra pay, to you that we wouldn't waste on a short-timer.

Unless your answer is wildly delusional compared to your skills and abilities, there's not a "wrong" answer. It's mostly a way to see if your goals match our current and future needs.


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"I'd like to have achieved some measurable accomplishments in this role, such as launching a new product. I'd like to take on more responsibility and find myself in a team of supporting, dynamic people. I see myself as constantly evolving and learning, and I'd want to be as eager and creative after five years in a job as I was on day one."

Strange Tactics

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My canned answer was always "I know the answer you're looking for is that I want to further my education and move up in my responsibilities, possibly to management. But the truth is this: I always want to continue my education, but I'm happy doing bedside nursing. I don't want to move away from the bedside. There will always be a need for experienced nurses to care for patients and that's where I want to be."

But one time I saw that the interview was going nowhere, so I said "eating lunch with you guys!" lol I didn't get the job.

Revolving Door

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I HATE this question. Mainly for the fact that I haven't been at the same company for 5 years.

If I did ask this question, I'd preface it with 'I want you to be honest, because it may not be with this company, and that's fine!'.

IT workers rotate a lot, so it's expected as long as it's not shorter than 3-6 months at each job, unless they were internships or entry level.

The Appropriate Avenue

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I always ask where people want to take their career in the future, and preface the question with an explanation that it is intended to learn their longterm career goals and ensure they match with the future career path of the position. If someone wants to be a CEO I won't offer them a dead end data job. But if they want a good work-life balance and aren't concerned with advancing that may be a good fit. I need people who want to climb the ladder and rule the world and I need people who just want to do their job and go home. If you have 100% one or the other you will have problems, and asking candidly is the best way to find out.


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Of all the interviews I've conducted, few have included this question. When someone asks it, what I really look for in an answer is to understand how the person thinks, what they want out of life, and if they are straightforward. An answer like "Hopefully still working here" teaches me very little about the person, except that they seem to want or need the job. There isn't really a 'right' answer, except to answer honestly.


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The best person I ever hired told me a simple, straightforward, realistic answer. He wanted to be a senior dev lead, and continued on to tell me all the intermediate steps and how he would get there. Working hard, learning, certifications , seeking mentorship, and incremental promotions. It was a very modest answer but it showed he had direction and understood what needed to be done step by step to achieve success.

Nope Hate It

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I have interviewed many people, and I have never asked this question. It's idiotic, in part because it's a question that people prep, so you just get the answer the interviewee thinks you want to hear rather than the truth. It's not as stupid as, "What is your biggest weakness?" but it's not great.


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That you understand the career progression the role offers. This question is stupid if you're going to work in retail or fast food, but actually has a purpose in corporate America.

The Different Kinds

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The right answer: The go-getter. Talking about personal skills development that would help further your career. This shows you are proactive in self-improvement and development, understanding that how far you go in your career is up to you. Also shows you have a genuine interest in the field you are looking for work in.

The most common wrong answer: The casual optimist. Talking about what position you will hold at the specific company you are interviewing for, i.e. the "I see myself with your job" answer. This makes you sound entitled and lack understanding in how career development works, like being at a place for some amount of time means anything if you aren't constantly improving yourself in that time.

The even more wrong answer: The big talker. Bold statements that you will be the person you are interviewing's boss or run the company in 5 years, without being able to articulate a plan of how any of that is going to happen. Being confident and dreaming big is great, but make sure you back it up with a plan of action that makes sense in reality.

The worst answer: The failure to launch. Meandering around different unrelated things of what you could possibly be without any awareness of yourself or the world in general as if you're still in high school.

I am speaking of course about interviewing for professional jobs that have career paths behind them. If you are 16 years-old and interviewing to fold clothes at The Gap for summer then I'd say it's your idiot manager's fault for asking such a useless question for an obvious no-career job and they deserve to get the biggest lie you can give them.

Five Year Hindsight

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I actually got asked this in an interview about a month ago. Luckily, they said they really liked my answer to it.

I said "I don't know."

I don't know where I'll be in five years. If I look back 5 years and compare my aspirations then to where I am now, the difference is wild. There are certain things I would love to have/have done in 5 years time, but to say a direction destination of where I want to be is impossible to say. I like having shorter term goals, they're far more realistic. Where do I see myself in 6 months...3 months... Where do I see myself in a month. If I get too obsessed with to far down the road I'll put it off, and be disappointed when it never happened.

Life Life Life

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Any answer that shows you have put thought into where your life is headed is a good answer. The point of the question is not to see if you have a good or acceptable plan. The point is to see if you have thought about it enough to make a plan. Pretty important skill in business to look into the future and see what could be, then to plan the steps required to get there.

Things That Are Much Nastier Than Most People Realize

Reddit user Strawberry_no_cake asked: 'What is nastier than people realize?'

Grossed out woman
Photo by OSPAN ALI on Unsplash

When we thing of something being gross, or nasty, or cruel, there are certain examples that we can all think of, like bullying or an uncleaned bathroom.

But there are other things in our lives that are actually much nastier than we would expect them to be, and we can only really uncover the truth by taking a closer look at them.

Cringing already, Redditor Strawberry_no_cake asked:

"What is nastier than people realize?"

Not So Sweet Now

"Ice machines in restaurants."

- Goodygumdrops

"I worked at a golf course after I lost my law firm internship during the pandemic. I basically just cooked people easy food (burgers, hot dogs, fries, BLTs, etc.) and tended bar in the clubhouse."

"I can confirm that the ice machine can get gross. I’d always do a quick wipe down clean if I saw anything on the ice, but it was typically on parts of the machine that never touched the actual ice we’d use."

- S**tfacedGrizzlyBear

Unexpected, but Makes Sense

"RN here: Hospital floors!"

"Seems obvious, but apparently it isn’t. I can’t believe how many folks will allow their CHILDREN to sit or play on the floors, or just generally treat them like they are sterile. I don’t even wear my work shoes into my own house."

"The other day I spilled a few drops of tea on the floor where I work… gave it a very light wipe with a cloth and the cloth was BLACK."

"I think people assume that since it’s a hospital the floors are in mint condition… absolutely no way, lol (laughing out loud)."

- gracebloome

Secondary Symptoms in Autoimmune Diseases

"Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis."

"Thanks to drug company ads, most people think it's just about going to the bathroom a few times a day. There's never any mention of fissures, fistulas, fevers, extreme pain, extreme fatigue, depression, anemia, drug side effects, joint pain, painful and horrific surgeries, mouth sores, skin disorders, etc."

- reddy_kil0watt

Our Enemies Don't Even Deserve This

"Dementia, especially advanced dementia. It's not just quirky memory problems, your brain controls every bodily function."

- youngboomergal

Carer Fatigue is Real

"Being a caregiver. Again, people know it might be nasty, but I think they still overlook the awful experience it is for people who are caring for an elder."

"My mom took care of my bedridden grandmother for three years. The amount of s**t everywhere (she had chronic diarrhea, and I don't know if it's just me, but old people's s**t smells like something of another realm), awful body odor (even when we were cleaning her constantly), the difficulty of changing diapers/sheets/covers as constantly as she needed (at least two times during the night)."

"So what I meant is that sometimes people think is 'nice' of a certain daughter/son to take care of their old parents (at least in my country where putting your parents in facilities is not common). But it's just such an intense, nerve-wracking, hard, and disgusting job, with no breaks, with little rewards (because at least my grandma was not in her right mind), and almost no social recognition that it blows my mind how underappreciated it is."

- FuelSelect

One Word: Cancer

"Cancer. People know it’s nasty. People know it’s nasty as all h**l. But here’s the thing. Going through it myself, I could have never imagined how nasty it truly is."

"I watched my mom fight stage four ovarian cancer 18 years ago (I’m 40 right now for reference). She was so far along, and so riddled with the cancer that she was given weeks to live, and sent away from three oncologists who told her to check into hospice and prepare for the end."

"Thankfully she found an oncologist (who is mine now) who took her in, and went to war with her. They cut her open from the chest down, and spent hours plucking tumors out of her while rearranging her internal organs. Taking out the bad stuff and building what he could with what was left. Then two long rounds of chemo. Hospital visits. Illness left and right. Side effects. Recovery. It was h**l for her, but she beat the odds and lived."

"Watching this, I understood what I could. I saw the pain, but now, going through it myself, couldn’t possibly comprehend how bad it truly was. I saw the illness, the nausea, the neuropathy, all the stupid side effects that hit you for no reason at all."

"So yeah, cancer. Everyone knows it’s nasty, but man is it even worse than that!"

- jdizzle161

Travel Luggage

"Luggage. It gets rolled throughout the world, often in gross airport bathrooms where floors are literally wet with pee, and then when people get to their destination, the first thing they do is toss it on the bed to unpack."

"Come to think of it, this also makes hotel comforters that never get washed even more disgusting."

- jgilbs

That One Article of Clothing

"Your belt. Think about it, it´s basically the only piece of clothing you never wash. And you always have to touch it after you pooped and before you wash your hands."

- KeplerFinn

Dusty Keyboard Keys

"Your keyboard."

"Seriously man, wash that thing. I can see the dirt from your window!"

- BowlOfJello___

A World of Germs in Your Pocket


"One time I was in line at a food service place, think Chipotle style where you tell them what you want and they make it behind the counter."

"There was this sweaty Door Dasher guy who couldn’t really articulate the order so he handed his phone to the kid behind the counter. The kid proceeds to take his phone, starts swiping and touching it WITHOUT GLOVES ON, and goes right back to touching people’s food."


- white_cyclosa

Where Has That Been?

"The top of a soda can. People buy them from a store and put it right onto their mouth without hesitation."

- fuzzynavel5

Far Beyond the Stereotypes

"OCD. It's not some goofy personality quirk. It's h**l on earth."

- MERT-x123

"'Oh, you have OCD? Well, how come your house is a mess?'"

"Oh, I dunno, maybe because I'm so consumed with intrusive thoughts I can't function?"

"'lol (laughing out loud), I get those too! They're normal, just ignore them.'"

"ha-ha-ha-ha sob."

- SerakTheRegallian

What We Wear Everywhere

"Shoes. They are filled with sweaty feet and go everywhere. Think about the gas station and airport bathrooms. The bathrooms you can feel the ick in."

- golamas1992

Also, Watch Straps

"Your watch strap: mine is white and the notches for the buckle go all the way around and every week I have to clean out all the lint and build up to stop it going funky. Makes me shudder at the idea of other watch straps where it may not be as obvious."

- durkbot

Kids Who Don't Know Better

"Speaking as a teacher of four- to five-year-olds:"

"Kids with colds who do not know how to blow their noses or cover their coughs and sneezes. Sometimes they just leave the snot on their faces, or wipe it on their clothes. They can produce a mind-boggling amount of snot!"

"The awful gross things kids will willingly put in their mouths, and then share with others!"

"I love them regardless!"

- CreepyCandidate4449

We're absolutely squirming at the thought of all of these situations, mostly because we haven't thought about them to this degree before, or perhaps even considered it (we're looking at you, belts).

Take this as a reminder to clean the things you haven't in a while, and perhaps take some extra health precautions in public spaces where other people may not be.

Aircraft losing control
Richard R. Schünemann/Unsplash

Do you ever wonder what it must've been like to experience major events throughout world history when reading about them in text books?

But if you take pause and actually think about it, we're living through many newsworthy current events that succeeding generations will be talking about long after we're gone.

Reading about them online or in newspapers is one thing. But seeing them happen unfold before our eyes is another.

Curious to hear from those who'll have anecdotes to tell in the future, Redditor FictionVent asked:
"What is the most historically significant event you witnessed IN PERSON?"

People recall the natural disaster events they've witnessed.


"1964 Good Friday Earthquake 9.2 Richter. Was a boy in Cordova, Alaska at the time."

– KitchenLab2536

"My father was skipper of the USCG cutter stationed there. He was inport, and when the quake struck shortly before 5:30pm, he and my mom gathered me and my three siblings on the front porch. At first, it felt like the house was crumbling at the foundation, but on the porch we could plainly see our whole world was shaking. I remember watching telephone poles swaying, and the wires snapping and crackling in the street. The quake lasted about five minutes initially. My dad got his ship underway to avoid the tidal wave which was sure to come. We had several aftershocks in the coming weeks, some of which were quite strong, though nowhere near as strong or as long as the quake itself. I was seven at the time."

– KitchenLab2536

Collapsing Freeway

"October 17th, 1989. I watched the 880 Nimitz freeway collapse during the San Francisco earthquake. The Honda in front of me had the upper deck crush her front-end engine compartment. The mother and her daughter were shaken up but completely fine."

"I was driving a convertible Triumph Spitfire, which was scratched up slightly from debris. However, I walked away unscathed. Aside from the fact I pissed my pants, which I didn't notice until much later."

– CatDaddyWhisper

Thar She Blows

"I sat on the roof of our house and watched Mt. St. Helens erupt less than 100 miles away."

– stinkykitty71

"This must have been fascinating and terryfing in equal measure. What a thing to witness."

– runrossyrun

"It was amazing! The ash that covered everything like snow was interesting to kid me, but less so to my parents."

– stinkykitty71

People recall seeing major catastrophes as a result of malfunctions or judgement errors.

Bomber Crash

"The b-52 crash that led to changing what large military aircraft are allowed to do for airshows."

"I didn't see the plane, but immediately saw the fireball. It was just a perfect, bright red turning to black mushroom cloud."

"Fairchild is a nuclear air base and there were a few minutes there where I was sure the world was about to end."

"A few years before a KC-135 doing the same thing crashed near the school while we were in class."

– goffstock

Tragic Takeoff

"I was standing on my front porch watching the launch of the Challenger."

– StarChaser_Tyger

"Was riding in my parents car to a basketball game in the next town over in north texas when we saw a shooting star and thought that was neat."

"It was the Columbia..."

– Misdirected_Colors

Demolition Gone Wrong

"The failed implosion of the Zip feed mill in Sioux Falls, SD in 2005."

"They hyped it up, sold tickets to it, had a big 'BOOM' marketing thing, and broadcast it live on TV."

"The explosives took out the main supports on the first floor, and the rest of the building above it just plopped down 10ft or so and came to a rest. It was a massive failure, and was a funny little blurb on news stations around the world that day. Definitely not major news, just the rest of the world taking 20 seconds to laugh at us."

"The building sat like that (the leaning tower of SuFu) for quite a while until they figured out how to safely demolish it."

"Here's a clip of the failed demolition."

– KitchenBandicoots

These well-known historical events were seen by very few who are alive today.

Historical Remnant

"The tumbling of the Wall in Germany… along with people selling bits and pieces of it on tables in lobby in front of commissary and px in the following weeks and months. I had picked up a chunk about the size of an oreo and kept it… has blue spray paint on the flat side. Wonder if anyone is buying them now?"

– SingedPenguin13

Major Upheaval

"I would have to say the LA riots. I lived about two blocks from where it started. I was on my way home from school and saw someone throw a brick through a window. I didn’t even wait. I just started running the whole way home."

– Scarlaymama0721

Day Of Infamy

"9/11, I could SMELL the collapse of the towers."

– go4tli

"A friend of mine was there. One day in the warehouse we worked in together there was an odd electrical burning smell. He stopped in his tracks and went 'this is what 9/11 smelled like.'"

– mantistoboggan287

I didn't physically witness the fall of the World Trade Center but I was living in New York City at the time.

However, I did see the smoke.

I was living up north in Washington Heights at the time and knowing what happened, uncertain of what was to come, and seeing the plumes of smoke from the attack site was the most ominous sight I've ever seen in my life to date.

Have you ever lived through a historic moment or witnessed something sure to be noted in history books? Let us know in the comments below.

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