Best Interview Questions to Ask Job Candidates – Future

This is part eight of a 12-part series.

Creating a successful and productive team starts with finding great employees who fit your organizational culture. And while you may receive hundreds of job applications and interested parties, narrowing down the talent pool to hire the right candidate for the job goes beyond what hiring managers can surmise by reading cover letters and applicants’ resumes, especially when studies show 85% of applicants lie on their resumes. This is where the art of the interview comes into play.

According to a study, although a typical interview averages 40 minutes, 33% of hiring managers decide whether they want to hire a job candidate within the first 90 seconds of an interview. To ensure you’re completely thorough and make the right decision, it’s important to ask the right questions to fully understand and evaluate a candidate. During this 12-part series, we will explore the best interview questions to ask job candidates and give a few “pro tips” along the way.

Part Eight – Uncovering an Interviewee’s Future Plans with the Company

Question: Where do you see yourself in five years?

Follow ups: Where do you see yourself within this company? What are your career plans/next steps?

In a past installment of this series, we examined a job candidate’s loyalty by asking why they planned on leaving their current position for the one they are interviewing for. This question helped uncover if they are a job-hopper and leveraging organizations to help get to the next rung on the ladder. However, by asking a candidate about their overall career plans, a hiring manager can better determine the long-term plans the interviewee may have with the employer.

By asking the question “where do you see yourself in five years,” you get a glimpse into the hopes and dreams of the candidate. Are they driven? (Answer: “I’ll be in your seat in five years!”) Are they humble? (Answer: “I’d love to be working for a solid company like this one.”) Are they organized? (Answer: “In year one, I’d like to … and by year five, I will have achieved …”)

Moreover, if the candidate is able to pinpoint specific job positions within the company, or at least a form of hierarchal, organizational flow, by stating which positions they would like to obtain in a few years shows how much homework they’ve done on the company. The more specific they get, the more interested they are in their future with the company.

Pursue answers that open up deeper discussions on their future plans to better understand what type of employee they’ll be for your organization, as well as how long they plan to stay with your company.


Not everyone is going to have a perfect answer to this question. Depending on personally traits, personal lives, and outside factors, it may be difficult for a candidate to give specific answers to these questions. If the interviewee struggles to find an answer, don’t fret. This doesn’t mean that they don’t have aspirations or they are wanting to job hop. Consider asking more vague questions like, “what supplemental roles would you like to explore?” Or, “what responsibilities would you find interesting to take on in the future?” There are many ways to uncover future hopes and dreams, and not every candidate will have a clear plan.

What is your favorite question to ask a job candidate? How do you decide who the right candidate is? Let us know in the comments section below!

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