When I get a potential job interview, one of the most common question I had asked of me is "What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?"

Since I never really focused on any single subject in College that much except for Java coding. I was going for Computer Engineering degree for 2 years. Then I switch major to Computer Science so cross-credit still counts. I never gotten a good stable position for long since 2012 May when I graduated with Bachelor Science degree in Computer Science.

So it is hard for me to answer the 5 years question.

I usually say "I see myself working on interesting problems within the company." I just love to tinker and take thing apart to see how they work (at 8 year old or so I took a typewriter and figured how the key worked and why they jammed).

I was wondering is there a better way to answer this question?

The linked question doesn't have an answer of his/her own. While I do and I am asking for tips on how to improve my answer.


Could you consider what kind of job title would you want to have in 5 years? Could you consider what specialties would you have in 5 years? For example, would you want to get more into mobile development? Back-end web services? Building better interfaces for various big data systems? The key here is to consider how well could you give an idea of where you want to be going that aligns with where you could fit into what the company would need down the road as part of the point of the question is to consider what kind of future do you see, how do you feel about it and how would you make it work.

Also, consider if you'd want to be mentoring junior developers, writing standards, getting into architecture, etc. as other parts of what you may or may not want to be doing in future roles here as something else to consider.

How well do you enjoy various parts of developing software: Do you like gathering requirements, building solutions, building UIs, making prototypes, deploying systems, scaling up systems, administering systems, testing systems manually, testing systems manually, analyzing security, analyzing bottlenecks or something else? Do you enjoy desktop, web, mobile, and other platforms? There are lot of possibilities that you may have had some experience and the question is how much more or less of each do you want in the future. 5 years of experience in some tech stacks would make you an intermediate but if you tend to like being on the bleeding edge of things you could be enjoying using some new language just taking off now that could be put into an answer. Of the bazillion possibilities, how well do you know what you want and what the world could want down the road that works well as a blend of your talents and the demands of the world then?

  • Either software development full time or quality testing. Beside that I haven't had anything to think about much at all. To be honest. I only ever had one real salary software development job and the boss was kind of a jerk. But that hasn't discouraged me from looking elsewhere.
    – Vyndicu
    Dec 9 '16 at 1:22

The answer is invariably something

  1. reasonably honest,
  2. reasonably ambitious,
  3. reasonably compatible with career at current firm.

You may as well make yourself sound interesting. Like any interview question, don't ramble or needlessly complicate it. Say whatever you want as long as it sounds like you have a career with them for at least 5 years.

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