Recently a friend interviewing at a strategy consulting firm was not given an offer because her answer to the question: "How would you like to develop yourself?" was not good enough. This got me wondering what would be my own answer to that question.

I have prepared an answer formulating the soft skills and hard skills that I would want to pick up when working somewhere, and why I think they're important for me personally. However, I don't know if this is what the interviewers/recruiters want to hear.

The question How to handle the "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" question may be similar, but I'm specifically interested in what the recruiters expect to hear when they ask how the candidates want to develop themselves. I get the sense that the "5 years question" is more about ambition, whereas the "develop yourself" question is more about how you'd want to realize personal growth.

  • 2
    "was not given an offer because her answer to the question ... was not good enough" How do you know this? Did the recruiter specifically mention that was the only reason, or even one of the reasons, for not giving her the offer?
    – Masked Man
    May 23, 2017 at 6:46
  • This was the feedback she received after what I think was a second interview round.
    – Julius
    May 23, 2017 at 6:54
  • @JoeStrazzere I don't know, to be honest, I do know that these firms find it very important that you want to keep growing.
    – Julius
    May 23, 2017 at 11:37

2 Answers 2


Answer the question honestly. You should not look at an interview like an exam, where you give the "right" answers to the questions asked. The recruiter probably doesn't even have an expected answer in mind, and genuinely wants to hear you.

Making up an answer to match what the interviewer may want to hear makes the exercise useless for both parties. They want to know how you want to grow, not whether you will say you want to grow in the way you think they want you to.

  • I understand an interview is not an exam, and that there's no such thing as a 'right answer.' However, I wanted to make sure that the type of answer I give is what they expect—but this may be beside the point if the interviewers just genuinely want to hear you.
    – Julius
    May 23, 2017 at 6:57
  • If the interviewers are just checking some boxes, then it may not be a place where you would want to work anyway. Think about it this way, if you really want to develop in X way, but you say Y just because that's what they want to hear, then you won't be happy working there.
    – Masked Man
    May 23, 2017 at 7:05

Questions like this is varies between the interviewer and there is not "correct answer" for it. This is just a matter of preferences, so you can't plan anything for it.

Just be honest and have something within your profession that you would like to be more experienced with. Talk about that and how you would like to work more with that technique (Or whatever it is you want to be more efficient in).

I got the same question during an interview, and I was forward and honest saying that I'm a driven person. After a year, they have noticed it and they keep giving me more responsibility and projects to work with.

So don't have a "script" for this question, cause it won't do you any good in the long run. Just be honest and hope that your answer is sufficient for the interviewer.

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