Interviews can get awkward and you need to have a few questions to fall back on. “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” ought to be stricken from your list though. This question attempts to reveal a candidate’s values and vision, but rarely gives you the insight you seek. Many candidates will have practiced an answer to this question, and even if they haven’t, you are providing a platform for receiving a less-than-candid response.
An exception to this rule happened with one of my clients recently when a candidate blurted out that in 5 years he would like to be in his own business and not working for that company!
Such comments aside, you are better off asking about your candidates’ professional development goals. Why not keep this question in your tool kit instead: “How would you like to develop professionally?” Taking the timeframe out takes some of the pressure off and allows for a more candid exchange between interviewer and candidate.
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