How to answer the question about where do you see your self in five years from now?

consulting MBB
New answer on Oct 30, 2020
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Anonymous A asked on Aug 18, 2020

Since Consulting is a short career for most people how can you best answer the question about your future plan on the interview? without giving them the bad impression that you are leaving Consulting in few years?

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Ian
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replied on Aug 18, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Short answer: Don't say you're leaving them in a few years.

Rather, tell them about the sorts of things you would like to be doing that relate to the job and the interests they would like you to have.

So, solving complex problems, leading clients on journeys, having large impact on companies/the world, working in great teams.

Use any of the above themes to articulate what you'd like to be doing. In a sense, this is also a "why consulting" question.

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Udayan
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updated an answer on Aug 18, 2020
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

The answer to this question in MBB at least is less about will you be here in 5 years and more about how does MBB fit into your 5 year plan. Think of it as an alternative question to why this firm? I recommend the following

1. Be genuine - if you say you see yourself in consulting in 5 years but your other answers or past data do not support that then it reflects poorly

2. Tell a story - Tell them where you have come, where you are headed and how this role helps you get there.

3. Focus on the skills - as Ian said, make it more about what you would like to be doing (e.g., helping leaders in x industry navigate challenges they face) and less about the role (e.g., CEO of a small pharma company)

4. Be well researched - know exactly the skillsets you will develop in this role that will help you progress in your career

5. Be open minded - No one actually knows what will happen in 5 years so be open to different possibilities

6. Be respectful - you may not want to be in consulting but do not talk negatively about consulting (e.g., unsustainable lifestyle or too much travel) in the answer

All the best!

Udayan

(edited)

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Gaurav
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replied on Oct 30, 2020
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there,

It's a very common and popular question! Let’s analyze why they ask it.

But firstly, you definitely shouldn’t tell them that you would like to leave Consulting in few years.

Recruiters actually would like to know:

  • the level of ambition of the candidate;
  • the adequacy of self-esteem;
  • whether the candidate is thinking about their professional future;
  • how they plan to go towards the intended goals;
  • how they will join the team and share the internal corporate culture of the company;
  • how long-term goals of the candidate correspond to the opportunities that the company can give to a candidate.

Your answer should include the right amount of ambition, interest in learning and how your goals related to the company’s goals.

Do you need any further help?

All the best,

GB

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Anonymous replied on Aug 19, 2020

Dear A,

By asking this question employers are probably looking for a few key pieces of information:

  • Do your expectations align with what the employer can provide?
    Employers want to know that your goals fit with the job they’re offering.

    Employers may also use this question to gauge whether you are over- or under-qualified for the position.

  • Do you see yourself at the company in five years? The length of time people with the same company varies based on age and industry. They will listen closely for clues that you could potentially see yourself here for several years.
  • Do you have a sense of ambition or drive? Employers will also be listening for your sense of ambition during your answer. While it can be difficult to know or even plan for what you will be doing in five years, employers want to hire candidates who have a clear sense of how they want to grow and progress.
  • What are your interests? Finally, employers might simply be curious about your interests. This could include nearly anything, from seeking to be an industry expert in a certain topic, taking on leadership and management roles or incorporating some other areas of interest into your role. Understanding your passions and interests can be helpful for employers to see where you might fit in the team both short and long term.

Hope it helps you,

Best,

André

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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