Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Interview Question - Where do you see yourself in ten years time?

Interview Question & Answer – Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

This question is a classic example of why you should never give totally honest answers to questions during interviews.

Instead you should always give answers that you think the interviewer will want to hear. The honest answer to both this question and the “Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time” question is probably that you intend to retire, work for yourself, set up a different firm or be happily plodding along in a firm trying to avoid doing very much work at all, but where you are being paid a good salary.

This is not however what the employer often wants to hear.

They want to hear that you would be happy to be working in the post you are currently interviewing for or possibly having done such a good job you are in line for promotion to a different position.

This is because when employers recruit they do not see just the first few months or the first few years in their heads, they see the next decade or so with you working in the same position.

This does change a little bit with larger employers who are naturally expectant of you to be considering promotion at some stage, but smaller employers invariably are looking for someone to be committed to their firm and the position they are applying for.

One of the main points given for feedback when somebody is unsuccessful in a job interview is either that they are too experienced or too inexperienced for the post they have applied for. The excuse is often given that the employer feels that the person will be bored in the role because it is too junior, or that they do not think the position will stimulate the person enough or vice versa.

This question of where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time is often used to determine how committed you are to this type of role.

A sample answer is:

“In 10 years’ time I would be happy to be still working in this position for your firm or in any position that you have deemed me fit for in the meantime. I am looking for stability and in return I am happy to commit to your firm for the long term”.

A sample answer for a trainee solicitor or training contact would be:

“I aim to qualify and remain with the firm I have worked with as a trainee for a considerably long time. I hope that I am able to exceed your expectations in the short term and remain with you for the long term".

(Interview Question and Answer taken from the forthcoming Ten-Percent Careers book - 100 Legal Interview Questions and Answers by Jonathan Fagan. Release date is Dec 1st 2012. Interview Question also featured in our recent Legal Recruitment Newsletter, sent to all registered candidates, and published at
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