Where Do You Want To Be in Five Years?
What a great question!
Most industries have changed and no one stays long enough to get the gold watch anymore. Sure, many managers give lip service to that but no one believes that a potential employer wants to hear you are building up your resume so you can go somewhere else. Asking this question forces the employee to think about what he is going to accomplish in the new position and not what job he wants to hold.
Career motivated employees perform better than those who are looking for stability. They purposefully build their skills, they take on big projects, and they focus on results because they need to put something concrete on their resume. I would rather keep an ambitious employee for 2-3 years than a unmotivated one for ten.
As this CEO noted, the irony in this is that when you give these employees the tools they need to build their skills, and support them in their career goals, they tend to stick around longer.
I will be adding this question to my list of questions I ask all candidates from now on. In fact, I think I’ll ask it of my current team as well!