To answer the call center job interview question Where do you see yourself in 5 years, think of employment as a money game. You apply because of the attractive salary, the company pours money on your training to make even more money. Therefore, the more skilled you are, the better your chances of getting the job.
However, it doesn’t end with skills alone. There is another metric that recruiters consider when making hiring decisions: the length of time an applicant would be staying with the company.
In this article, you’ll learn how to answer the call center job interview question: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Mistakes when answering this question
1. Being too honest
“In 5 years, I see myself finally working abroad as a nurse.”
“Five years from now, I see myself finally fulfilling my dream of running my own business and working for myself.”
I get it. It’s tempting to talk about your actual goals to someone but if your goal in the next 5 years is to quit your job, then think again. It’s not going to do you any favor!
No matter how skilled of an agent you are, if you’re not likely to stay in the job for a long time, then it’s going to diminish your chance of landing the job. After all, what would be the incentive for hiring you when, even before you get hired, you’re already thinking of leaving? There’s just too little profit involved for the company to take you seriously.
The general goal to answering Where do you see yourself in 5 years is to convince your interviewer that you intend to stay in the company in the next 5 years. That’s it.
2. Sounding overconfident
Five years from now, I see myself climbing the corporate ladder and maybe becoming a trainer or a project manager.
The good: Saying that you plan to climb the corporate ladder implies that you plan to stay in the company for a long time, which is great.
The bad: With this statement, you sound too sure of yourself. The position mentioned was just too specific that you risk sounding overconfident.
After all, you haven’t even experienced working in that company yet. What makes you think you know how long and how hard it takes to be promoted to a certain position?
There’s a fine line between being confident and being overconfident. Be careful not to cross it. A little humility doesn’t hurt.
How to answer instead
Now that we’ve discussed the things to avoid, it’s time to discuss what to say. I’ve thought of three possible scenarios that could possibly apply to you if you’re a call center applicant.
For an applicant with a degree
If you’re an applicant with a degree, then your interviewer’s concern is that soon, you’d leave the company to pursue your degree. Whether this is true or not, your goal is to quell that doubt.
There are two possibilities. If I’m lucky enough to be accepted in this industry, then I’ll be devoting my next 5 years to learning the art of customer service. If not, then I’ll pursue my degree as a nurse.
The reason why I’m prioritizing call center over my degree is for me, career-wise, I feel that there’s a better opportunity for me to be a call center agent than to be a nurse.
If I end up becoming a nurse, I would need to work abroad if I ever want to get a decent salary. The thing is, I don’t want to go abroad if I can help it. I want to be with my family. And your industry is the only industry that can make that happen.
So in the next 5 years, I see myself being a highly skilled agent and if I’m qualified enough, I’ll probably aim for a promotion.
- It sounds credible. Not only did the applicant say that she’s prioritizing call center over her degree but she also gave a compelling reason why it was less beneficial for her to pursue her degree. This makes the answer credible and authentic because the reason is realistic.
- It’s just the right amount of confidence. She briefly mentioned promotion but it wasn’t anything specific. This is great. It’s enough to show that she’s planning to stay without sounding too sure of herself.
Tip: When mentioning a promotion, avoid being too specific about the position that you want to be promoted to. This way, you don’t run the risk of sounding overconfident.
For an experienced call center agent
If you’re an experienced call center agent, then your interviewer’s concern is that you’d leave his company for another one. Your goal is to convince him otherwise.
Talk about the branding of the company. What I mean by branding is the thing that the company wants to be known for. For example, some companies pride themselves on their work culture while others on career advancement.
This is another way of saying, “I’m not only here for the paycheck but also for your uniqueness.”
If I’m lucky enough, I plan to advance my career and stay in your company long term. One specific thing that attracts me to your company is your emphasis on work-life balance.
I have been in this industry long enough to know that this job could get pretty stressful. I’d like to finally settle down in a company with a sustainable work culture that’ll allow me to stay long term and thrive.
If I’m lucky enough, my plan would be to advance my career and work here in your company long term. The reason why I want to work here specifically is your Advance Program.
This is the first time I’ve ever heard of such a program where you teach employees who want to advance their careers new skills. This perfectly aligns with my values. I feel alive when I know I’m improving. It would be such an honor to see myself as one of the beneficiaries of this program 5 years from now.
- With both examples, the applicant praised the company for the very thing that they want to be known for.
For an applicant with nowhere else to go
This was the category I belonged to many years ago when I first applied to the call center industry. I was 20 years old and have just graduated from my 2-year course in TESDA.
The thing about being a 2-year courser is when it’s time to look for a job, reality kicks in and you have to compete with the degree holders (who studied the 4 years or longer). At that inexperienced time of my life, I couldn’t think of a better workplace for me but the call center.
So if you belong to this group of applicants who truly see themselves in this industry in the next 5 years because they have nowhere else better to go to, then this sample answer is for you.
As someone without a degree (as a high school graduate) I believe this is the only industry where I think I have a real shot at making a career. So in the next 5 years, I intend to be well-established in this industry.
Whether as an agent or in a higher position doesn’t matter to me for now. Whichever it is, one thing that I know for sure is that I will continue improving myself until I’m good enough to land a job as a call center agent.
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