Tonight I’ve been preparing for a mock interview I have later this week. As part of my preparation process, I accessed my ever growing Excel workbook “Interview Questions.xls.” In this workbook I have recorded every single interview question I have ever been asked. The file contains some ever popular questions such as “What is your biggest weakness” along with some less common inquiries such as “What was the last macro you wrote?” Most of the questions instantly prompted a relevant response, but one question forced much reflection.
“Where do you see yourself in five years from now?”
I first was asked this question in February 2005 and have been asked some form of it in nearly every interview since then. Since that first time, nearly five years have passed, and my current reality could not be any further from any of my forward-looking responses. It is almost laughable how I perceived my future five years ago while a senior in college. I am not living in Minneapolis. I am not a financial manager. I am not married.
I am now in my third month as a resident of Barcelona. By the end of the month, I will have had my second visitor from my prior life. Last month my friend Dan spent nine days visiting me. I met Dan while eating breakfast during my freshman year in college. Dan and I were in the small crowd of people who actually ate breakfast each morning. Not wanting to eat by myself, I sat down with Dan on one of the first days of the semester. When I sat down with him, I never thought that in eight years I would be living in Europe and that this guy would be the first person to visit me.
My second visitor will be Andrew Falk. We went to college together, but I have no idea how we actually met. Since college I have only seen him a few times, and I can’t wait for his visit. However, if you had asked me last month who my second visitor would be, Falk would have been nowhere close to the top of the list.
I do not know who will be my next visitor. Hell, I don’t even know what I’ll have for breakfast (based on the contents of my refrigerator, not much). It isn’t even productive to hypothesize. Yet, on Tuesday someone is going to ask me where I see myself in five years from now. Honestly, any response would be truthful because I have no clue.