I don't know if my job interview went well.

I had my second interview with the company today, the first one went well, the interviewer and I got on and we had a nice chat as well as usual interview questions. Second interview was with the manager and in a cafe. I felt I didn’t say as much as I should have, I didn’t have a discernible answer when she asked where I see myself in five years time.

These were my first interviews since I stopped working due to a case of the mentals six years ago, I never know whether to explain why I was off work for so long when they ask what I was doing so that’s another bugbear, my employment adviser says it’s up to me whether I disclose. Anyway, I’ll know later on today, just needed to vent, apologies and all that. Yahs.

This is one of those stupid unimaginative questions that don’t deserve an answer in this day and age. It’s meaningless and unhelpful.

When I get asked that I say “Doing your job.”


If you’re just starting the process of getting back in the workforce,I’d ay treat these first interviews as good practice, if nothing else. If you get an offer, great! If not, at least you got more comfortable with the interview process and know better what to expect next time.

Good luck!


I hate the five years question. I always give a generic answer along the lines of “I want to be in a satisfying job with plenty of opportunities for growth and creativity.” Answering honestly would be more like “I want to be on a beach in Waikiki ordering my fifth pina colada of the day.”

My answer has always been “I have no idea. I don’t plan my career that far in advance.”

“I envision myself continuing to grow with this company. What opportunities are available that would allow me to do that?”

Just don’t say, “Doing your wife”.

:slight_smile: Thank you very much. The thing I hate about gut feeling is that I know they’re always right. I didn’t get the job. I was very upset but thought wait a sec I got invited to a second interview and - don’t forget how I felt starting to look for work in the first place.

It’s difficult not to get hung up on places that show a little bit of interest. But I know what to do right next time. Bring CV and cover letter to interviews, all of them even if they’ve read it or have a copy. And don’t rest on laurels, I read all about what to say regarding the five year question last night but forgot it in a rush this morning. So write down everything. I know that there are people out there who have more experience and a clean record of health so that can be disheartening.

This is a very poor answer. Being a smart ass is never a good idea, and they’ve heard it before.

This, on the other hand, is the best possible response to the question. It answers non-specifically and throws the burden of answering back on the interviewer.

The fact that you at least *got *an interview is a good thing. I applied for jobs for years and only had a handful of interviews.

My advice is not to think of the interviewer as a puzzle, or a machine that lights the green bulb for good answers and the red one for bad. They’re people, just like you. Be nice. Ask them questions like you would any person you just met. Ask them about a picture on their wall or a book on their shelf. Show them that you’re not just a cog to fit a slot in their machine, but an actual likeable person.

“You mean as opposed to five years space?”

I’m an HR manager and this is a pretty great answer to that tired old chestnut of a question.

Well now I know how to answer the five year question if it pops again :slight_smile: thanks guys.

I spoke to my employment adviser today and she said the five year question is a very old fashioned question, the sort of thing you’d come across 20 years ago, she also said that a second interview held in a coffee shop was strange but I didn’t mind that so much, it seems a very modern way of doing things. So a very modern retro interview that I failed.

Anyway I have another interview tomorrow. Drinking loads of caffeine in the morning to get me hyped. Trying not to let the low mood take me over. It’s a job for only four hours a week, it’s just a start really after not working for so long. Um maybe I should get a blog. I dunno maybe some of you will be interested in the interview practices in the UK and a person trying to find work after frigging ages not looking.

Do you live in an area with high unemployment?

I know a woman who went for THREE interviews, and ended up not even getting the job. And what was that job? A cashier at Best Buy! :smack:

I just had a look and unemployment is lower than the national average. Eurgh that poor woman, it’s totally ridiculous what people have to go through to get these sort of jobs.

Don’t think of an interview as a puzzle, think of it as an audition. You might think you should be yourself, but you should be a better more energetic version of yourself that will be appealing to the interviewer. When I interview people, and I interview a lot, I’m looking for both technical competence and a high energy level. Sit on the edge of the chair, sound more like Tigger than Eeyore. Of course don’t go overboard and emote, but act as if doing the interview is exciting and working there would be exciting.
And talk about what you can do for them, not what they can do for you. That’s why the second answer to the five year question works.

Also, if you can research the employer. Don’t recite the facts, but that might help you put their questions in context and help you to ask good ones about the job. It also shows you care enough about the job to put some effort into preparation.

Good luck!

ETA: This is all for the OP of course, not Knowed Out. Got carried away there.

You didn’t fail, stop saying that! You got a first interview and a second interview, that means they thought you could do the job. Just because someone else got selected doesn’t mean you failed in any way, it just means you came in second in a tight race. (Yes, yes, I know that doesn’t amount to getting the job. I just think it’s important to not fall into beating yourself up.)

Agreed. Frankly, there are few good answers to that question that don’t make you sound like either a suckup or a slacker that didn’t bother to pre-think an answer.

It’s a dumb question anyway; it’s maybe relevant to someone on the lower rungs of a professional career ladder (in which case, ‘how do you see your career progressing?’ is a better form), but someone applying for, say, a retail job? Waste of time, anyone with an IQ higher than a rock will just tell you what they think you want to hear.

‘What do you consider your greatest weakness?’ is another useless interview question that I’d like to see taken out the back and shot (but is still nevertheless a question that an interviewee should come up with a decent answer to in advance because some people still ask it).

Back to the OP: As has been said, you didn’t necessarily fail the interview - if you got to second interview stage, that means they liked you - it’s just that someone else ‘passed’ it more than you. It happens. I’ve interviewed many people that I’d have liked to have taken on, but ultimately went with someone else for whatever reason. If I interview six people for one job, that means five people have to be turned down, no matter how good they are.