All the interviews I have ever faced in my professional life so far have had questions of 2 types. One category is very operational. Easy, difficult but all the while manageable questions.
Then the other category has 2 questions, one that starts the interview and one that closes the interview for me. I have had my field days with these two questions all along.
Over the years, I have tried making peace with one of the two. I have tried being honest with it.
So, the one that I have managed to stay honest to:
Q. Why did you move from CA to advertising?
I remember this question being a little difficult to handle initially. No amount of preparation could help me crack this one convincingly. Then I realized that if I have to nail this, I need to be plain-honest and state the facts as they were. On why I never liked the numbers and on why I could not see myself doing it for next 20-30 odd years. After that, I have always been myself when I answer this question.
And now, the one question that continues to stump me..
Q. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Happy with whatever I may be doing then? Content with work? More sure of my choice of doing what I may be doing then? Be passionate in whatever I may be doing then?
Well, these are the answers that come in my head and on my lips and I find out the answers the person sitting right opposite to me is looking for are not these. She may want to hear a detailed career plan that sees me achieving something tangible and not just the ‘satisfaction’ or ‘happiness’ or ‘passion’.
I don’t know where I will be or what I will be doing 6 months from today. 5 years is a long time and I am not one of those to have an extensive career followed by a retirement plan. Knowing that I started late in advertising, I have some way to go. Still I am not conditioned to think of a future. May be I have a commitment phobia. I just want to take each day as it comes. Have always done that and shall continue doing it.
I want to stay honest with this one too but the confused look and expressions on that person’s face kill the mood to being honest. The look says, ‘Really enough with the happiness alright. But don’t you want to rise up to say, my level?’ I try. And I know may be some day someone will understand that being happy in five years from now is more important than a raise in profile or money. Some day. Till then, sirs and madams, I may sound all nice and awesome and confident but this question stumps me. Really. Every single time.
P.S I was talking to a guy once, and he asked me this same question. I excused myself from the conversation and never ever got back to him! So, this question is spreading and leaking into personal life too. That is scary!