James Waruinge* says he has been through a lot of interviews before, but he has never been asked…. “How long do you plan to work for this company?” Last week though when attending an interview with one of the leading event organizing companies in Kenya, the question was posed to him. “I said three years and I didn’t offer any further explanation.”
Like a lot of job seekers, he wonders how he should have answered the question. “I feel my vagueness may have hindered my success for that job,” he writes in an email
Speaking to Martin Githaiga a HR Officer at Corporate Staffing Services , he notes that it’s a question you should expect in any kind of interview.
“It’s a general question that interviewers are fond of asking.” He adds that, “The question comes in many formats including ‘where do you see yourself in 5 years?’ both questions should be handled the same,” says Mr. Githaiga
He further notes that, “The advice on handling these type of questions is to make sure you show that you will commit and be sincere as much as possible.”
Here are the best possible answers
1.As long as it takes…..
Well make sure you back this up with a factor that will be of the benefit to the company.Mr. Githaiga says that, “Talking about your performance and the time you want to stay will do it,
Sample Answer: ‘I will stay as long as it takes and my performance will continue progressing for the greater performance of the company’
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2.As long as there are growth opportunities.
When answering the question, also make sure that you also consider what you are looking for in the company.
Sample Answer: “I would like to work for you as long as I can grow professionally and that I get exposed to more challenging tasks.”
3.Friendly work environment.
This is the time to show that you are really interested in working for the company, tell them about the background search you have done on the company.
Sample Answer: “According to my research, I have found out that this company provides a friendly work environment and I find that it’s going to be a good place to work at, I am looking for a long term career here.”
4.Till the company and I are satisfied.
Mr Githaiga advices that an interviewee should emphasis on the satisfaction of both the company and the themselves.
Sample Answer: I plan to work here as long as my services are needed by the company.”
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5. As long as the company has everything I am looking for.
Sample Answer: “I am looking for a long term position and if there are opportunities for advancement and growth here then I want to stay for a long time,” Mr. Githaiga states.
A word of advice to candidates preparing for interviews is to expect this type of question before hand and avoid been caught by surprise and giving answers such as ‘I will work here till I die’
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The writer is a Communications Officer at Career Point Kenya.