Real-life advice from a real-life recruiter

Hi everyone!  I’m guest blogging today for Jana.  My name is Crystal and I am the Recruiter for Eat’n Park Hospitality Group’s Restaurant division.  I started my relationship with Eat’n Park while I was still in college, pursuing my Bachelors in Hospitality Management, after I became a recipient of the organization’s John Vichie Memorial Scholarship.  Isn’t it pretty cool that the company invested in me before I was even a team member, right?!  I was treated so well before I was even on the company’s payroll – that I just HAD to join the company.

I started off as a Manager Trainee, fresh out of college with ZERO management experience, and was promoted to Assistant Manager and then Manager.  I was working on learning and developing my skills towards becoming a GM when the opportunity to take on the Recruiter role was presented to me.  What great developmental opportunities I’ve had for only being with Eat’n Park for 5 years and I’ve even managed to obtain my Masters degree in Organizational Leadership too!

Outside of work – I enjoy spending time with my friends, reading and being creative & making things out of paper.  Currently, my creative projects are focused on handmade greeting cards.

Like Jana – I hope that you will learn something from my insights and experiences that will help you take control of your future.


The 5 Year Question… and What the Recruiter DOESN’T Want to Hear

“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

“What are your 5 year goals?” 

We’ve all been asked some variation of the ‘5 year’ question.    It can be a tough one to answer if you haven’t really sat down and thought about where you would like to see your career advance to – especially when the recruiter is sitting across the table from you waiting for your answer.

Why do we recruiters ask this question?  I like to ask this question because it helps me determine two things.  The first is whether or not you see yourself progressing within our organizationCan our organization build long term plans around you and the skill set that you bring to the table?  Or is this just a short term gig for you?  The second is whether you want the job career path that I am interviewing you for.  Are you the right candidate for this position?

Simply, I want to know that what you have to offer will provide solutions to our organizations needs.

This question gives me insight to things that I might not otherwise ‘see’ during the course of the interview because it allows you to reflect.  If I am interviewing you for a Restaurant Management position – it may not be in your best interest to tell me your dreams about wanting to become a college history professor.  I might view that response as that you are only interviewing for the job that I have to offer out of desperation – the minute that you find something in your preferred field you’ll drop us faster than a hot potato.

I think it’s great that you want to own a home, have a family, retire to the beaches of Hawaii and own your own bowling alley.  But it’s not what I want to hear when I ask you this question.  I want to hear something that is realistic towards the position that I am interviewing you for.  “In 5 years I see myself progressing in the ranks of management.  I see myself at the Manager level working towards developing my skills to become a General Manager.  However, I am open to whatever opportunity that may arise within the organization.”

In the end I want to hear a realistic, truthful, response that shows you have career ambition and want to take advantage of every opportunity that we have to offer – because we offer a lot.

Comments on: "The 5 Year Question… and What the Recruiter DOESN’T Want to Hear" (2)

  1. I love the valuable info you supply in your posts. I like your writing style.

    • Thank you, Ruth! Jana & I appreciate the feedback and we are happy to hear that you find this valuable!


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