Have you familiarized yourself with the 50 Most Common Interview Questions? Do you have a list of questions you are going to ask your interviewer? Do you have a plan of how you’re going to follow up after your interview?
Yes? Great! Now we can move on to how you can show your interest in leveling up in an interview. Career opportunities are one of the leading predictors of employee satisfaction, so it’s important to suss out whether or not there’s room for growth at your prospective company. Here are three ways to show you’re invested in your career advancement when interviewing.
1. Be Gracious
You need to adopt a JFK mindset in job interviews. That is, you need to be able to show your interviewer that you’re thinking not about what the company can do for you, but what you can do for the company. If you can frame your excitement to level up at the company as a way to better contribute to the organization, it will come across better than if you were to just express interest in a more prestigious title or the paycheck that comes with it. Employers want to promote employees who aren’t just invested in themselves, but also the company as a whole.
2. Ask About Professional Development
Asking about the type of professional development opportunities an employer offers is as much a great way to learn about the company culture and values — be wary of any place that doesn’t offer any professional development — as it is to show your interest in advancing your career. In addition to asking about general opportunities, ask a specific question tailored to what is important to you in your personal career advancement. For example, you can say something like: “I’m interested in growing my skills in SEO strategy and then applying that new knowledge to create more tailored marketing content. Is there space in this role for that kind of professional development opportunity?”
3. Investigate the Current Career Trajectory
Are current employees still in the same roles that they started in? Does the company encourage the team to learn about different departments within the company? Is there more lateral movement than upward? Understanding the patterns and history of current employees’ careers is one of the best ways to professionally illustrate that you’re thinking a few steps ahead of your immediate job. If you can’t get the real scoop from your interviewer, try reaching out to current employees or reading Glassdoor reviews.
It might seem a bit premature to think about a promotion before you even start working somewhere, but this is one investment that will pay off down the road. The more research and expectation setting you do now, the lower the risk that you’ll feel stuck in a dead-end career later on.