When To Ask About Career Advancement

We received the question “Do employers want applicants and job seekers to ask for advancement in the first interview?” from our candidate that is currently job hunting and preparing for interviews. 

Our response to this is: it depends.

It depends on what extend you ask about career advancement and at which companies. We caution candidates on showing extreme ambition in their first interview if they don’t know what the advancement possibilities are within the organization. If they state that they want the job so they can move up in the company, the interviewer may feel that you’re not going to invest in the current position you are being considered for. They also may not be able to promise advancement due to the size of the company and scope of the role. The employer may wish to have one person in the position for 1-2-3 years before they can explore other positions in the firm.

While demonstrating a keen desire to grow is a positive attribute, it can appear that you won’t accept or be excited about the starting role. A candidate is best to begin the interview exploring and focusing on the actual role. Ask questions about the company, when and how employees progress – and gauge if it’s appropriate to seek immediate advancement. This will help identify if career growth is a suitable topic at the first interview. Remember – there will be time down the road to discuss this topic further!