Why You Should Always Ask About Potential Growth In A Job Interview

You've done all you can to prepare for your job interview, you and the interviewer are hitting it off, and then you are asked that daunting question: "So, do you have any questions for me?" It's a nerve-racking moment, but it's also the perfect opportunity to learn more about the company and what you can get out of the role.

Whether you are just starting out in the workforce or you're a seasoned professional, it's important that any position is a stepping stone for growth down the road. A Pew Research Center study found that the lack of career advancement prospects was among the top contributors to U.S. workers leaving a job in 2021. Along with inadequate pay, feeling disrespected at work, and caring for minor children, having no advancement opportunities plays a huge role in many Americans' decisions to look elsewhere for employment — and it factors in even before they land the job. Now more than ever, business experts are stressing the importance of growth in the workplace, and you should be thinking about your trajectory from the moment you sit down for the interview.

Benefits of career growth and support

Career growth can mean different things to everyone. It can mean a promotion to a higher title and higher salary. It can be an opportunity to learn a new skill or take on exciting responsibilities. Maybe your end goal is to become a manager or even the CEO of your company, or to make a difference in your field. No matter what your aspirations are, it's important that you're accepting job opportunities that can help you reach your goals and your full potential.

Staying motivated can become difficult when you feel stagnant in a role that has not allowed you to stand out at work or step out of your comfort zone. On the other hand, when given the chance to grow and advance in your career, you may notice an increase in your drive, productivity, and self-confidence (via UC Berkeley).

At work, therefore, it is best to seek out a culture that encourages you to be — and become — your best self. Mentors, for instance, can be a tremendous help in your career development journey. Having a trustworthy and positive mentor in your workplace gives you the opportunity to learn from someone who was once in your shoes, and it also provides a real-life window into what advancement might look like. According to CNBC's Workplace Happiness Survey, nine out of ten workers who had mentors in the workplace reported that they were happy in their jobs.

How to ask an interviewer about potential growth

Considering the benefits it can provide not just to your career trajectory, but to your overall well-being, you should not hesitate to ask an interviewer about how you can grow in a role. Asking your job interviewer about potential growth will show them not only that you are serious about the position, but that you may be someone who wants to become a leader in your field. However, while you are offering your work and services to the employer, you should also know what they are offering to you.

It is helpful to ask the interviewer about what paths or programs the company offers for career development and the specific qualifications one needs for advancement opportunities (via Hired.com). Will there be opportunities for growth within the next five years? Is there someone who could be a potential mentor for you? Are there training opportunities to improve your existing skills or develop new ones? These are all great questions to ask. If the interviewer cannot give you a clear answer to these questions or the role does not seem like it would benefit you in the long run, it may be a good idea to search elsewhere. Remember, you deserve to work somewhere that values you and will help you achieve the career of your dreams.