Many professionals are seeing the benefits of increased demand for their talents thanks to the unemployment rate sitting at 4.7 percent1. This gives job seekers a lot of leverage when negotiating for positions. They are able to seek out positions that offer a range of benefits, including the highly desirable potential for growth2. However, just because you have an idea of where you want your career to go, that doesn’t mean you can start inquiring about promotion opportunities before you have even landed your first position with the company.

Before you risk turning off the interviewer, here are some topics that are best left alone until later in the process.

Average Time Until Promotion

While understanding how promotional opportunities come about in the organization is a common curiosity, asking how long you will have to wait until you are promoted isn’t going to make a favorable impression. First, it can come off as arrogant and presumptuous. Second, it implies you are in a rush to advance your career and suggests you aren’t so much interested in the current position as much as the next few rungs on the ladder. Finally, you could come across as a bit obsessive about formal hierarchies or job titles and not the experience a position can provide.

Most employees are hoping a promotion is in their future, and an interviewer understands you likely have goals beyond the current position. However, assuming you’ll get a chance to move up before doing any work for the business could keep you from getting the job today.

Using the Opportunity to Get Your Foot in the Door

Even if your goals are to use the new position to leverage your way into other opportunities, never admit you see the job as simply a way to get your foot in the door. Taking this approach can seem cocky, especially if you imply you are currently better than the position to which you are applying. It also makes it seem like you have no interest in the position itself, only where it can possibly take you.

Getting a job with a new company often makes it easier to reach higher-level positions with the organization in the future, but it shouldn’t be the entire reason you apply to a job.

So How Do You Discuss Career Goals?

There is a time and a place where discussing how you envision your career unfolding is appropriate, but a first-round interview likely isn’t it. Even if you are asked about your goals, it is best to answer with care. If your dream job is a logical progression from the position you are hoping to land, feel free to mention it. That suggests you have a long-term interest in the field and can actually work for you.

Otherwise, hold off on asking about career development opportunities with the company until you have gotten close to the offer stage, or even have an offer in hand. At that point, you are exploring the business from a cultural perspective, and that sort of conversation may be expected.

Work With a Top Staffing Agency in Atlanta

If you are interested in exploring new job opportunities in your area, the professionals at Employ Partners can assist you with your goals. Contact us today to work with a top staffing agency in Atlanta.

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