The one question you should never ask during a job interview

Strelka Institute/FlickrThere’s a right way and a wrong way to ask about getting promoted down the road.
  • What you say to a recruiter in an interview can determine whether or not you get hired.
  • Asking the right interview questions is a great way to demonstrate interest and show that you’ve done your homework on the company.
  • But asking about promotions the wrong way can raise a red flag and seriously hurt your chances of getting the job.

When interviewing with a recruiter, you only have one chance to make a great first impression.

Asking smart questions about the company’s goals and their expectations for the role at hand is a great way to convey your enthusiasm and sell yourself.

But it’s important to tread lightly when asking about potential promotions.

When I was a recruiter, it was great to answer questions about growth opportunities, but candidates crossed the line when they implied that the current position at hand was beneath them.

UniquelyHR founder and career expert Mikaela Kiner told Business Insider that job seekers must be careful not to “imply that the first job is merely a stepping stone.”

“You don’t want to imply that you’re looking for that next role before your were trained or provided any value in the role at hand,” she said.

Asking a question along the lines of, “When would I get promoted?” can send a very negative message.

You’re not only implying that the role at hand isn’t good enough for you, but it can also lead the company to believe that you would quit as soon as a better offer comes along.

According to Adrienne Tom, executive resume writer & career strategist,“this question can make employers nervous about taking you on because you might be eyeing other roles and could leave for other opportunities.”

What job seekers need to realise is that the company is taking a risk on them just as much as they are taking a risk on the particular company, the experts say.

“Locating the right employee is a big investment, therefore employers don’t want to waste time, energy, or efforts onboarding a candidate that isn’t demonstrating commitment to the position,” Tom said. So any indication that you would leave before that investment pays off is going to be a red flag.

In order to demonstrate interest in growth opportunities the right way, choose your words more carefully.

“Ask more open-ended questions that create conversation and reveal details to help support your job decision,” said Tom.

A great way to inquire about promotional opportunities is to ask the interviewer to provide anecdotes of past employee success stories.

You could ask, “Can you share more about how the company supports its employees with professional development opportunities?”

By being less direct while continuing to demonstrate your curiosity, you can discuss the potential for growth in a way that leaves a great first impression with the recruiter.

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