How can I tell if promotion is likely?

I
have several interesting sounding job interviews lined up and wonder if you
have any ideas for questions I should ask them which would help me decide which
of them is likely to provide the best opportunity for promotion.

Louise
White, consultant, EJ Human Resources, writes:

Although
you want to indicate you are ambitious, be careful as the employer has a job to
fill and may well be wary employing someone who is chomping at the bit to get
promotion.

It
is important to ask about the structures in place for career development and
the training on offer. Ask the interviewer about their own career path within
the company, whether jobs are advertised internally and the long-term
development opportunities for the role. It may also be prudent to ask whether
your superior is new to their role. If they are, this could impact on your
chances for promotion in the near future

Peter
Wilford, consultant, Chiumento, writes:

Sounding
out promotional prospects is a bit of a two-edged sword in interviews; fine if
the organisation concerned is recruiting a talent bank for the future, not so
good if the immediate job is attractive but has little prospect for further
advancement.

As
an employee you have certain demands which employers have to recognise, one of
which is what is the company doing about self-development for its employees.
You should ask the following questions: – What opportunities are there to learn
and grow? Who will I talk to about my progress? Is there someone in the workplace
who will encourage my development and in what way? How do you see my career
progressing within the organisation? How do you feel about supporting my
development needs? Are cross divisional/country/company moves possible? You
should also ask yourself: – What do I really want from the job? Will I be happy
in the organisation?

Finally,
find out what happened to the previous two or three incumbents. If they moved
on outside the company within a year of joining, danger bells should start to
ring, however if they moved on to bigger and better roles within the
organisation, then it could be one of the roles used to nurture new talent.

Remember
that the percentage of people leaving employers because this area is not being
tackled seriously enough is now extremely high – employers have to ensure that
personal development is high on their agenda

Margaret
Malpas, joint managing director, Malpas Flexible Learning, writes:

Why
not ask things like:  "What development opportunities have been given
to staff in the department recently?"  or "How do you identify
and develop people who are keen expand their skills and abilities?"
or" What growth is the organisation experiencing and what knock-on is
this having for staff who show some aptitude for extra
responsibility?"

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