What About Personal Growth and Performance Feedback?

John Krautzel
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A job interview serves as a conversation between a hiring manager and a prospect. In later stages of the interview process, interviewers usually ask if you have any questions for them. Two very important things to inquire about revolve around performance feedback and professional development as you go through personal growth in your new position. The answers an employer gives to these questions may indicate warning signals to find another opportunity.

What Employees Want for Feedback

Erica Keswin, a former executive coach at NYU's Stern School of Business, believes that ongoing performance feedback, rather than annual reviews, is becoming the norm for employers. During a job interview, don't be afraid to ask your future manager if she favors giving regular feedback as a way to help you grow into your new position. Millennials and Generation Z alike favor continuous feedback, and surveys from 2017 back up that claim.

Around 60 percent of supervisors between the ages of 18 and 35 surveyed by HighGround in 2017 favored weekly check-ins for regular feedback, while only 7 percent of all 525 managers said they have performance reviews just once per year. Supervisors may have short, weekly meetings every Friday to go over the past week and make suggestions and adjustments going into the next week. This way, employees can make improvements before things become more difficult to correct.

How to Ask About Professional Development During a Job Interview

You also want to find about professional development in the job interview. Don't be afraid to ask what types of development opportunities an employer has over the next year to help you grow and possibly earn a promotion sometime in the future. If an employer can't answer the question, perhaps you should look for an opportunity for growth with another company.

Be specific when you ask about professional development during the job interview. For example, say you apply for a public relations job. You can ask about the types of networking opportunities Acme Agency has with regards to expanding your contact list as you work toward improving the PR department's reach. Another way to ask is to be direct. For instance, say to the hiring manager, "Where do you see me developing in the next year within your department?"

A different method is to put the hypothetical situation in the other person's court. Interviewers ask you, "Describe your greatest strength." Turn it back around and say, "Describe your approach to development in this company."

Evaluate what the hiring manager says to you. Companies that do not offer professional development for employees may struggle to land top talent, especially in a tight labor market in 2018 where employees seek to find the best offers. When a company has no development for you at all, perhaps you should look elsewhere.

Use your job interview wisely and scope out what you want from the position. If a hiring manager does not give an answer you like, there are plenty of opportunities to find the perfect fit for your personal and professional growth.


Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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