Job Interview Question & Answer: When Do You Expect A Promotion?

Dealing with Questions about Promotions

Viewed by many interviewees as a possible trick question, “When do you expect a promotion?” actually remains a way for employers to see if a potential employee matches company expectations. Grandstanding and throwing around expectations shows employers unrealistic expectations for success with no basis for comparison. Some answers may show selfishness or a desire to achieve goals only benefitting the candidate, not the company as a whole. Even with a desire to receive a promotion and increase individual earning power, most human resource managers try to hire applicants willing to work from the position hired for and move along the company set path for promotions.

Answers that Come Across Wrong
Try to avoid saying “I don’t know” and expecting interviewers to fill in the blanks. Such answers show hiring personnel a lack of ambition and may also dictate an apparent lack of preparation for the interview. At the same time, making bold predictions with no factual basis or previous work experience to back up such predictions comes across as crass and presumptuous. An applicant assuming success and an ability to move up the company ladder without displaying any prior strong work ethic resulting in promotion may find difficulty receiving serious job consideration. Assuming a timeline for proper promotion may also eliminate job seekers from consideration, as each company typically offers different steps for promotion based on experience, tenure, work ethic, and need.

Effective Answers
Perhaps the best way to convince hiring managers of sincere interest in attaining promotions in the future remains avoidance of the belief a candidate inherently deserves such attention during employment. Answers should include excellent explanations of qualifications and well-thought out determinations. Provide potential employers with discussions highlighting a desire to earn promotions and then showing how and why the aspirant intends to do so. Pointing out a desire to remain with the company in a capacity which benefits both parties in times of promotion shows the necessary aspiration and understanding multiple factors play into possible advancement opportunities. Focusing on tangible achievements, showing actual examples of relevant work, remaining positive and upbeat about future prospects, and a willingness to learn generally provide candidates with positive hiring experiences.

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