11 October 2017
When you’re interviewing for a job, you may place a lot of focus on whether you are a good fit for a company’s needs. However, the interview process is also the time to evaluate whether the organization can meet your needs as well. During this process, you want to not only be sure that you’ll be able to perform in the role, but also that the company respects its employees, has a positive company culture, and promotes employee growth. And for many younger employees especially, professional development is key. But how do you know if this employer is investing in employees? During the interview, you’ll have the best chance to find out just how much a company is investing in employees. When you have the opportunity to ask questions at the end of your interview, that’s the time to find out whether they are the right fit for you. However, getting an honest answer will require more than simply asking, “Do you invest in your employees?” As a result, try asking these strategic questions to determine if this organization truly makes the effort of investing in employees: What are some different career paths within the organization that employees have taken? When you ask this question, pay attention to how many employees have worked up the ranks of the organization and the paths that they’ve taken. If your interviewer can’t list many examples, or if the employees’ paths seem a bit stagnant, you’ll know that they don’t necessarily take action to move valuable employees into leadership roles. On the contrary, if they can name several employees who have moved from the ground up in several different ways, they may be excellent at identifying potential and giving employees opportunities to grow. What qualities do you look for in a leader of your organization? This can not only help you decide whether you may fit into a leadership role down the road, but you can understand some of the qualities that may have helped others rise to leadership positions in the company. It could be that they are looking for someone who can simply hit high sales goals, or someone who thinks ahead and can solve problems on their feet. When you know what’s important to them, you’ll better understand how employees earn promotions and how the employer identifies someone with that potential. Can you tell me more about your company culture and values? Professional development is often a cornerstone of company culture, and it should be mentioned in the interviewer’s answer if it is truly important to the organization. As a result, you should pay attention to how often growth or professional development is cited. If they don’t reference this at all when discussing the culture of the organization, investing in employees may not be a top priority. How long have other members of the team been here? An important indicator of employee investment is deciphering the company’s overall employee retention. For many employees, if they are dissatisfied with their ability to earn a promotion at their current organization, they are likely to find a new job elsewhere. And for organizations who don’t address such dissatisfaction, they will likely continue experiencing high turnover across the board. As a result, examine how long the average tenure is on your potential team. If they’ve all started within the last year or two, that’s a sign that employees are not fulfilled in their role. Can you tell me about the last person who held this position? Similarly, this question can also help you understand whether the organization has retention issues with employees. While the actions of one employee should be taken with a grain of salt, it can still give you some insight. For example, if the person who held this role has been promoted, that is a positive sign that the company promotes growth and gives employees opportunities when they see drive and potential.