Everybody should have their own personal career goals. You should decide where you want to be in a foreseeable future, but also in the long run. We are only able to achieve them if goals have first been set. This is also true for our own career development. Development and growth opportunities can also be a great discussion to have with the hiring manager, but in this case we will be focusing on asking this question to a representative from human resources or an internal recruiter.
If you are not sure that there was a predecessor, ask this interview question instead: Is this a new position? If not, what is the previous employee doing now?
Evaluate Career Development Opportunities: The career path for your predecessor is relevant. With this information you can better understand the opportunities that are available and see whether you believe you have the same chance at success. There is nothing stopping you from asking follow up questions and finding out what has happened to the two or three people that previously had this role. Where are they now? What are their responsibilities? Ask and find out!
Discuss Career Development in the Company: There is also a bigger picture; you can use this as a conversation starter to discuss career development opportunities in the company over all. Try to find out how often the company recruits from within. You need to know if the company is trying to develop people within or if this is not the case.
Evaluate Opportunity Attractiveness: Compensation package (salary & benefits) are important, but they are definitely not the primary focus of top talent. The development opportunity within the company and outside the company after you have held this position for 2-3 years is an important factor. If you believe that this position will paint you into a corner where you will have nowhere to go, you may want to consider whether you should accept this position.
Disregarding First Mover Advantage: Companies who enter a market first often have a competitive advantage against competitors. The first mover often benefits from being the first one to capture the open hook in the target audience’s mind. The same is true for the first person that tackles a problem or handles a specific situation. As you come in to continue where they left off, the potential exposure in the company could be gone.
All HR & Recruiter Questions to ask at an Interview