The best engineering professionals are motivated to grow their skills and their careers over time. When you’re searching for a new job, it’s likely that a hiring manager will ask you about areas in which you need to keep growing professionally. This question can catch you off guard if you are not prepared, so use these strategies to answer the question effectively.
It’s tempting to dance around this question because it can feel like admitting to a weakness. However, everyone has room for growth and you want to demonstrate that you have the self-awareness to understand the areas where you still need to grow.
Make It Relevant To Your Industry
If you work in mechanical engineering, you don’t want to say something like, “I want to learn more about chemical engineering” – it’s just not relevant to your job or to the company. Stick to things that relate directly to the work that you are doing today. The one exception would be earning an MBA. Many engineers choose to pursue MBAs because it helps them understand how their work fits into the business side of things.
Think Big (But Realistically)
Don’t answer with something you could learn in one day or even one week. You also don’t want to answer with something so big and audacious that it’s simply not possible. Think about where you are today in your career and the next step forward you’d like to take. What skills or experience do you need to make that step? It might be gaining leadership experience, earning a certification, learning a single skill or getting exposed to other areas of the company, for example.
Cover The Short-Term and Long-Term
A great answer is comprehensive and shows you’ve given your professional growth real thought. Start by covering something you can do in the short-term that will help you be more effective now. It also shows that you understand there are steps and building blocks that add up to long-term growth.
For example, you might say that you want to start taking more of a leadership role on small projects so that you can build your people-motivating and project-management skills to help you eventually move into a leadership role.
Are You Ready To Grow Your Engineering Career?
If you are an engineer seeking new opportunities to grow your career, the engineering recruiting experts at Selectek can help. We match you with opportunities that align with your skills and goals. Apply online or contact us today to learn more.