Hi all

I was just wondering if you could comment on when in the hiring process, the candidate would introduce that she / he has a personal development plan? (Do you slip this in perhaps in the Tell me about yourself question?)

For example, maybe part of your plan is taking in an MT conference or Dale Carnegie Exec Leadership training.

Do you ask for this in the offer? How have any of you preceded in past?

Thanks very much.


HMac's picture

I'll be interested in hearing from others, but my instinct is that it's NOT something you include in your discussions about the offer.

You're considering a new employer, and they're either committed to helping development or they're not - I don't think it's something you "negotiate."

I'd certainly mention my desire to continue with development during the interviews, and if appropriate, I might give some examples and probe a bit with questions about how much development the prospective employer provides.

Once hired, I'd sit down with my new boss to work on a development plan (and yes, I'd come with specific examples).

Again, I'll be interested to hear from others.

jhack's picture

It's your answer to the Weakness Question.

"Sometimes, I rely too much on data when trying to persuade people. So I'm taking the Dale Carnegie course..."

Otherwise, don't mention it unless the ask specifically.


lazerus's picture

Could you not ask during your questions to them? "Does this company invest in manager development or training, if so, what?" This seems like a fair question.

thaGUma's picture

Certainly mention it in the interview. It demonstrates effective planning.

Question: Why did you apply for this job?
Answer: the role fits my Personal Development Plan in that X, Y and Z.

I would resist talking about the finer detail of your PDP during the interview unless asked.

However, if your PDP needs the Company's support, I think it only fair to give proper warning. In this respect I would argue differently from HMac.

You will get the chance to discuss support for your PDP within the detail of the package if it needs the company to spend money or give time off.
"I would look to the company to offer support in [attending M&M Hawaii conference] [allowing me to continue mentoring a new manager at Acme Inc]."
They might say no, they might say yes. They might review in 6 months. It should be better received when mentioned in advance, rather than raised as an aspiration after you are in the post. Consider how strongly you would downgrade an offer from a company if it meant delaying or abandoning your PDP.


jhack's picture

Don't ask what the company can do for you. Your questions should highlight how you will successfully fill a role for them.

Really, your PDP just isn't that important. What's important are the skills you've developed already that you can bring to bear on the job. You should be ready to demonstrate that you develop your skills (that's the secret agenda behind the weakness question) but most top companies assume you're doing that already.

Asking about benefits ("what training do you provide?") will count against you. Negotiating a pre-existing training program would be appropriate AFTER you get an offer ("My current employer is paying to send me to manager's training, and I'd like to include attendance as part of my package").

Any single training program is less important than a great new job, though, so be ready to let it go.


AManagerTool's picture

You can always consider your PDP and their support of it...AFTER YOU HAVE AN OFFER.

"Until you have something, you have nothing"
- M. Horstman

kklogic's picture

When candidates ask us before the offer, "what type of training is provided" - I immediately start wondering if they think they need help to do the job. However, if asked about things like conferences - I think that they are interested in doing a great job in the position.

Maybe our company is weird, but we look at the process as them interviewing us as much as we are interviewing them. We'd rather they ask in interviews, not after the offer.