So you’ve been in your current position for quite some time now and you’re considering switching roles in your company – how exciting! Changing roles opens the door for growth, challenge, and opportunity. But first, you must conquer the interview.
Internal interviews are in a class of their own. They aren’t necessarily easier than interviewing with a new company, but they aren’t particularly harder either. They’re simply different.
Read on to learn our top tips for internal interviewing.
Don’t Keep Secrets
Before anything else, if you’ve been asked to interview for a position with a different manager, ensure that your current manager is aware of what’s potentially coming. You don’t need to have their permission, per se, but it’s good business practice to give them a heads up so they aren’t caught off guard. Rumors travel fast, so be sure to tell them sooner rather than later. You don’t want them to hear it from someone else. And remember, they don’t need to know every reason why you’re interviewing for a different position (better pay, better work assignments, co-worker relationships), they simply need to know that there is a possibility they might need to look for a new hire.
Secondly, be honest. This should go without saying, but don’t try to pull a fast one on the interviewer. Often in external interviews, candidates carefully curate what is discussed, and make sure to hide any non-ideal information. Your current company is very aware of your experience at the company so far. The good, bad, and ugly. Don’t try to cover up or twist anything in your favor, the interviewer will know. Instead, if asked about a difficult moment, be honest. Share transparently what happened, how you handled it, and what you would do differently next time. Mistakes happen and the interviewer knows that. What matters is how you learned from the experience.
Take Advantage of Company Knowledge
While the interviewer being aware of your past can occasionally be stressful, it’s also your biggest advantage. Your company is well-aware of the excellent work that you’ve done, and when answering interview questions, go extra in-depth about those accomplishments. Because the interview is conducted with those who are a part of the company, you are welcome to share specifics on the work that you’ve completed. There’s no need to broadly explain concepts and try to fit a situational background into one sentence.
Don’t Forget the Follow Up
Just because this interview is internal, it doesn’t mean that traditional interviewing steps should go out the window. Like external interviews, it’s important to follow up. Ensure that as soon as the interview is over and you’re back at your desk, you are writing and sending a thank you letter. And because you’re already at the office, feel free to handwrite it. Thank you notes are important and can often be that small edge that gets you the position.
Debi is a coach to high performers, leaders and business owners wanting to achieve more and grow beyond what they believe is possible. Known for her clarifying insight and a pragmatic approach, Debi brings her clients to the next step by asking the right questions during strategy development and supporting them during strategy implementation. With experience in management, recruitment and employee development for various industries, she has a wide scope of expertise and will confidently guide you towards a successful future in your career.
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