Applying for an internal job could seem easier than it actually is. Changing to another role within the same company implies a challenge as well. Despite the advantages that you possess for knowing the organization and its people, you shouldn't underestimate the interviewing process and take for granted your new position just based on your past successes and the good references you have. An internal interview requires as much preparation and effort as any other recruitment process.
CPM has gathered some tips to help you to succeed in an internal interview by leveraging the points in your favour that you already have by being an employee and to overcome the challenges that could present to you during the interviewing process.
Research the job and the panel
The first thing you need to do is to research about the job you are applying for. Don’t stick only with the details given in the job description; do your homework and investigate all the relevant information and the possible challenges of the position, know what the job entails and how well you fit in.
It is always recommended to have an informal conversation with the hiring manager in advance. Also try to speak with previous or current employees in the same position that you applied for, ask them the real challenges within the position. This will enable you to flesh out the role so you can tailor your interview more closely to the job.
Prepare for your internal job interview
Prepare detailed examples of the key areas of experience, competencies and personal qualities that you possess and that can gain the interest of the panel. You have to be able to put in to words why you are the most qualified candidate for this position. Make special emphasis in the awards, recognition and previous promotions you have received in the company.
Among external candidates, the main advantage that you posses is your knowledge of the organization, its structure, people and process, use that plus in your favour, emphasizing that you are familiarized with the department and the team you will be working with. This information will be appealing for the panel because it means that you will adapt to the new role in record time. Talk about the department’s current strengths and how you think you can contribute to its ongoing growth and development. It's also important to give examples of successful accomplishments and projects, how you have helped meet the company's goals, and your achievements in your current position but you don’t want to focus only on the contributions and experience gained in the company. Also highlight the previous roles that you have held in other organizations in order to draw their attention to achievements outside work.
Know your reputation
As a current member of the company, you have already a reputation between your colleagues (earned or unearned). It is important for you to be aware of how you are perceived. For that you need to get some honest feedback related to the way you are seen in your work environment. Also be prepared to talk clearly about something that might not have had the outcome that you wanted and the learning’s you got from that experience.
• Always be professional: You could be in the scenario that you are well-known and are friendly with the hiring manager and other members of the panel, but you should always follow the accepted protocol for the interview.
Treat your interviewers in a respectful, professional manner and sell yourself as an external candidate would do. Remember that you don’t want to be perceived as a co-worker, but as the capable, qualified professional you are.
• Be transparent with your current manager: if you are planning to apply for another job position within the company, talk to your manager and let him or her know about your plans. Sooner or later your manager will find out and will be better for him/her to hear it from you.
• Show interest: always show how interested you are in the new opportunity and don’t forget to mention the reasons why you are applying for the position.
• If you are applying for a sales job, read our previous post where you will find some useful tips on how to succeed in this type of interviews.