As we all know, interviews can be pretty daunting affairs. After all, they’re your one shot at impressing an employer. However it can be a different story altogether when the employer you are trying to impress is your current one! So if you’re thinking of applying for a new role with your existing company, whether it’s a sideways move or a potential promotion, these basic tips on handling internal interviews should hopefully help.
Even if a role has not been advertised externally and you’re the only candidate for the role, don’t make any assumptions that you have it in the bag. The company could still easily re-advertise in order to find the candidate they want. Likewise, even if you have already being doing the job on a temporary basis, there are no guarantees that you will get the job permanently. You ought to prepare for an internal job interview just as you would for any other.
No matter how well you know the organisation you are working for, you ought to still do some extra research for an internal interview. Spend some time researching the role itself – get a little insight from your colleagues on what the role will entail in reality – this is often very different from a standard company job description or specification. Make sure that you are up to date with plans for that section of the business and that you’re au fait with how it fits in with the organisation’s overall strategy. Keep up to date with the company’s position in its market and ensure that you research your competitors thoroughly. Don’t make the mistake of assuming as you already work for the company that you already know all there is to know.
It’d be fair to say that in interview situations, many people do tend to exaggerate a little – some more than others of course! Whether that means that they claim to have singlehandedly saved a company’s fortunes or have been the ultimate troubleshooter, the truth does not always prevail. In an internal interview, it is an entirely different matter. You cannot afford to exaggerate or bluff or boast about something which is not entirely true. The interviewer can easily check with your line manager as to whether or not what you have told them is correct. At the end of the day, telling lies – even little white ones will do you no favours at all.
Internal interviews can admittedly be a tad awkward – especially if you know your interviewer well. They may sit at your table at lunch; you may even share a lift to work. That however does not mean that you should relax too much and not treat this interview as seriously as any other. Don’t be over familiar during the interview. Remain professional at all times. Show the interviewer the respect that you would to any interviewer that you would ever meet.
Interviews are effectively about candidates selling themselves to employers – to pitch their wares so to speak. In an internal interview, that is just as important. You ought to have confidence in yourself – in your skills, your strengths and abilities. You ought to believe that you are the best candidate for the job and be able to convince the interviewer of just that. Don’t be fearful of boasting about your successes or achievements just because you know the interviewing panel. Treat them as you would any other interviewers – do your best to impress!
If you’ve got an internal job interview on the horizon, we hope that these basic tips will hopefully help. Good luck if you do!