Sometimes in your career you might be faced with the situation in which you’ll be required to attend an internal interview. You may need to reapply for role after a fixed term contract officially ends; there may be a restructure which has resulted in newly created positions; there may be a promotion opportunity for you.
These are some tips for nailing your next internal interview:
Don’t assume that just because you know the interviewer, they’ll do you any favours
Don’t treat your internal interview as a formality, you have no idea how many other candidates (internal or external) are applying for this role. It is definitely an advantage to have an existing relationship with the interviewers, it will help you feel relaxed, but you’ll still need to charm them! The answer to ‘why are you the best candidate for the role’ should not simply be ‘because I’ve already been doing it”. Ensure you prepare your key achievements prior to the interview so you can confidently demonstrate your value to the organisation – the panel may not remember everything you’ve achieved to date, it’s your job to remind them.
You would be well advised to mentally treat the interview as an external interview and that nobody on the interview panel has met you before.
Ensure you understand what the role is designed to achieve
It is important to have a strong understanding of the job responsibilities and ensure you are familiar with the organisation’s strategic direction. Familiarise yourself with the position description and the company’s business plan. If this is a newly created role, ask for information from managers or the project team to get a better understanding for the reason and strategic shift.
Play to your strengths
Whilst it is not the deal clincher it is definitely an advantage to already be in the role you’re applying for. Highlight your understanding of the organisation’s culture, and the existing networks or relationships you have developed whilst in the role. Provide examples of when you have collaborated effectively with other staff members.
Prepared for questions about any gaps in your experience
If your current manager is interviewing you for the role, there’s a fair chance that they’ll have identified some areas for your future developement. Be proactive before the interview to determine any gaps in your experience and the role. Suggest ideas and solutions about how you would approach the reduction of these gaps.
Highlight your experiences from previous jobs
It is easy to only focus on your current role and the experience you currently have, when, actually, this is a great opportunity to remind the panel of prior experiences you can bring to the role from your previous positions.