Going for an interview for a position in your current company may seem like a breeze. You know the ins and outs of the company, you know the people and you have a proven track record that should speak for itself, right?
This could lead to a relaxed mentality whereby you may not properly prepare for the interview. You could easily then fail to perform to your top capabilities. It is vitally important that you put in as much preparation for an internal interview as you would for an external one and you need to market yourself just as hard.
Don’t forget that the interview panel will have to give good reason to hire you based on solid information that they gather in the interview. Prior successes and good references are useful, but they still don’t replicate doing a great interview.
Research the job and the interview board
Try and chat with the hiring manager in an informal setting so as to find out a little bit more about what the job entails. Get talking to as many potential new co-workers as possible. Try and reach out with the person who previously held the position to discuss the real challenges and upsides of the position. Generally, people have no problem to give you their views and it will reflect well on you as it will showcase that you are very enthusiastic about the position. This will help you to find out more about the position so you can tailor your interview more specifically to the job.
Discover more about the people who will be on the interview board. Learn about their professional background and current agenda to understand more about who their ideal candidate would be.
Demonstrate your experiences
Choose the most important areas such as your experience, competencies and personal qualities that will be of most interest to the interview board. For all, you must prepare detailed instances of where you have demonstrated these. Be able to talk about your successes and any challenges you had to overcome. It may also be of benefit to look over performance appraisals. Co-workers can often jog your memory of where you have added value.
Set yourself apart
Have a think about what you have to offer that other applicants don’t. Envisage yourself as part of the interview board and ask yourself the question as to why they would give you the job?
It is imperative that you let the interview board know of positions you have held in other companies and highlight achievements outside work. Interview boards are inclined not to scrutinize the CV’s of internal candidates as much as external ones which means they can overlook key information.
If you are up against external candidates make sure to highlight that you already understand the ins and outs of the department and organisation and that you already have strong connections built up. This will showcase the fact that you can adapt to the new role faster.
Know your reputation
The interviewers will have to attempt to be impartial and to make their decision entirely on the interview. However, they are certain to have expectations of you before you enter the interview. This is because they have worked with you or heard about you from others. So, it is imperative that you know your reputation within the company. This is so you can play to your strengths and challenge any preconceptions. Being able to identify your strength and weaknesses demonstrates good self-awareness.
Demonstrate how much you want the position
Internal applicants tend to not emphasise enough why they want the job. This can be seen as a lack of enthusiasm. If it’s a promotion you are applying for or a position in your department’s new structure, you may think it’s clear why you have applied. However, no one wants to employ someone who has applied only because they think they should. Make sure to think about what attracts you to the position and how it will benefit your career progression and be ready to express this in the interview. Before you go to the interview, focus in as to why you really want the position and that eagerness and focus will come to the fore in the interview.
You may find it difficult to talk yourself up in front of co-workers. However, failure to do so could cost you the role. So don’t be afraid of saying precisely why you feel you are best suited to the job and provide evidence of your achievements. At the end of the interview when you are asked do you have any further questions or comments sum up everything and reaffirm how interested you are in the position.