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Nailed It: Tips to Ace Your Internal Interview



internal interview

You’ve graduated from college and landed that first ‘real’ job. Joining the workforce and earning regular paychecks is exciting, but if you’re like most Millennials, your eyes are peeled for more lucrative opportunities. If opportunities to climb the ladder at your current company are available, chase them. Make the next step in your career by acing that internal interview — here’s how:

Learn Hiring Details

First, reflect on how you got this job. Thinking back to that time can help you prepare for your internal interview. Although hiring practices vary widely among inside and outside hires, similarities are shared within the basic setup. Then learn the unofficial guidelines and hiring practices at your workplace. Is it frowned upon to pursue a different position? Tech Republic’s blog points out that it’s typically advisable to communicate with your manager or supervisor about your ambitions before filling out the application. After expressing interest with your boss, set up a meeting with the HR department to determine specific protocols for internal hiring. Identifying details, such as how internal employees submit online job applications, will help you prepare for your interview without overstepping boundaries or upsetting management. Once you grasp the interview and hiring procedures, approach the interview just like you would for an external interview.

Express Your Vision

In your current position, you’ve likely observed the operations of your company and where its future is headed, as well as your own future. Experts from the Harvard Business Review explain that, as a member of the Millennial generation, you seek mentorship, feedback and even coaching from your boss or company. Yet, this younger workforce can also offer the Gen X workforce unique viewpoints that upper management may be overlooking. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. An internal interview presents the perfect opportunity for you to respectfully express your vision and how you can positively influence the future of the company in a different position from the one you currently fulfill. Your ideas just might pave the way for a valuable new project or goal.

Ask Questions

Questions are typically expected during an interview. Questions reflect a deep interest and inquiry about the new position. Do your skills and talents match with the responsibilities of the position? Bring along questions that demonstrate your working knowledge of current challenges related to your employer — particularly issues faced by the department in which you hope to work. Forbes clarifies that certain questions could actually make you look incompetent. Avoid asking questions that necessitate an answer you should already know.

Forbes recommends asking about:

  • Example projects
  • Setbacks and projected solutions within the department
  • Career trajectory
  • Team communication
  • Daily duties for a typical day

Rather than job hop, scoring a new position within your current place of employment could boost your steady climb up the corporate ladder. But before you can make that move to a higher position, develop the confidence and skills to dominate that internal interview. The reward? A better position… and better salary.

(Photo: flickr.com)

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About Devon Willard

Devon is the CEO of a small startup that offers business and financial consulting to other small firms. He loves working for himself and pulling up to his sunny office on his motorcycle each morning.

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