Ultimate Guide Preparing For An Internal Interview

Throughout your career, you might be ready to get more responsibilities and enjoy where you work, however you are considering looking for a high-level position within the company. 

In such cases, companies often prefer to hire internally as they know more about their current people instead of hiring from outside. 

To understand how you can get the best out of the internal interview and prepare for it, along with what helps in facing the opportunity, here is an ultimate guide for you.

What Is an Internal Interview? 

Internal interviews are generally known as promotion interviews too. It occurs when the employee applies for a different or higher position within the company you are working for. 

Also, the company considers promoting their employees to higher roles via interviews instead of hiring new candidates. 

Conducting the initial interview has its advantages and it includes : 

  • since the company are familiar with their own employees and their work ethics
  • It needs less training for hiring within the company as the current employees have knowledge of the company’s mission, values, procedures, and expectations. 
  • It also helps the company to use less investment and resources as compared to hiring completely new candidates. 

What To Expect From Internal Interview : 

During such an interview, the employer asks questions about what goals you want to achieve, why you chose the position, what unique qualification you have that makes you fit for the job, etc. 

In most cases, the interview is conducted by the departmental manager and employee, likely the department to which you are going to transfer. 

How To Prepare For Your Internal Interview? 

Preparing for the interview can be exciting especially when you are at the same company and looking for the opportunity to grow. 

If you are ready for this, here are some of the perceptions you need to do. 

steps for preparing internal interview

Start With Your Research 

While you know the current company and everything about it, still there are many things you might not be aware of in your role. 

And for that, you need to do research extensively in order to determine the responsibility of the position and how you differ from one to the one you want. 

It will help you in understanding the company and see their perspective, understand where it is going to fit and how you can improve your resume, skills as well as experience. 

Once You Have Decided, Speak To Supervisors 

If the words get out about you applying for the new role within the company, and you haven’t told the supervisor, then there are chances that they will get offended. 

Also what worse can happen is that in case you didn’t get the position, the manager might think you want to jump ship in another way and it might affect the future. 

You do not ask permission from the supervisor, however, you should ask them to show courtesy. 

They will help you and support you in making decisions as well as cheer you on. 

Let them know what you are excited about and your supervision can help in showing the right way of doing it. 

Prepare Just As You Will Do To Any Other Interview 

While it might sound cliche, it’s important to focus on how you are preparing for the interview. 

Regardless if it’s an external or internal interview, you need to take it seriously and do the proper basic cover. 

This is not the case, but the internal interview is going to be the same as an external interview, 

So you need to prove that you are the best person and suited for the position. 

Here you need to customize the resume, review the answer, and make sure to have a clear understanding. 

Be Ready To Answer 

Because the person who is going to interview might know you, expect to answer questions that might be difficult. 

These questions might be specific to the project or the mistakes you made in the past. 

When you are preparing for the answer, make sure to be clear, direct, and concise without backing down. 

In case you have made any mistake, you need to own it and show that you have learned from it. 

Give Your Best Effort For The Role 

When you are applying for the new role at the company, make sure you are putting in your best effort and it should also show in how you are dressing up. 

You need to be more confident, so if you are wearing something casual, it’s time that you need to step up a bit. 

It’s important that you remember where you are heading out, and you should look your best and do well. 

Don’t Start Behaving Like One 

No matter how you are ready for it, it’s important to remember that you are not in the position yet. 

As such, you should not proactively step into playing the part. Continue to make sure you are doing the best at what you are doing. 

Be Kind And Gracious 

Well if you know the candidates who are trying for the same position, whether they are someone else or a team member, you need to be courteous. 

If you come up with a conversation, with the best of luck, and be genuinely happy about it. 

You never know what might come, so it’s important that you are kind and gracious. 

Advice To Prepare For Your Internal Interview 

In order to make sure you are preparing yourself for the new role and responsibilities,  this advice might help. 

Also, you can ask for more advice from your boss, managers, and other related people who can give you insight. Apart from this, here are some of the helpful tips : 

tips for preparing internal interview

Re-Do And Update Your Resume 

There are chances that you haven’t updated your resume since you got this job. 

However, adding the current position is not going to be enough. You need to add extra accolades that you might have achieved so far, 

You also need to edit or remove the information which might be not relevant to the job that you are applying for. 

In addition, you are going to move to a new department or field. So it’s better to focus on skills that help you in getting selected and redoing the past things. 

Inform Your Boss 

However, it depends on your surprise, as this convection might get awkward. They might not be ready to view your application or want to lose their employer. 

In most cases, it’s best that you are being honest. Also, your boss is going to find it anyway, so it’s better that you inform him first.

Also, they can help you in processing the application as they have better devices and strong references. 

But if you are in a sticky situation where there are chances your boss might block your application or create problems.  Then it’s better to keep it quiet. 

You can also reach the hiring manager and keep the application down low until it’s time. 

Get Your Homework Done 

This is advised that you do the preparation well. But also internal candidates need to be tempted to skimp on important steps. 

It’s important to believe that you might be knowing everything, however, you need to remove this temptation. 

Review the mission statement, and online presence and understand what are the recent headlines featuring the company. 

This is where you are extremely good since you have an internal interview. You should review the competitors and keep the big picture in your mind. 

Assess Yourself In Advance 

In some cases, you need to keep this important. So you need to be an insider who might work against you. 

Even if you have a sterling reputation in the office. It might not be the right thing. For example, if you are a creative guy and apply for a more technical position. 

So you need to be more ready for altering the hiring manager over the preemption on who you are as the employee. 

Come with more evidence that can help in supporting the new image. Avoid being confrontational, and blaming the supervisor for lacking the opportunities for showing the skills you are passionate about. 

Maintain Your Professionalism 

You might be best friends with someone who is on the hiring committee or think that you are in the running for the position, but it doesn’t mean you can rest on laurels and treat. 

So even if you are familiar with the interview, it’s okay that you are friendly. However, you need to maintain your professionalism and handle the conversation in that way. 

Brag About Yourself 

To stand out from external competitors, you need to emphasize the knowledge you need based on your company, experience, and skills. 

You need to even use the advantage of being an insider and have a better sense of what an employer might be looking for. 

Here you need to avoid assuming that you might already know about everything. In fact, there are chances that you might not know anything. 

Don’t Shy Away From Mistakes 

Since there are chances that you do not have as perfect a record as nobody has, you need to be ready to know the risks.

You also need to understand that you should avoid covering up the mistake. So whatever you did, it’s important you need to be accountable and don’t pass the blame on some coworkers or supervisors. 

You can turn this negative into a positive by highlighting how far you have grown from your mistakes and how you seek constructive feedback. 

Avoid Being Critica

You might get the question about why you don’t want to be in a job you are already doing and what else is bothering you. Under no circumstances you should criticize the present role, team members, and supervisors. 

It’s important that the hiring committee wants to hire someone who is driven by passion. 

Keep the focus on what you actually enjoy about the position and grow as a professional. 

You need to emphasize how you developed and want skills you have to add more value to the company as well as the role. 

Follow Up After It’s Done 

Especially if you see the interview around every day, you need to be tempted to thank them in person and it’s okay to but just don’t stop there. 

It’s important that you believe in a serious external candidate since they might be sending a thank you email, so you need to do that. 

Assume It Like A Blank Slate 

Even when some people know you in the company and have established relationships. You need to start with a clean slate. 

You need to be prepared for providing the full answers and examples of the answers. For those who are familiar with the work and have remembered or are aware of the job, you need to give them a clear idea. 

Organize Well And Prepare More 

You need to have more preemption and organize yourself. This includes knowing about the position and writing down skills, ideas and experiences. 

This will help in improving the organizing thoughts and recalling the key points for the interview. 

Along with that, you need to identify the gaps that you have between the current and desired skills along with what you need to do in order to achieve it. 

Remember The Important Mission 

The hiring manager has their near-term mission which they need to accomplish. 

You need to provide the opportunity that you need to develop, be promoted, and grow. 

Along with that, you need to focus on skills and talent, this helps in accomplishing the task.

Dress According To It 

As mentioned earlier, even if you are a part of the company for a long time, you need to give the attention you would to any other kind of interview. 

So you need to dress up, it’s important that you show your interview etiquette and be ready for your meeting. 

Be Updated With New Changes 

You need to get the update, there are different news, updates, and changes that might happen. 

So you need to be ready to update before you apply for the interview.  You can also mention the recent news and add examples. If a company has recently been involved in some kind of controversy, don’t shy away and instead use the important things that can help in highlighting your knowledge. 

Be Ready For Criticism 

No employment has the perfect record, so when you are going for the interview, you need to be ready to accept mistakes and be criticized. 

There are chances that you have lost the client or billed the wrong person or end up missing the deadline. Your work is going to evaluate in order to see if you are a good fit or not, this is important that you prepare mentally. 

What Do And Don’ts To Remember For Internal Interviews?

You need to remember a few basic principles. It will help you in understanding what to do and what not to do when you’re going for an internal interview. 

Here are some of the do and don’ts that you should remember : 

  • Do inform your current boss and manager that you are applying for another role and position. 
  • To find out about how people perceive you in case you need to reshape it if it’s needed.
  • Do Ask the hiring manager to know how they want to handle the conversation if you both know each other. 
  • Don’t presume that you are already perfect for the job even if you feel that you have the qualification.
  • Do not approach the interview as a development conversion.
  • Don’t take the internal interview lightly.
  • Don’t get defensive if they highlight some of the mistakes you made in the past. 
  • Don’t skip giving the explanation of your action and taking the responsibilities. 

How To Succeed In Your Internal Interview? 

While you have the advantage of being familiar with the company and its culture, you also need to familiarize yourself with the changes that you might be facing. 

So before the interview, you need to understand the basics and prepare well. Once you are done, here are some steps that can help in making you successful in your interview. 

how to succeed in internal interview

Meet Your Supervisor Firs

Well when you submit your application, make sure you are finding time to meet with the supervisors to ensure that you have an interest in that position. 

You can use the time for telling your career goals and also share reasons why you want to grow within the company. 

With That conversation, you can get an idea if the supervisor thinks that you are a good candidate for the role. 

Not just that, you get the advice and tips that can help in promoting success during an internal interview. 

Learn What You Can About The Position 

When you are an internal applicant, here you get the advantage because you have an idea of how the position looks firsthand. 

But when you are applying for the job, you need to understand more about it, and also ask about the entail and what else you should be knowing when you are in the position. 

iLearn about what is going to be your biggest challenge and responsibility, and how you are going to prepare for your interview. 

Along with that, consider talking to the management regarding the new changes or something in addition to the position. 

Reflect On The Growth You Did Far 

During the interview, the interviewer is going to ask questions regarding why you think that you are ready for the new position within the company. 

Understanding your growth and reflecting on how far you came when you started can help you in answering the question much better. 

You can think about the skills that you developed and the responsibilities that you gained. 

Prove That You Are Talented Enough 

When you are an internal applicant, you still need to prove that you are a talented and qualified employee. 

Also, you learn about the position you are inserted in, you need to put more effort into showing your ambition. 

Well, you can consider asking your manager about steps that you need to take in order to get ready for the new role. 

Prepare In Advance For The Questions 

Employers tend to have more expectations when it comes to internal applicants.  Also, they need to make sure that you are the right fit along with they need to pick the right candidate for your current job. 

Show that it’s worth it to prompt you to the new position, and for that, you need to do the right preparation in advance. 

Do the brainstorming of everything, including what you answer for the question they ask. It can be related to your improvement, eligibility, and dedication to the new responsibilities. 

What Are The Types Of Internal Interview Questions? 

To understand more about what kind of questions you might be asked during the interview, you need to get an understanding of types first. 

Here are some of the basic types that you might get : 

The Common Interview Questions 

The first one which you should know is when you go for the interview, there are many questions you get that are supposedly asked during the interview questions.  It seems like a typical one that is conducted for the new hires. 

And that’s why you need to be ready for it. Even though the interviewer knows you, still they want to be sure about it. 

The Current Related Job 

In addition to you interning for an internal position, you will be asked specifically about why you want to leave the job you are doing. 

Also, you need to have the answer to such a question, here you need to begin critiquing the presence of your supervisor and job. 

Instead of this, you need to focus on showing your skill and empathizing with what you can offer and bring to the job. 

The New Job-Related Questions 

Expect questions about the job you applied for and the new department. Make sure you have the understanding and know about why it needs the requirement. 

If you know someone who is in the department, you need to ask them as you get perspective and what they look for in the ideal candidate. 

The Questions About Transition 

The hiring manager asks about the job you are doing and why you are choosing to switch. 

Be ready to explain what helps you in making the translation, and how you are going to be as seamless as possible for you, your current boss, and your new boss. 

The Question About Company 

Such questions are about the company. This is the opportunity where you show off the knowledge you have as an insider. And be ready to prove that you have information about the company you are working with. 

You can mention the competitors, and initiatives that the company might make. 

Examples Of Questions You Might Be Asked For Internal Interview 

Even when you are applying for a position within a company,  you are already working in that company and still undergo the traditional interview process. 

When you are going for the interview, there are different types of questions that you might be answering. There are some examples that you might consider for the internal interview. 

General Internal Interview Question To Prepare 

Well, there are many ways, where you get the questions that are going to be the same as their interviews. 

Especially when you are going for a larger company where they don’t know about you that well, here are some of the questions you might get : 

  • Tell me about yourself 
  • What kind of working style do you prefer?
  • Why are you a strong applicant for the position?
  • What do you hope to do within five years? 
  • What does your dream job look like?
  • What are the strengths that you have for the position?
  • Why are you interested in the role and position?
  • Do you prefer to work with close oversight or assigned tasks and have the freedom for completing fit?
  • Do you prefer working alone or with a team?
  • What management style do you have when you lead the employees?

Questions About Experience and Background 

Well, the next is when you are applying for the internal posting, the current position and your past experience-based question might be asked. 

Here are some of the examples you might be asked for: 

  • What was the first draw to work in the company?
  • How long have you been in this field?
  • Tell me about the prior employer that does that company and does not and what you think you can help in improving it?
  • How long are you planning to remain in the field?
  • Tell me about how you will face the unforeseen complication?
  • When do you first choose to work in the industry?
  • Who is the biggest mentor that you had in the industry and what important lesson did they teach you? 
  • What skills do you learn from outside of the industry that can help you in your current job?
  • How would your coworker will describe you /
  • What about the time that the company erased for assuming this new position?

In-Depth Questions For Internal Interview

When you are applying within the company you are already working for, you need to be ready to talk about what motivates you and perpetually what if you don’t get the promotion. 

Here are some of the questions that you might get for getting the in-depth questions: 

  • Why did you decide to apply for the new position?
  • What experience do you have that prepares you to assume the new role?
  • Tell me about when you disagreed with a coworker and how you dealt with it? 
  • What would you do to replace yourself when you get chosen for the new role?
  • In case you didn’t get selected for the role, how is it going to affect your current work? 
  • If someone else gets hired and after months, you have a disagreement, how are you going to handle it? 
  • What is your accomplishment within the company that you are most proud of?

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