How to Ace an Internal Interview

Instructor: Shelby Golden
Get ready to knock internal interviews out of the park with this article. Find out how to prepare and what to keep in mind during the interview itself to give yourself the best chance of success.

Take the Time to Prepare

It's easy to not treat internal interviews as seriously as you should. After all, this company already hired you once! However, thinking you already have the job can lead to you presenting yourself poorly, and losing out on the job that you're interested in. You should make sure you prepare before the interview, going over any subjects you might be asked about, as well as general interview questions about your capabilities, weaknesses and long term goals.

Depending on the size of your company, you might end up speaking to an interviewer you never met before, who doesn't know that much about you. Make sure you're prepared to prove you're the best person for the position based on your merits, not on what you think the interviewer should know about your time as an employee.

Make sure you're completely ready by checking out this Preparing for a Job Interview Course. This self-paced study guide can help you review the types of questions you're likely to be asked, the public speaking skills you'll need to use and other tips for interview success. You'll be able to check your progress by completing interactive quizzes, and you can even get in contact with interviewing experts if you need some extra help.

Finally, before you apply for an internal position, you should make sure it's what you're interested in. Many times, interviewers and managers will assume that you'll definitely take the job if they offer it to you. If you change your mind and refuse, it can make things awkward later on, especially if you decide to apply for another position.

Treat the Interview the Right Way

Take a deep breath before you go into your interview and remember to treat it with the concern that it deserves. You should strive to be friendly and professional, even if you know your interviewer very well. If you are close to the individual conducting the interview, ask them how they want things to go. If you're unfamiliar with your interviewer, make sure you treat this person with the same respect and care you would show any other interviewer.

You should try to stay focused on the benefits you'll bring to the new position, but don't ignore your history with the company. If there's something you need to address, such as a series of missed days, or a conflict with another employee, don't try to rush through and avoid the problem. Make sure you deal with these bumps in the road head-on, explaining how you've dealt with the situation and why it's no longer a problem.

Bring up your accomplishments, even if you think the interviewer should be aware of them. Talk about how you've already contributed to the company and explain your plans to continue.

You can also check out this course on Building Business Relationships to get more help learning how to develop your personal connections to fellow employees, management and interviewers. Having a solid relationship can help make the internal interviewing process much smoother.

Be Ready for the Result

If you get the job, make sure you're ready to move into a new area of the business. This might mean leaving behind friends, or a boss who has gotten used to depending on you. It's a good idea to inform your manager before you apply for a different position, and you want to be careful not to burn bridges on your way out. After all, you never know when you might visit your old department.

You should also consider your reaction if you don't get the position. It's easy to assume that you will, but there could be stronger contenders for the job. Try to take the decision professionally. If you allow your disappointment to get the best of you, it can reflect badly on you the next time you're up for a job.

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