When thinking about applying for a promotion or new role at your workplace, have you ever thought “Is this interview the same as a regular interview?… How should I prepare? …Surely they already know me and what I do?”
Golden rule: Don’t assume that they know you.
You may be interviewing or submitting your application with a hiring manager or panel members that do not know you. Also, interviewers have to judge all candidates on their individual interview performance, if you miss something out, they can’t fill in the blanks on their scoring sheet for you. This is your time to showcase your skills for the role (even if you feel they do already know what you do). The interviewer(s) could be interviewing both internal and external candidates, so you want to make sure that you leave them with all of the details that they need (as the other candidates will be doing so).
The general rules of interview and applications are the same:
–Demonstrate evidence for the competency – provide a specific example, tell them about a real situation where you displayed these certain skills. Even if the person interviewing you was involved in the scenario that you are discussing, you can still explain it from your point of view and your role and how you demonstrated the competency. Tell the story from beginning to end using the STAR technique to ensure that you cover all of the information that the interviewer needs to hear.
– Use “I” not “we” – When giving your example make sure you discuss your role in the task…”I did this….then I did that”. It may be tempting when being interviewed by a colleague to use the term “we”. They want to hear your own qualities and your own experience. If other colleagues are interviewing for the same role and they also use the term “we did this, we did that” how will the interviewer differentiate between the two of you and decide who displays the competency best?
– Find out about the role – Utilise your contacts – As you are already in the organisation, you are in the perfect position to speak to colleagues who are already in the role you are applying for or who have been in the role previously. Ask to meet them for a coffee and find out more about the role – what do they do on a daily basis? What are the challenges of the role? What previous skills/experience did they have before going into the role? Was there any training involved? What was the application process? What type of questions were they asked in the interview???
This way you will have an idea if there is some further training or experience that you could gain that would benefit your application before you apply. You can also use this information to decide if the role sounds like it’s even for you. Also you will be more prepared for interview and show your enthusiasm and knowledge of the role by saying that you have spoken to someone already in the position.
Find out who will be interviewing you, you may already know them or work closely with them. It could be a panel, some of whom you do not know. If there is someone that you do not know, you could find out about them beforehand. This will help you to be more relaxed and prepared when stepping into the interview room, you will know who to expect.
– Review your application – It goes without saying that you will read and re-read your own application before you submit. However, it is always good to get someone else to review for you. Even better, as you are already a part of the organisation, is there a colleague (not someone applying for the same role) that you could ask to review your application? Perhaps even someone who received feedback previously or a manager who has hired for a similar role before? Just talking through with a colleague may even jolt your memory of a project you worked on or a difficult situation that you had to deal with – great evidence for those competency-based questions!
What if they ask difficult questions??
There are always tricky interview questions, which may become even trickier during an in-house interview when you are sitting in front of your own manager or being asked to comment on your colleagues’ performance.
How would you identify if a team member was under performing? What would you do about it?
What will you do if you do not get this job?
Do as you would do in any other interview :
If you have an example then use it. You do not have to mention names but you can still describe a time when you have dealt with a difficult co worker ( in a professional manner) if this demonstrates your best evidence for the competency. You may feel that you are being disloyal to your coworker, however, if you were to get the role and eventually become their manager, you would be expected to evaluate their performance and perhaps engage in difficult conversations as part of your new role. The interviewer will want to see that you have the ability to do this if necessary.
Tell them what they want to hear – be strategic – don’t threaten to leave if you do not get the job (even if you do intend to move on elsewhere). Explain that you would welcome feedaback and areas for improvement to better your chances for the next time around or other opportunities within the organisation.
Request feedback – If you are not offered the job, as with any interview, ask for feedback. This can be used to improve your performance for future interviews both within or outside of the organisation.
Put your best foot forward during every interview. Even if you think that someone has a better chance at getting the job than you do, don’t be put off – still go for it! If it were an external interview you would not know the ability of the other candidates so why should you see this as any different?