Interviewing for a job can be very stressful. Combine that with the fact that you might already know the interviewer, and the stress level can be extreme. An internal job interview with someone you have worked alongside – or for – over the past handful of years can be daunting. The interviewer already knows your work ethic, your experience and how you fit into the company’s culture. These items can either work for or against you. Below, we will provide you with the tips on how to handle an internal job interview.
Never Take the Interview Too Casually
An important piece of advice for those taking part in an internal interview is that it should never be taken lightly. Just because you know the interviewer, or have worked alongside them in your position, it does not mean you should joke around or be unprofessional. If the interviewer seems relaxed, you can relax too, but only to a point.
Do not slouch in the chair, fail to shave that morning or come unprepared to discuss the job. Make sure you perform your research into the job, have a copy of your resume, and come prepared to provide examples of success from your career with the company.
Avoid Negatives and Complaining
It is an important tip to avoid complaining during a job interview, but this is especially important when interviewing for an internal position with your current employer. Even though you might be interviewed by a co-worker or a supervisor from another department, you should never complain about the company, your current supervisor or any co-workers. This will only come back to bite you, and could lead to you not being promoted. If you feel the need to complain, spin it into a positive by making sure you name something you and your co-workers could do better in order to be more productive while on the job.
Prepare for Difficult Questions
As with any job interview, there will be difficult questions. But, some of the most difficult questions can be asked during an internal job interview. When you first interviewed to work at the company, your resume and career goals were much different. Make sure you update your resume and be able to explain what your career goals are now. Prepare to answer questions about shifting job responsibilities and objectives, especially if they will be a major change from what you are doing right now.
Check Your Skills
Prior to the internal job interview, make sure you check your skills. Perform a skills retrospective to determine which skills you already have and which ones you will need for the new job, if hired. Try to acquire some of those new skills prior to the interview, or even during the hiring process, to show the company how dedicated you are. Back up your claims with actual projects you’ve worked on, certifications you’ve earned, and a good word from your current supervisor.
When you follow the above tips, you will be able to confidently handle the internal interview and land a new career to climb the corporate ladder.