Internal Job Interview Questions

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What is it going to be like when you interview for a job at a company you're already working for? The process may vary depending on whether the company is considering only internal candidates, or if external applicants are being interviewed as well.

If it's just in-house candidates, the process may be less formal and more like a meeting or a discussion with the hiring manager. Otherwise, it may involve a formal interview process with the hiring manager, company management, and other employees.

You may need to apply for jobs of interest, and you'll have to figure out a plan for telling your boss that you might be moving on. Review these tips for applying for jobs within your company before you start the process. Familiarize yourself with your employer’s process for internal job assignments and promotions by meeting with your Human Resources contact.

Ascertain which application materials they require, the deadline by which you should apply for a job opening, and whether they have a preferential hiring policy for current employees. Finally, decide whether you have a good enough working relationship with your supervisor, your co-workers, and the former holder of the position to ask them for recommendations.

Questions That Are Asked at an Internal Job Interview

When you're interviewing for an internal position with your current employer, many of the interview questions you will be asked are the typical interview questions that all candidates, both internal and external, are expected to answer.

In addition, when interviewing for an internal position, you will be asked specific questions related to your present job, the company, your role within the company, and the job for which you are applying.

Sample Internal Job Interview Questions

Review some of the internal job interview questions you may be asked when interviewing for a new job with your current employer.

  • Why do you want to leave your current job?
  • Does your manager know you have applied for this job?
  • Would your manager recommend you for this position?
  • What is it like working for your supervisor?
  • If the people who work with you were asked why you should be hired, what would they say?
  • What do you like best about your current position at the company?
  • What don't you like about the job you're in now?
  • What other positions have you held with the company?
  • How long have you been in your current position?
  • What was your biggest success story in XYZ department?
  • Can you tell me what you know about the position you are being considered for?
  • What do you know about our department?
  • Why do you want the new position?
  • Why should we consider you for this position?
  • Are you the best candidate for this position? Why?
  • What training will you need to be successful in this position?
  • How would you handle the transition to your new job?
  • How will you handle it if you don't get the job?

Tips for Acing an Internal Interview

Use your insider advantage. When you respond to job interview questions, remember that internal candidates have an insider advantage because they already work for the company. Employers are far more apt to hire a “known quantity – a dedicated employee whose work has impressed them – than they are to take a risk on a stranger.

Stand out from the competition. Differentiate yourself from the competition when you are competing with external candidates by mentioning and emphasizing your company-specific experience, knowledge, and skills when you answer the interview questions.

Do your homework. Remember, however, that external candidates may very well have “done their homework” in learning as much about your employer as they can. Even if you have a long-standing tenure with your employer, it’s a good idea to review their website and any human resources / internal newsletters they may provide to find “talking points” about their organizational mission and demonstrate they you are savvy to their business and / or production goals.

Share your achievements. It's also important to give examples of successful accomplishments and projects, how you have helped meet the company's goals, and your achievements in your current position.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that senior management “should already know” and appreciate your previous contributions.

Take this opportunity to remind them of the value you’ve added to their organization, using specific examples of special projects and / or times you have worked overtime to ensure the timely and successful completion of key projects or initiatives.

Suggested Reading: How to Transfer Jobs at Your Company

More Interview Questions
Before you go to the interview, take the time to review the "standard" interview questions that you will most likely be asked. Also review sample answers to these typical interview questions.