Why Shine at an Internal Interview?

Why Would an Employee Want to Do Well in an Internal Job Interview?

Employee who wants to shine as he interviews for an internal job opening.
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Reader Question:

I have a question for you which I would appreciate your thoughts on. I have a presentation to make to an interview board followed by an interview tomorrow for a position which I am afraid I will not be seriously considered for.

I am not being defeatist; it is just that I am fully aware of who is earmarked for the job. I have, in fact, been told as much. I do, however, want to give a good account of myself, but I am finding it difficult to motivate myself.

What do you recommend? How can I shine at an internal job interview?

Human Resources Response:

The internal job interview serves many purposes. The employer holds these interviews to assess the skills and experience of a current employee. It can be so much more than just a job interview, though.

It is your opportunity to focus a bright light on your talents, skills, and experience. Rarely will you have such a ready-made opportunity for your organization to notice you handed to you on a platter. So you are urged to make the best of your internal job interview. How you perform really matters.

In fact, internal interviews are so important that you might want to solicit opportunities to participate in an internal interview. Here's why you'll want to participate enthusiastically.

This is the most important factor that you need to remember about an internal job interview. Even if the position has someone else's name written all over it, organizations use these interviews in multiple ways - ways that you can take advantage of to further your career aspirations.

You can use an internal job interview for career development.

Organizations interview current employees to become familiar with a range of employee skills and interests, in addition to selecting an employee for the current opening. Thus, the internal job interview is your opportunity to have an interested audience that wants to get to know you and potentially appreciate what you have to offer.

Even if you believe that you are not seriously being considered for the current job, the interview is your opportunity to shine for all of your future opportunities within your organization. It is short-sighted to think in terms of just the current job opening.

Your organization is committed to knowing about and understanding the talents of their current employees so they can make succession plans for internal jobs. Without internal job interviews, it is difficult to make a large number of coworkers and managers aware of your potential to contribute at the next level. 

So, the internal interview is a terrific opportunity to display your talents, skills, interests, and potential to make contributions. Don't blow a wonderful opportunity to impress the interview team with your interest, talents, skills, passion, potential to contribute, and regard for your organization.

Don't think of the interview as your opportunity to obtain a position that you believe has already been tagged for another employee. Think of the interview as an opportunity to shine for your career. More opportunities will appear. You want your name to be front and center in the minds of your organization's hiring managers when the next opportunity comes along.

If not, you can always target another employer; the job interviews you experience with your current employer will prepare you to shine for a potential new employer. Practice does make job interview comfort and efficacy improve.

And, just in case you're wrong about the employee who you think will receive the promotion, use the job interview as an opportunity to learn more about your organization and the interview team members, your colleagues. You can put your very best foot forward for your future in the internal job interview.

Is this motivating enough? I hope so. Good luck and best wishes. Don't mess up your time to shine, learn, and practice during your interview.

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