While the thought of a job interview can make most of us feel nervous, an interview can take on a new dynamic when it’s occurring within your current place of work.
Interviewing for a new job with a different company has a familiar routine that relies heavily on introducing yourself and sharing your skills and background.
However, an interview for a promotion or a different position within your current organisation in some ways may feel more difficult to prepare for.
Lyndy van den Barselaar, MD of ManpowerGroup South Africa explains that the preparation process may feel unfamiliar, since you will more than likely be dealing with people who are already familiar with you, your skills, and your experience.
“An internal interview should be viewed with just as much seriousness as an interview for a new job, as it could mean a new stepping stone on your career path. It may feel like unfamiliar territory, since you are not focused on making a good first impression; which is why it is important to take the right approach to the interview. In addition, your anxiety may increase if you think that your current position would be affected if your interview for the new/different role does not go well, or if you are unsuccessful.”
Van den Barselaar provides her top tips on successfully re-introducing yourself when you’re interviewing for a promotion:
Update your CV to highlight past experience
The first basic step, like with any interview, is to update your CV. However, in this case, your older experience may be what’s more important.
“Your colleagues or leaders may already be familiar with the work you’ve done within your organisation, which is why it is important to be able to showcase your broader skills, and highlight what you’ve done in previous positions that is relevant to the job you are currently being considered for. This can help those who know you see you in a new light,” explains van den Barselaar.
Take on committee and lateral responsibilities
This step starts before you even think about getting the promotion.
If you are interviewing for a new role within your organisation, chances are high that you’ll be working with a new team of people, or reporting to new managers.
To increase your connections with others outside your immediate department, start networking within your company — and take on some lateral responsibilities where you can.
It’s not just about face time. It’s about developing and demonstrating your range of capabilities to more connections throughout your company.
Showcase your growth strategy and ability
Companies grow and evolve just like people do. The company you started working for may look very different from the one where you’re ready to interview for a promotion.
Maturing with a company and seeing how it’s changed can give you perspectives from inside the company that others outside may not have. In your interview, emphasise how your roles and responsibilities have evolved to reflect the growing needs of the company, and how you see the vision for the future.
Be formal and professional
There’s a time to be informal with colleagues you know, but an interview isn’t one of them. Be friendly, but show that you take the new role seriously by treating the process with respect and professional formality.
It’s better to err on the side of caution and approach it the same way you’d try to impress an interviewer you just met. That includes sending a thank you note when you’re finished with the interview, to demonstrate how serious you are about the new role.
“If you have been identified for the interview process, you have a strong chance of getting the job. Make sure to be prepared and professional on the day, to make the best impression you can. Should another candidate be picked for the role, do not become disheartened. Continue to work at developing your career and gaining as much experience across the organisation as you can,” Van den Barselaar concludes,