You just hit the submit button to apply for an internal position at your company. You feel good about it and are ready for a change. That is great! What could be easier than being a known candidate? You have your foot in the door, and you already know the managers so the internal interview will be a piece of cake. You may wonder why you even need an interview. It should be obvious that you will get the job, right? Wrong! Internal interviews can be just as tough (or tougher) than interviews with a new company. The hiring manager will expect you to know more than a guy off of the street. You will be held to a higher standard because you already work within the company. Keep the following internal interview tips in mind if you want to get the job.
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Advantages of an Internal Interview
You already know the company culture
You can use specific examples that the interviewer will be familiar with
You can use your existing relationships within the company to show your value
What Assumptions You Should Avoid during an Internal Interview
Internal interviews require less preparation than external interviews
You don’t need a resume
You can dress and act as you would on a regular day
You may think that because you know the company and likely the interviewer that you can dress and act as you would any day of the workweek, but this simply is not the case. Dressing for an interview is the same whether this is an internal or external position. The last thing you want to do is give the impression this is just another day on the job. This is a new position, and you need to dress and act the part. The hiring manager could get the wrong impression if you are too relaxed. O’Toole recommends that you remain professional during the interview even if you are friends with the hiring manager. She warns that the interviewer might see relaxation as a sign you do not really care about the position.
Hiring managers know that it is easier and quicker to hire an internal candidate, but this does not guarantee that you will have the advantage. It is in the best interest of the interviewer to find the best person for the job even if that means a little extra paperwork. You will need to demonstrate that you are the right fit and that you will bring success to the team if you want to land the job.