You’ve applied for an internal position at your current company and been invited for an interview; congratulations! Don’t assume that the interviewer already knows everything about your career achievements, skills, or background. Internal job interviews can be as challenging as external ones, nothing is guaranteed, and you shouldn’t assume you have the edge over external candidates. 

Do your research

You might already know the ins and outs of your company, but you might not know everything about the new role you’re interviewing for. Research the position and the team to discover everything from team structure, responsibilities, challenges, long-term/short term goals, projects, and how this new role differs from your current one. 

As you research the role, ask yourself these questions.

  • What skills do I need to have? 
  • Is there a complex skill that is most important?
  • What have I done so far at the company versus what is being asked for in this new role? 
  • How can I relate/adapt my current accomplishments to this new role? 

How to prepare for the interview

  • Write down past projects and achievements that confirm qualities, strengths, and skills needed in this new role. How did your actions benefit the company? Practice your answers.
  • Create a list of 9-10 qualities and skills/strengths that you think the hiring manager/team/department would find attractive. This will help guide your answers throughout the interview process.
  • Prepare answers to the following interview questions specified below.

Typical Interview Questions

Motivational questions

  • How come you are interested in this role? / Why do you believe you would be a good fit for this position?
  • What do you love the most about coming to work every day?
  • What are your career aspirations; one year / three years?
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Do you love your job?
  • What do you enjoy less about your current role? Is there something you feel is missing?
  • What are your top skills & experiences that would benefit you in this new role?

Project questions

  • I’ve heard you worked on project X. Can you tell me about this project? Was is successful? What was the main reason for its success?
  • Can you describe a favourite project you’ve worked, and why it went so well
  • Tell me about a project that did not go well. Can you mention some of the issues and how you addressed these with the team or manager? What was the outcome? Would you have done anything differently?

Management questions

  • Tell me about a project you’ve worked on in your current role. Who was involved? How did you assign responsibilities / deligate resources? What went well with the project? Could you have done something differently?
  • How would your colleagues describe you as a leader? 
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Are you a patient and understanding leader?
  • If you got promoted to this new role, what would your ideal team structure be? How would you manage communication and collaboration on projects?

Top Takeaways 

  1. Think of internal interviews as external ones. 
  2. Research the new position. 
  3. Find ways to match your current accomplishments, skills, and strengths to the new job.
  4. Don’t assume that the hiring manager knows your track record and your background/experience.
  5. Prepare yourself for quite deep and challenging interview questions and practice your answers. 

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