Archive for July 14th, 2008

The In-house Interview: a series of unique challenges

July 14, 2008

I’ve noticed an increase in requests for counseling appointments because there’s an opportunity in one’s workplace that seems appealing. Are there special strategies that apply to this situation? Yes, there are.

Here are a few factors for your consideration:

  • they may already know you,
  • you may already know them,
  • they’ve heard about you (or can get information informally),
  • you’ve heard about them (or can get information informally),
  • the job may already be tailored for someone,
  • that someone is/is not/ you,
  • you may be being compared to outside candidates.

In the next few postings, I will be looking at the unique components of the in-house interview. You can look for ideas about explaining your accomplishments to people who may already know about them, dealing with your reputation, dressing for an interview, and overall etiquette.

If you have an interesting experience to share while being the internal candidate, please write to me. Maybe I can include your story (if you agree to it).

Here’s today’s hint: remember that you are competing against outside candidates, whether anyone acknowledges this or not.

Dress a bit more formally than usual. Your competition from the outside is wearing a beautiful suit, is well-groomed and polished. This outsider is probably carrying a portfolio or briefcase and is prepared to use an effective handshake, good eye contact, and excellent manners. Should you do any less?

It is awkward. You are an insider and you want to play to that strength. But remember, this position is a step up, and you need to reflect that. Put on your best jacket. do some grooming in advance, don’t assume that you have the position.

Someone told me that if she is going to an in-house interview, she takes the morning off to prepare. She does her hair and make-up carefully, dresses more professionally than she might on her regular job, and lets the interviewer know that she is honored to be considered. And yes, she sends a thank-you note afterwards.

Are you facing an opportunity to be interviewed for an inside position? If you would like some individual coaching for this situation, please visit my website at for contact information. And meanwhile, stay tuned to this blog for more thoughts and hints.