The In-house Interview: your reputation at work

Yes, they have heard of you. They may know you. They surely know people who know you well. What are the implications for your internal interview?

Today’s hint: you must present yourself honestly –

  • as you are,
  • as you have been,
  • as you hope to be.

You have provided an up-to-date resume, and it must be scrupulously honest: precise dates, exact job titles and responsibilities. Why this emphasis on accuracy? Because someone reading it knows the truth, and this is not a time to exaggerate your importance. A little humility, please.

Have you had a dazzling success or two in your current or a recent assignment? Of course you have, and you will look forward to telling the story and its impact. But please remember to give credit to your colleagues:

  • this wouldn’t have been possible without the research provided by our reference team,
  • the marketing was a combined effort of…,
  • the support staff put in long hours to give our product the unified look which contributed to our success.

Have you made a mistake? Have you blundered? Have you lost your temper and said/done unfortunate things?

You must believe they know about this and want to hear about it from you. Tell the truth, make it brief, and state how you have remedied the situation. You apologized, you attended a follow-up training to enhance your people skills, you learned to manage your stress in a more professional way.

How does this position fit your career goals? There had better be a well-thought out answer. They need to know that you have goals, that you are enthusiastic about taking this step toward achieving them. Make it clear. Mention books, journal articles or websites you have read which keep you up to date.

Being the internal candidate gives you an advantage over those unknown folks competing for the position from the outside. Make sure you show your most polished and professional side.


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