Hot Job Hunting Tips                                         November 3, 2020

Hiring managers and human resources personnel often look internally first to move talent up or 

laterally into new roles. There are many benefits for them to do so. It encourages loyalty and

acts as a morale boost to others, while encouraging them to sharpen their performance to

become eligible for future internal opportunities. Training is less time-consuming and expensive

because of familiarity with company policies and cultural norms.

Although internal employees with proven track records may be excellent candidates, they may

not do the best in interviews. Perhaps out of assuming to be the logical choice, they do not

prepare adequately, taking the opportunity for granted. If employees feel they have been 

rejected too often, they may feel it is time to move out of the organization. Other reasons for 

poor performance in internal interviews could include an inability to articulate fitness for the

position, delving into too much detail when answering questions, not listening carefully to

interview questions, and failing to exhibit adequate enthusiasm.


Some tips for preparing for the internal interview include:

  • Understanding the needs the position fills.

  • Researching the position and interviewers.

  • Determining who will be making the hiring decision.

  • Understanding problems and opportunities associated with the position.

  • Anticipating concerns the interviewers will have relating to candidates, especially internal ones.

  • Developing insightful questions that will illustrate enthusiasm and a willingness to further understand the role.

  • Practicing for the interview.

Some tips for during the internal interview:

  • Build rapport by being vulnerable, sincere, and honest.

  • Ask questions that show evidence of research, analytical thinking, and interest in the position.

  • Be succinct, clear, and direct.

  • Suggest solutions, or steps you would take to find solutions to problems.

  • Avoid getting bogged down into too much detail. The interview has a process to complete and timeframe to stay within.

  • Use the CAR format to tell a story as relevant and impressive. What was the Challenge you met, the Action Taken, and the Result.

  • Engage in active listening. Don't answer until you completely understand what they are looking for in your response.

  • Be aware of the body language of the interviewers.

  • Stay positive throughout.

  • Utilize the common history and culture you share with the interviewers as members of the same organization.

  • Inquire as to the timeframe for making a decision.

Follow-up the interview:

  • Take any actions promised in the interview.

  • Send a thank you email or note.

  • Follow-up on the status of the position (discreetly).

  • If the job is not offered, ask for feedback on your performance in the interview to consider adjusting your behavior for the next opportunity.

  • As hard as it is, don't take rejection personally.

Internal interviews can be tricky as relationships continue on afterwards. Career development within an organization can progress more quickly when people prove their worth, continue their education, and be assertive in seeking out new opportunities for growth.

Navigating Internal Interviews Successfully
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