Interview Top Tips – how to succeed at internal interview when your job is on the line

Posted: 25th February 2021

Interview Top Tips – how to succeed at internal interview when your job is on the line

1. If the internal recruitment is the result of a re-structure, the most important thing to recognise is that you are not applying for your current role. Make sure you understand the changed context for the organisation and how the role you are applying for fits into this

2. You need to be able to confidently articulate your vision for the new role, illustrating your answers with examples of how the work you do will be different in the new context and what you can personally (as well as professionally) contribute to the re-structured team or department

3. If you haven’t had an interview for a while then practice your interview technique with a friend or colleague (there are many books with practice questions such as “Brilliant answers to tough interview questions: smart responses to whatever they throw at you”. Susan Hodgson. Your “helper” needs to check that you maintain eye contact, provide tangible examples of your recent achievements and contextualise your answers to the new role and culture

4. If you are applying for an internal promotion, say from a head of service role to a director level role, then shift the focus in your answers from the operational – e.g. what you do/have done – to the strategic – e.g. how you do it/how you did it.

5. If you have enough lead-in time, get involved in corporate projects or programmes and promote yourself, your skills and experience.

6. If the recruitment process involves ability tests then undertake practice tests.

7. Use the inside information that you have about your organisation but always evidence your skills and experience in the same way that external candidates would have to do.

Last but not least,

8. Whatever you may feel about the process, it is important to present as energetic and positive about the change.

Good luck – and let us know if these tips have helped you!

Sarah Palmer. Sarah can be contacted on 07806 602933,

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