Internal job application tips

Applying for a new role within your current organisation is a great way of changing jobs without going to a new organisation  and progressing in your career.

If a position opens up within your organisation and the role interests you, then you can apply for the job internally. In this article we discuss tips for applying for internal roles and how to prepare for the interview.

You may be looking to progress within your current role however there may not always be opportunities available. It is always worth being open and honest with your manager about your desires to move departments or progress. This will allow your manager to support your development and be able to offer some suggestions/ideas.

When a role becomes available that you have an interest in it is best practice to understand the recruitment process so you know what to expect. Below are some tips that will help you.

  • Speak to the hiring manager or HR representative that is responsible for the role. Ask any questions you have regarding the role and understand the interview process.
  • Find out where they advertise roles. Do they advertise internally first? Are there certain websites they use? By having this information it will allow you to keep an eye on certain platforms as other roles may become available.
  • Find out what style of interview it will be. This will allow you to prepare for the interview and have an understanding of what the interview will look like.
  • Find out if there is anybody you can ask for guidance. This could be a line manager, colleagues within the organisation or HR.
  • Make a list of the organisation’s requirements for the new job and identify how you’re qualified for it.
  • Ensure you have the job description and person specification. By having this information you can compare your knowledge, skills and behaviours and what experience and qualities you have that will make you suitable for the role. It will also allow you to have a strong understanding of the role and what the organisation are looking for from the successful candidate. 

Once you have made the application you may then be offered an interview. If you are not selected for the interview, it is always good practice to ask for feedback. This will support you in the future and allow you to understand why, at this time, the organisation didn’t feel you were a suitable candidate.

If you are offered an interview, the below tips should help you prepare for the interview.

  • Familiarise yourself with the structure of the organisation. It is likely you have a good understanding of the structure of the organisation. However, before your interview it will be useful to go over this as things may have changed.
  • Review the company’s mission statement and key values.  Understanding the values of the company will help align your vision with theirs. This will also allow you to ensure you are on the same page and no changes have been made that you are unaware of.
  • Find out the short and long term plan of the company. This will again allow you to see if their plan aligns with yours and will allow you to show your strategic awareness and passion to research the business, and provides examples of how your plans match during the interview. You can find this on company websites, by asking senior managers in the business or shareholders report and Companies House.
  • Preview the job/person descriptions. Research to familiarise yourself with the position you are applying for. Identify examples that demonstrate your various skills and abilities, including projects you’ve worked on previously. Use examples that demonstrate some of the skills/knowledge that the employer is looking for in this new role.
  • Expect standard interview questions. Although you currently work for the organisation it is likely you will still be asked common interview questions. Some of the most common questions are listed below.
  1. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  2. What are your hopes for the future at the company?
  3. Why are you interested in this position?
  4. What skills can you apply to this position?
  • Outline your performance at the company. The interviewer may not be aware of your experience at the company, it is a great idea to outline your performance and experience. You could discuss any achievements, any projects you’ve been involved with and any awards/certificates.
  • Take advantage of your insider position. As an employee, you’re at an advantage as you have first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to work for the organisation. Take advantage of this to illustrate your suitability for the role. The goal is to show that you’re already aware of your surroundings and are able to use them to thrive in the new role.
  • Be aware of different styles of interviews. The most common style of interview is competency-based. If you understand what this involves you will feel more confident when in the interview setting.

Competency-based interviewing, sometimes referred to as situational, behavioural or structured interviewing, is a systematic way to approach an interview that focuses on whether a candidate has the specific skills or competencies needed for the role. This style of interviewing is based on the idea that past behaviour is the best way to predict future performance, and it is used by employers from all fields and industries. Unlike normal interviews that typically have a more informal approach, competency-based interviews methodically pose situational questions that target a candidate’s soft skills in order to evaluate how they approach different situations that are relevant to the position they have applied for. For example, competency-based interview questions often attempt to assess a candidate’s communication or interpersonal skills. These types of questions typically require candidates to explain past experiences in order to predict how they will perform in the future.

If you would like to discuss anything in more detail please contact our CEIAG Coordinator,

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