A promotion interview, also known as an internal interview, is conducted for employees seeking a higher designation in the same organization.
A new and better position also comes with added responsibilities, and the companies want to ensure they can handle the new job role even if an employee has been with them for some time.
Internal employees have some advantages when it comes to knowing about the company. They are already familiar with the work ethics and objectives of the organization.
However, that does not automatically make them suitable for bigger and better responsibilities. They need to repeatedly prove themselves by appearing for an internal interview.
Employers often insist on this so that employees do not take their promotions for granted. When they have to appear for an interview repeatedly, they ensure they are well-prepared and on top of their existing tasks.
Preparing for the promotion interview is not easy at all, and there are specific questions that one should be prepared to face.
Answering these questions correctly will help them perform better at the comprehensive assessment, proving that they are ready to handle more significant responsibilities within the organization.
After spending some time in the company, the employers are already aware of the applicant’s strengths and capabilities. The employee would thus have to show what more they can bring to the table to get the promotion and, eventually, advance their career.
What is the Difference Between Regular Interviews and Promotion Interviews?
Unlike regular interviews, where you would have to appear for an interview to prove whether you are suitable for a particular position within the organization, a promotion interview is all about proving that you have done your best.
You could have spent some months or years in the company, and to apply for a higher role, you have to show that you have excelled in all the areas of your current position.
Your superiors and any failures will analyze whatever you have achieved until that point in the organization.
Hence, if external candidates are also applying for the position, you have to prove why you are a better candidate than anyone else from outside the organization.
Not only do you have a history with the company, you know enough about it that gives you an advantage over external candidates.
On the other hand, if the interview is only meant for internal candidates, you have to prove why you are better than any of your colleagues and deserve the promotion.
At this point, the atmosphere in the organization can get a little competitive, and you have to ensure that professional rivalry does not get in the way of your teamwork.
Your employers will be watching all the employees and observing how they handle the situation, not only within the interview room but outside it. Hence, it is vital to be calm and composed leading up to the interview and keep on doing your best.
Preparing for a Promotion Interview: Points to Keep in Mind
The employers will have the best interest of the company in mind. They will scrutinize you repeatedly to ensure you are the right candidate for the job, even if you have spent considerable time in the industry.
Hence, prepare for the interview so that they get to discover you anew and discover some positive traits they were not already aware of. Here are some points to keep in mind.
1. Talk About Your Growth
One of the things that your interviewers will want to check is your growth in the company after joining them. You can use this to your best advantage and talk about how much you have learned since you became a part of the organization.
You can say that the new position will not only be a unique opportunity in terms of career advancement but will also be a new learning experience.
It will show that you are a lifelong learner. Although you are applying for a higher position, you still have qualities like curiosity and enthusiasm that will propel you to keep reinventing yourself. These are qualities required in higher managerial positions within the organization.
2. Stay Professional
In the days leading up to the interview, try to stay professional as much as possible. Even if you have an excellent rapport with your boss or manager, do not go out of your way to be nice to them.
Many candidates make the mistake of trying to warm up to their superiors before a promotion interview, which does not always work in their favor. A good boss will stay impartial, no matter the rapport you share with them, and they will assess all internal candidates similarly.
Hence, avoid inviting your boss for lunch or giving them any expensive gifts in the days leading up to the interview.
3. Research the New Position
Never assume that you know all about it just because you have been a part of the company for a while.
Yes, you might have come to know about certain things during your time there, but you still might not know anything about what a higher position entails.
Go through the job description of the position you are applying for and ensure you fulfill all the criteria. Start your research quite some time ahead so you do not have any last-moment surprises.
4. Thing Ahead
If you are ambitious about having a thriving career, do not wait until the position opening is announced to start preparing yourself. In every organization, higher positions are sometimes made available as a senior employee retires or decides to quit for an even better position elsewhere.
Hence, soon after joining the company and settling in, try researching the vacancies in the next tier and prepare yourself accordingly. When the time comes for promotion, you will be best prepared among all your coworkers.
Make sure you acquire the skills and have an excellent work report at the end of each quarter, something you will be able to show during the promotion.
5. Show Why You Are Different
While preparing for the interview, focus on why you differ from the other candidates. Why should employers consider you over your coworkers? You need to have an excellent answer to this question and try to answer it without being condescending about your coworkers.
Focus on your strengths rather than highlighting their weaknesses, and show how you have prepared yourself for this moment.
In addition, also work on your non-verbal cues, body language, and dress to impress. It would be best if you exuded confidence that shows you are ready for the next significant role of your career.
6. Be Prepared for Both Praise and Criticism
During the interview, you should be prepared for both praise and criticism. After showering praises for your achievements, your employers will most likely talk about the mistakes that you made as well.
Instead of defending yourself, talk about how you learned from those mistakes and how they have contributed to your growth.
Do not let these questions wind you up, and talk about how you have contributed to your projects and other positive aspects of your career within the organization.
7. Be Prepared for Behavioral Questions
Your promotion interview questions will not have questions related to your higher education or previous work experience. Your employers knew all about that right when they hired you.
Hence, this time, be prepared to answer behavioral questions. For example, your employers would want to know how you would deal with a challenging but long-term client who hardly ever approves an idea quickly.
Or, now that you could be a manager yourself, how would you delegate your tasks to your juniors? Preparing the answers to these questions will help you secure the position.
Sample Promotion Interview Questions and Answers
Here are some sample promotion interview questions and answers to help you land a higher position. However, customize the answers for the position you are applying for.
Why Do You Want to Apply for the New Position?
By asking this question, your employer will want to know whether you are just interested in the higher pay package and perks that come with the higher position you are motivated about the job.
I want to apply for the new position because I have already spent eighteen incredible months in my current position and have learnt certain valuable skills. I am ready to apply those skills for the new position and learn new ones. That way, I can keep serving the company to the best of my abilities.
What Do You Like About Your Current Position?
When answering this question, talk about all your positive experiences while working in your current position.
Ans: I loved the fact that I worked as a part of a team that was so supportive. My manager was always teaching us little things about the job, which made us more nuanced in our jobs.
In the process, I learned about the organization’s excellent work culture and how it fosters a learning environment that helps in the growth of junior employees.
Why Should We Offer You the Position Instead of Your Colleagues?
With this question, your employers will determine many things about you. They will see how well you can market yourself without being negative about your coworkers.
On the other hand, if you cannot provide a satisfactory answer and downplay your achievements, they will not consider you for the position. They will likely move over to one of your colleagues.
Answer:Ans: I am sure that all my colleagues are excellent, and I can say that because I have spent considerable time working alongside them. However, my performance in the current role has been one of the best. I have been slowly preparing myself for the following position for quite some time now. I have prepared a list of my achievements highlighting my contribution to the projects I have worked on. That makes me an extreme candidate for the new role.
What Do You know About the New Role?
For this question, talk about all that came up in your research about the new job description, and then add how you think of fulfilling it.
Ans: I have learned that the new job role requires the candidate to (list the skills and qualities needed for the new role). I think I can fulfill these roles because (talk about how your experience till now has equipped you to take on new responsibilities).
How Will Your Relationship With Your Colleagues Change if You Get This Position?
With this question, your employers will determine how you will handle your success. You will be in a superior position compared to your colleagues and how you will handle the new interpersonal relationships.
Ans: I have made excellent friends during my months at the organization and have an excellent professional relationship with my coworkers. And the new position might be a professional accomplishment for me. However, I will continue to have the same rapport with them.
I would need their support wholeheartedly if I am to keep on doing well in my new position, and they are an essential part of my journey. At the same time, I will ensure that any new team member also feels welcome, just as I did.
What Do You Plan to Achieve in the Next Six Months if You Get the Promotion?
With this question, your employers would want to know about your vision and how you plan to contribute to the company after getting the new role. It would be best if you had a strategy in place that you could talk of so that the employers get to know you have long-term plans for the company.
Ans: I have already chalked out a basic plan about how I intend to add to what has already been achieved by my superiors. I intend to (talk about your plans). I will also look forward to feedback from my senior manager so I can keep doing well.
The best thing about getting a promotion is that it instantly instills confidence in you. You know that your faith in yourself was rightly placed, and the hours of effort you put in finally pay off. The better compensation package is also an added perk.
Most importantly, a promotion paves the way for bigger and better things for your future. Preparing well for your promotion will increase your chances of landing a higher designation, and you can use it for your professional and personal growth.
This new phase in your career will indeed work wonders for you.