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Gent Hints – Interviewing for an Internal Position

My current home of employment is quite unique. The opportunity for growth and advancement is wonderfully plentiful. Management offers a fantastic support system to aid and assist with an individual’s learning and development. However, the opportunity for advancement is not absent its share of challenge and adversity; wrought with anxiety and apprehension. The arduous road to career advancement can wind through a series of internal interviews that sometimes result in reward, and other circumstances with disappointment. Often, but not entirely, the outcome is predicated by the preparation and performance of the candidate. Interviewing for an internal position can present a myriad of unaccounted for pitfalls that a candidate fails to properly address.

My position in management has afforded me the opportunity to interview a robust quantity of candidates – both internally and externally. The knowledge that I have gleaned from my experiences has allowed for not only personal, professional growth; but I can confidently dispense guidance to candidates seeking career advancement. Today, I wanted to extend a small offering of wisdom to those individuals that hold a desire to advance within their present employer and must navigate the interview process to accomplish that objective. So, let’s explore what a candidate should and should not do when interviewing for an internal position at their job.

Do’s and Don’ts When Interviewing for an Internal Position

  1. Don’t arrive at the interview too relaxed. Sometimes a candidate can become a victim of comfort and familiarity. A candidate may enter an interview composed of peers or coworkers. Being haphazardly at ease with one’s surroundings can possibly dull a candidate’s sharpness and awareness. A candidate should be cognizant of body language and communication – keep it decidedly professional and formal.
  2. Do Approach an internal interview as if you were an external candidate, but bolstered insider knowledge. Dress professionally for the interview. Bring a resume. And don’t take for granted that the interviewer has predetermined knowledge of how you perform at work – now is the time to sell yourself and highlight noteworthy achievements along with championing your work ethic.
  3. Do the necessary research before applying for the position. A candidate that lacks basic knowledge of the desired position reflects very poorly on the candidate’s interview preparation. Network with colleagues that are currently in that department or on the team. Scheduling an appointment with the hiring manager prior to the interview can provide crucial insight and detail of tremendous benefit.
  4. Don’t torch professional bridges in the office. In the circumstance that you are striving to advance internally, your reputation can certainly travel with you as you apply for positions. Trust – managers speak with other managers. External candidates can be an unknown commodity. However, in the case of an internal candidate, expect the hiring manager to do a little research on their potential new hire.
  5. Don’t end the interview with a wave and goodbye. A prepared candidate should always ask meaningful questions regarding job expectations, challenges that the candidate may face, challenges currently faced by the team/department/company, opportunity for growth & development, and  – well you get the idea. Salary, benefits, and shift assignment are all valid questions to ask, but a candidate should arrive armed with inquiries that project depth and thoughtfulness.
  6. Do express gratitude after the interview. Some people may label this act as a dated practice, but a handwritten thank you note can be the finishing touch that separates two candidates that are running neck & neck for a position. Be aware of certain points during the interview that resonate with the interviewer or panel; craft your thank you card accordingly and take that moment to briefly pitch yourself as an asset, express enthusiasm for position, and offer gratitude for the time & consideration you’ve been granted.

This blog is about sharing knowledge. And I am certain the points above is not an exhaustive list of what to do and not to do. Therefore, please feel free to lend some advice in the comment section. I am sure someone will readily welcome a pointer or two or three.

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Gent Hints – The Interview Timepiece

Longines HeritageIt is a rite of professional passage for any gentleman seeking employment. It is the rite of passage that calls upon the gentlemen to extol the merits of his expertise and character while being analyzed and examined for final judgement. It is the job interview. Whether or not you earn the position will hinge on a myriad of factors. Today, we’re talking about a small factor, but nonetheless, an important factor. During that crucial, pivotal job interview; credibility is an asset that is absolutely paramount during the hiring exercise. From your resume to your professional references, the totality of your presentation must articulate trustworthiness and a seriousness befitting of a future employee. So, let’s assume that the resume and credentials are all in place. Check, check, and double-check. The job is yours to claim, but one misstep can ruin a sure thing. And it can begin with a misstep with a small accessory – your watch.

That being stated, I must implore the aspiring job seeker to leave the gaudy timepiece at home. This is a job interview and not a dance club. Potential employers will not be impressed by your obnoxiously over-sized timepiece. You know the one we are speaking about. It’s the one with the abundance of diamonds – real or imitation. It’s the one whose width is greater than your wrist. All attention should be directed solely on you and your credentials. Not that monstrosity on your wrist. Go dark and go discreet. Stainless steel. Leather strap. Black or dark brown. Your sartorial mission on this interview is to be understated – not overstated. Keep the accessories quiet and allow your credentials to speak the loudest. Afterwards, if you want to show out a little, go right ahead, but in moderation. But we’ll talk about that another day.

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