[Image] People in internal interview process

When a position opens within a company, most organizations consider the option of extending the application to internal and external applicants. The internal interview may appear to be a smooth and easy process for employees who already work for the company, but it still requires the same amount of time and effort as an external interview to succeed.

Tip #1: Act Like an External Applicant

As an existing team member, be prepared to submit an updated resume when applying for the open position. It’s important to respect the internal process as one would for an external process by researching the position, dressing in appropriate interview attire, and preparing for the interview.

Even though you may know the interviewers in the panel, being too lax during the interview may come off as arrogant. Keep in mind that even though you may think you are the most qualified for the position, other internal or external candidates may prove to be a better fit for the role. Not taking the process seriously may decrease the likelihood of attaining the job.

>>> Read: Oops! Common Interview Mistakes Candidates Make

Tip #2: Use Your Knowledge to Your Advantage

Unlike external candidates, internal candidates have the advantage of having an inside perspective by already working for the company. It’s important to refresh your basic knowledge about the company while tying in what you have learned from your first-hand experience working for the organization.

If there are any changes that can be made within the company that can lead to the growth and success of the organization, be sure to address it in a constructive way, using solid examples from work experience. Showing proactivity in consistently improving the company can be a positive way to stand out from the other applicants.

Tip #3: Share Your Accomplishments

Use the internal interview as a chance to highlight the achievements and skills that have been accomplished within the company. If you have been working for the company for a while, remind the interviewer of your loyalty and worth in the organization. Emphasize on any small- and large-scale accomplishments achieved that has made a positive impact on the company with clear and specific results.

Tip #4: Ask Questions

At the end of the internal interview, the interviewer may ask if you have any questions before wrapping up. Be eager to know about the new position by asking questions about the position and the work culture. You may be familiar with the company culture from your current position, but factors such as a change in departments or job levels can lead to a completely different type of work environment. As an internal candidate, asking questions is a great way to make sure that the position will be a right fit for you and your career goals.

>>> Read: The Best and Most Revealing Questions to Ask Employers

Tip #5: Avoid Discussing the Open Position to Co-workers

It’s not appropriate to talk about the position and process with other co-workers, especially since a handful of them may be competing for the same role. Be mindful of talking about the position to the interview panelists as well. Even if you may be on friendly terms with the interviewer, asking about updates regarding the position too frequently may put the interviewer in an uncomfortable situation, especially since they are likely not able to disclose any information to candidates until the internal process has finished.


Bristol Associates, Inc. is an executive search firm with over 50 years of excellence in recruiting nationwide. Bristol specializes in recruiting for companies in the casino gaming, food manufacturing, hospital/healthcare, hotels/resorts, travel/tourism/attractions, facilities/concessions, and restaurant businesses.

If you’re interested in working with Bristol Associates, click here if you’re an employer or here if you’re a job seeker.

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