How to Handle The Internal Job Application
Are you interested in an open position within your current company? An internal job application is a trickier than you might imagine. Many in this scenario assume that since they already work there, they have the upper hand over all the other candidates. In reality, hiring mangers tend to be tougher on the internal candidates than the external ones—they understand that they have more access to company resources and information than the other people applying. So if you’re not extra prepared, you’ll be out of luck. At the same time, applying for another position creates a whole new conundrum: if you were to get that job, then you would be opening up the position you previously had, thereby creating a new headache for your old manager. If you find yourself in the situation of wanting a different position at your company, you must strike up a dialogue with your manager early on in order to ease any potential transition. It is a fine line to walk. Here are a few tips on how to navigate this circumstance in the best way possible:
- Be over prepared for the interview: Do not assume that since you already work at the company, that you have an advantage over the other candidates. “Do your homework” and prepare for the interview like you would any other. Or better yet, be over prepared. The hiring manager will probably expect more from you since you have more available resources and information than the rest of the candidates.
- Talk to your co-workers who already have the job you want: Another “do your homework” Ask them what’s required to be successful at the job. Ask them about the challenges they face. Use them as a tool to gather information that could help you during your interview. You may also consider speaking with your company’s HR manager. Ask them for any advice or suggestions that they might have.
- Let your boss know of your interest in the job: Here’s where things can get tricky. Assuming you get the job, you would be leaving a void that your old manager would then have to fill. Let him or her know of your interest in the position far in advance. Be honest and upfront about your intentions, and properly explain to them why you want the job (i.e. you want to gain different work experience, you want new/different challenges, etc.). By opening up this dialogue, you can hopefully gain your manager’s support for the open position, which would serve as a glowing endorsement. You will also be helping to facilitate a more simple transition for your boss when it comes time to replace you. DO NOT wait until the last minute to tell them. This could cause a rift, and would make things extremely awkward if you don’t end up getting the job and are then forced to continue working for them.
- Make yourself stand out after the hiring process: This is just a common courtesy that we’ve already discussed in previous blog posts. For everyone that helped you, write personalized “thank you” letters, and then thank them face-to-face, including your current boss—whether you got the job or not. The most important step after it’s all over is to move on gracefully.
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