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Friday, January 14, 2011

Why Do I Have to Interview For an Internal Promotion?

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I have been with my company for several years, and I am now up for a promotion. The job description is a perfect fit for my career path, and came from discussions with my supervisor about my career goals and the needs of the company.

Then in a twist I wasn’t expecting, the position was posted as a new position. Instead of being promoted directly to it, I was encouraged to apply for it like everyone else. Outside candidates will also be considered, but company policy gives “preference” to internal candidates when all other things are equal.

My question is two-fold:

1. Is this a normal way of doing things? This job description was tailor-made for me, and it seems odd that the company would go through a full recruitment process with outside candidates and all.

2. Since I am going to be interviewing for this new position, how much of typical interview advice still applies? The hiring manager is my current manager, who already knows all my strengths and shortcomings. He already knows what skills I have and what skills I will be able to learn. He already knows how I fit in with the company culture, how I get along with my co-workers, and how well I understand our business. What advice do you have for a situation like this?

Why Do I Have to Interview For an Internal Promotion?


Anonymous said...

I was in a similar situation recently. A new position was created with another group within my department that was a great fit for my skills. I got the impression that if I applied, I would be a "shoe-in" as the manager knew me well enough. I went through the interview just like it was an external position - dressed my best (even though it was casual Friday and everyone else was in jeans), answered all questions like the manager knew nothing about me, and generally felt that it went very well. I was supposed to hear back within a week (they wanted to move fast), but a week turned into 2, then turned into a month and a half.

It ended up that I didn't get the job - another internal candidate was chosen, one that had worked with the manager years ago at another company. This individual was the 'wild card' that I had never expected.

So, even with the good vibes and all, you just never know what could happen. At the end of the day, I'm glad I didn't get it though - I'm much better off where I am currently. I share an office with the temp that was backfilling the position while they were looking for someone full-time, and in the past couple months found that most of the tasks would completely bore me. In this case, the grass really isn't greener on the other side.

Lindsay said...

I had to do that when I was working for a State agency, but in that case it was because regulations required that all positions be openly posted and at least three people be interviewed. In your case, it sounds like they want you, but are also looking around "just in case" there is something better out there. Best of luck! I hope you get it!