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Internal Promotion? How to prepare

Career path and succession planning are part of a good HR strategy.   They should be part of your personal strategy, too.

But when an opportunity for promotion is sitting in front of you, and you are granted an interview, how should you prepare for it?

Ask HR:
  1. Who are the interviewers?
  2. How long will the interview be?
  3. Are there any questions that you can prepare for in advance?
If the present incumbent is in the interview, you need to be sensitive to his/her feelings when you are asked about how you would manage the position.   It is really important to be well prepared when you are an existing employee, as there is an expectation that you have ideas around the role.

Before the Interview
  • Prepare a business plan
    • If the person in the position is willing to help, do ask for input and advice
    • If you are already in the department, use your knowledge of what is working and what isn't to build a SWOT Analysis
    • Outline your strategy to grow the department
  • Research typical questions in a promotion interview, and rehearse your responses
  • Prepare questions that you will ask in the interview
  • Review your skills and how you have developed while with the company
  • Remember there is no perfect fit for a job, but that the decision makers need to see that you are the best choice
During the Interview
  • It is really important not to be over confident, and take it for granted you will succeed.
  • Don't immediately hand over your business plan, it could be a strong closing argument, instead
  • Be professional, no matter how well you know the interviewers, respect the process
  • Acknowledge that there are aspects of the new position that you don't know, and share that you are looking forward to growing in the role
  • Ask questions,including well thought out ones regarding the new role and how the promotion would be phased in
  • Offer ideas about how you would assist somebody moving into your current position
  • Tell them you have put together a plan. 
    • Give it to them if you are happy that it is comprehensive otherwise
    • Promise to have it to them the following morning with some revisions based on knowledge gained in the interview
After the Interview
  • Continue to function effectively in your current position, you have no greater advert than success at what you are already doing
  • Drop the interviewers a mail, thanking them for considering you, and confirming how keen you are for the opportunity
  • If you get the position
    • allow the leadership to make the decision as to how the announcement is to be made
    • accept that some of your co-workers might not be happy about it.   They might have applied too and may now be reporting into you or you may be in a superior position.   Spend time with them, its not easy for either side 
  • If you don't get the position
    • Ask why and what you can do to improve your chances next time
    • Continue to work towards the next opportunity

Links, Notes and References

Accsys PeoplePlace
Accsys (Pty) Ltd

Note

Thank you for reading Teryl@Work.   Should you wish to use any of the material, please acknowledge this blog as the source.

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