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6 Tips for a Successful Internal Interview

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During my 4 years at Fidelity Investments, I received 4 internal promotions.  Luckily, there were a lot of growth opportunities during my time there, and I learned so much every time I applied for a new position.  I didn’t get the promotion every time, but I did get most of them.  Here are 6 things I learned while working the corporate ladder.

1. Prepare Your Current Boss: You should give your current boss a heads up that you are applying for a new position. They shouldn’t hear it from a 3rd party. Also, you should try and get your boss on board so he/she can support you and put in a good word for you if possible. Your new boss is going to want to know that you are easy to work with from someone who has personal experience.

2. Get to Know the New Boss: Everyone hates the office brown-noser who is constantly praising superiors.  That being said, you should make sure your potential new boss knows who you are.  Stop by and introduce yourself and let him/her know that eventually you would like to work in their department.  Over time, get to know the boss personally, so when you do interview with them you are both more relaxed and get deeper in conversation. If the time is right, ask what you can do now to prepare to for the position.  This will show that you are proactive and are willing to work now for future results.

3. Talk to Someone Who Currently has Your Desired Position or a Similar One: You need to find out issues or concerns that department has so you can be prepared to talk about issues your new position will face and how you will address them. Your new boss will want to know that you are ahead of the curve and already thinking of ways to help. If possible, start doing things at your current position to show you are ready for the new one. Don’t overstep any boundaries, but find ways to show that you are already doing what needs to be done. Also, find out keywords or phrases that those doing the interview will want to hear. Whether it is a concentration on team building, efficiencies, or strategic marketing, learn the phrases the team should be focused to show you are on the same page.

4. Be Positive and No Excuses: Your new boss is not only interviewing you to see if you are capable of the new position, but to know how you will be as a collaborator.  Stay positive, as no one wants to work with someone who is negative. Also, don’t tear other people down to build yourself up.  You need to show you are a team player.  If they bring up something negative in your past, don’t make excuses for it.  Shed light on the situation and own your mistakes.  Most bosses want to know that you won’t hide from your mistakes, but that you grow and learn from them.

5. During the Interview, Ask Questions: Don’t pretend to know everything. Nobody wants to hire a know-it-all. Ask sincere questions about the position or the department. At the end, ask those who are interviewing you what concerns they have with you as a candidate. This will allow you to get ahead of anything that is on their minds. You will be able to address issues that they didn’t ask directly or weren’t sure how to find the answer to.

6. Follow Up: After the interview, send an email to those who interviewed you.  Thank them for their time and consideration while reaffirming ways that you are preparing for the future position. This is a way to show true professionalism, and it always goes over well.

While there are no fool-proof ways to nail an interview, you would be surprised how many people go into an interview underprepared.  There is an assumption that if you have good numbers, you should get the job, but unfortunately, there are generally more factors in play to get a coveted position.  These 6 tips should give you a leg up on the competition.

Schramm Financial Group

Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. member FINRA/SIPC, Investment advisory services are offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc.

Schramm Financial Group is not a registered broker/deal and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services.

James Schramm is a financial advisor who runs a boutique investment firm that focuses on creating real wealth for business owners. They use high level investment and tax strategies to allow clients to retire on their terms. Schramm Financial Group was established in 1991 and has been a staple in the greater Los Angeles area. 27951 Smyth Dr. Suite 100 (661) 294-9555 James.Schramm@RaymondJames.com

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