Internal hiring is a very popular option with businesses, simply because it’s a lot more cost effective and practical to hire someone who’s already trained and familiar with the company.

However, internal interviews are incredibly different experiences to external ones and it’s really important that the interviewer makes the most out of them.

At worst, internal interviews can be awkward (especially if you’re on good terms with the candidate), but, at best, they can also be a great way for you to get a brand new insight into an existing employee and what they can bring to a new role.

It can be tempting to not take an internal interview seriously and assume that you already know everything about an employee, but it’s vital to stay professional and look at the candidate objectively and within the context of the role.

With that in mind, here are some tips on how to conduct the perfect internal interview!

1) Beware of Preconceptions

So you already know the employee inside out and know what they’re good and not-so-good at, right? Wrong!

Don’t assume that you know everything that this employee could potentially bring to the role. Approach the interview with fresh eyes and an open mind, and you might just discover something you didn’t know about the candidate before, whether that be good or bad!

interview body language2) Take Note of Their Attitude

While a perk of internal interviews are that they don’t have to be as formal as external interviews, it’s really important to keep an eye on the employee’s attitude towards the situation.

There’s no excuse for unprofessionalism and it’s important to make sure that the employee treats the interview with the same respect as everyone else.

Are they dressed casually, not brought their CV or lounging around? Warning bells should be going off!

3) Tailor Your Questions

This interview isn’t about going over old ground and asking questions you already know the answer to, it’s much more important to find out new information about the employee and their suitability for the role.

Ask questions like “Why do you want to move into this role?” and “What can you take from your previous role and apply to this new one?” to assess if they understand the transition between jobs.

Also, another thing to consider is that, if they don’t get the job, they will still be working for the company. So make sure that won’t be a problem by asking them how they would handle the situation if they didn’t get the job. This will allow you to find out if that sort of scenario will cause problems.

4) Suss Out Their Understanding Of Company Culture

The advantage that existing employees have over external candidates is that they have already spent time in the company and (should!) understand the company’s work ethic and culture.

A good way to check that they adhere to this way of thinking is to ask behavioural questions to suss out if they would approach certain situations in the right way.

Question like “How would you handle conflict with a colleague?” or “How do you approach working on a project with a team?” should give you a pretty good idea of this.

So there you have it, some helpful tips on conducting a really useful internal interview!

Have you had experience of carrying out internal interviews and have some tips of your own? Let me know in the comments below.

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