Internal Interview Questions & Tips to Get Hired Into the Best Next Role [+ Free Interview PDF]

She is in an internal interview asking questions.

Internal Interview Questions are Important

Are you looking to get promoted or take on a new role in your current organization? Internal interviews are an essential step in making this happen.

As much as the process may seem daunting, there’s no need to worry. With proper preparation and research, you can ace your internal interview and land the job of your dreams!

In this article, we cover common internal interview questions and provide tips for internal candidates to answer them effectively.

We also provide a free Interview Preparation PDF download with all the tips you need to practice before going into the real thing.

Read on to learn more about how to prepare for an internal interview and increase your chances of success.

Table of Contents

Why Apply for Internal Interviews?

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Applying for internal interviews can be a great way to further your career.

Not only are you familiar with the company and its culture, but it also demonstrates your commitment and value to the organization.

You have an advantage of being better-equipped to showcase your skills and experiences relevant to the job when compared to external candidates.

Plus, internal interviews give you a chance to prove yourself and can open up opportunities for advancement.

Why Hiring Managers Prefer Internal Candidates

Hiring Managers tend to prefer internal candidates because they already have a strong understanding of the company’s culture, mission, and values.

Plus, they have experience with the corporate processes and are better equipped to hit the ground running. When external candidates come in, they take time to understand and learn the company’s norms.

Internal candidates don’t have this issue, which is why they tend to be favored.

What Hiring Managers Look for During the Internal Interview Process

During an internal interview, hiring managers are looking for the following qualities in an internal candidate:

Success in current position : This includes successful completion of tasks and initiatives, as well as any notable accomplishments.

Teamwork: A candidate who has a history of working well with their team and collaborating on projects is highly favored.

Skills that suit the position: Hiring managers are looking to find out if the candidate has the right skillset for the position.

Adaptability: The ability to be flexible and adapt to changes in the workplace is important.

Motivation in applying for the new internal role: Hiring managers want to make sure the candidate is truly motivated and not just applying for a different role because they’re bored.

Research in advance: Interviewers want to see that the candidate has done their research and is familiar with the role they’re applying for.

Focus on self-improvement and growth: Candidates should be able to demonstrate a willingness to learn and grow in their new role.

She will prepare for an internal interview.

How Do You Prepare for Internal Interview?

An internal candidate should prepare for interviews much like external candidates would with a few exceptions. Many of the general interview questions and interview questions to ask are not novel but care should be taken to frame answers within the current job or new position at your company. When hiring managers interview internal candidates they expect answers to be deeper in areas where they share experience or familiarity.

1. Research the role: Understand what the job entails, as well as any requirements or qualifications needed.

2. Develop a list of accomplishments in your current role: Think about any tasks or projects you completed in your current job successfully and how they relate to the new internal role.

3. Network internally to learn more about the position: Talk to people in similar roles to get a better understanding of the new position.

4. Practice your answers: Prepare potential answers to common interview questions and practice them out loud with a friend or family member.

5. Prepare questions to ask your interviewer: Have some questions ready that demonstrate your interest in the new position and will help you get a better understanding of what’s expected.

6. Dress to impress: Make sure you’re dressed professionally and look the part.

7. Be confident: Take a deep breath before going into the interview, and remember to show the interviewer that you’re confident in your skills and experience.

By following these internal interview tips, you’ll be prepared to rock your internal interview and increase your chances of success.

How do you introduce yourself in an internal interview?

When introducing yourself in an internal interview, you should focus on highlighting your strengths, skills and experiences that are relevant to the job. Begin by introducing yourself and briefly summarizing your current position at the company.

How do you stand out in an internal interview?

To stand out in an internal interview, you need to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job and show the interviewer that you are the best candidate for the position.

Then, talk about any significant accomplishments or successes you’ve had in that role, a challenging project that was successful, as well as any additional training or certifications you have.

Mention any industry awards or recognitions you’ve received, and be sure to explain why you’re interested in the internal position.

Finally, demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job by expressing why you think the new role is a great fit for you and how you are a great fit at the company. (This last part is a great way to stand out from an external candidate and is an opportunity only internal candidates have – take advantage of it.)

Internal Interview Questions to Prepare For

Internal candidates can properly prepare for interviews by practicing these questions and developing compelling answers.

Flexibility and adaptability questions:

-What do you think is the most important quality for adapting to changing job roles?

-How have you successfully adapted to a changing environment in the past?

Teamwork questions:

-How do you ensure successful collaboration with team members?

-What strategies have you used to ensure successful teamwork and collaboration?

Internal interview questions focused on motivation:

-What motivates you to apply for this role?

-Why do you think this job is a good fit for you?

Research questions:

-How have you researched the position and company background in advance of the interview?

-What have you learned about the company’s goals and objectives that make you a good fit for this role?

Questions about teamwork:

-Describe a situation where you worked successfully as part of a team.

-What strategies do you use to foster collaboration?

Internal interview questions focused on adaptability:

-What strategies do you use to ensure successful adaptation to a new role?

-How have you successfully adapted to changing job roles in the past?

Questions about problem-solving:

-Describe a situation in which you had to come up with an innovative solution.

-What strategies do you use to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions?

Questions about the new role:

-What do you think the most important responsibilities and duties of this role are?

-Why do you think you’d be a good fit for this role?

Internal interview questions about professional relationships:

-Describe a situation in which you had to build a successful relationship with someone.

-What strategies do you use to build and maintain successful relationships with colleagues and team members?

Questions about current role:

-What did you like most about your current role?

-Describe a situation in which you had to work under pressure. How did you handle it?

Questions about communication:

-Describe a situation in which you had to communicate difficult information. How did you handle it?

-How do you ensure strong communication between team members?

Questions about career goals:

-What do you want to achieve in the next five years?

-What motivates you to be the best in your job and pursue career success?

Questions about company culture:

-Describe how our company culture is expresses in your current role.

-What do you think are the most important qualities in a successful team/organization?

Internal job interview questions focused on hard skills:

-What specific skills do you think are necessary to be successful in this role?

-Describe a situation in which you had to use one of these skills. How did it help the outcome?


Over 20 pages of planning and tips to nail your next interview, free. Here.

Asking the right internal interview questions - and nailing the process

Make sure you follow your companies guidelines for internal candidates in terms of policy and process to keep the process getting slowed down or derailed.

On top of this take advantage of the positives that come with being an internal candidate; access to people and an understanding of your companies culture.

Talk to Your Manager

It’s important to make sure you keep your existing manager in the loop throughout the process. They can be a great resource while you’re preparing for your interview and can provide great practice questions.

Ask Good Questions

Be sure to ask thoughtful questions that demonstrate your interest in the role, company, and career. This will show you’re engaged and looking to add value. An internal candidate should be able to “see around corners” and the hiring manager may expect your questions to reflect a good deal of preparation.

Be Prepared and Professional

An internal candidate should come to their interview prepared, just as they would any external candidate. Come prepared with a resume, portfolio and list of references if necessary. Be sure to arrive on-time, dress professionally and bring a positive attitude.

Internal Interview Follow-up

Once the interview is complete, take time to send a follow up note thanking the interviewer for their time and expressing your continued interest in the role.

Followup with anyone you networked with and everyone who helped, let them know you had your interview and that you will update them when you learn more.

This gives your internal allies a chance to followup with the interviewer to put in a good word before any decisions are made and is also the right thing to do in terms of etiquette.

Questions to Ask in Your Internal Interviews

This is an area in which you can really stand out as a candidate for your new job. The questions you ask are going to shape their opinion of you over other applicants. As an internal applicant you have access to people, resources, and information that allow you to ask in-depth questions an external applicant probably could not.

Let the hiring team know you are a great option to fill the open position by asking some great questions. You can use the ones below and customize them to the new role.

-What are the most important things I can do in this role to be successful?
-What challenges does this team typically face and how do you suggest I address them?
-What skills and abilities are essential to succeed in this role?
-How would you measure success for this role?
-How would you describe the team dynamics within this department?
-What are your expectations for performance in this role?
-What do you think I need to know in order to transition successfully into this role?
-What kind of feedback and support would you expect me to receive in this role?
-What is your timeline for making a decision on this position?
-What opportunities exist for professional development in this role?
-What are the next steps in the interview process?

These internal interview questions should help you better understand the company’s expectations and the role you are applying for. Be sure to take your time when preparing, ask thoughtful questions, and be professional throughout the process.

There are certain positives that come with being an internal candidate. These include having more direct access to people, resources, and information which allows you to ask in-depth questions an external candidate might not have access to.

It is important to be prepared and professional during the interview process, take your time when preparing for it, and answer questions thoughtfully to demonstrate your interest in the role and your knowledge about the company.

Additionally, make sure to follow up with anyone you networked with and everyone who helped, let them know you had your interview and that you will update them when you learn more.

Lastly, take advantage of the opportunity to stand out as a candidate by asking relevant thoughtful questions that demonstrate your knowledge and commitment to the role.

Life's Work Press

Every career journey is different and unique and many can benefit from some specific guidance along the way. In addition to our career coaching website we publish books, workbooks and audio books (soon) to help you lean into your strengths :

Find a Job You Love and Get the Job You Want – paperback/Kindle

In a job market like this fewer than 2% of job seekers will get an interview for any given job opening. In order to give jobseekers an advantage Brian Fenerty has just published a brand new book called “How to Find a Job You Love and Get the Job You Want – The Only Job Hunting Guide You Need”. 

Signing Bonus Negotiation Workbook – digital download

When you’re offered a new job, it’s normal to feel ecstatic. After all, you’ve worked hard to get to this point in your career and you deserve it. But before you sign on the dotted line, there’s one more important thing to consider: your signing bonus.

Interview Preparation Workbook – digital download

How you introduce yourself, the questions you ask, and what you share about your own experiences will make a big impression on potential employers.  The way you behave in those interviews will have a specific effect on the number and quality of offers you receive, etc…

This workbook was created to give you the confidence you need to perform in your next job interview and stand out from the crowd. In it you will learn:

– How to answer “Tell me about yourself?”
– What questions you should ask them.
– The employer’s perspective.
– How to set salary expectations.

Get it as quickly as today by clicking on the button below and signing up to receive even more useful information from us.

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