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Promotion Job Interview: Career Advancement Tips

A promotion interview is inevitable if you seek a career advancement. Promotion interviews are conducted for an employee who is a candidate for a higher job position within the company. Moving up from the inside of the company as an internal candidate often is easier than gaining access as an outside candidate — but it’s not a sure thing. You still have to promote (sell) your skills and experience.

Here are some guidelines for how to handle a promotion interview:

  • Approach a promotion interview as though you were heading out to a new company. Research diligently to be able to talk about industry trends and other big issues.

  • When you’re the only insider wrangling for the job, use your knowledge of the company’s policies, plans, and culture to point out that you alone can hit the floor running — which no outsider can actually do. Then identify several current company problems you could deal with immediately.

  • Mention your accomplishments of the past ten years (no more than that) and focus on work samples and skills that highlight your ability to do the new job. Give examples of your flexible personality. Identify times when you welcomed new tasks and responsibilities. Help them see you as “the way ahead,” not as “a tribute to yesteryear.”

Should you emphasize your 20 years of loyal service with a show-and-tell of your successes at a time when your company is handing off generational control from boomers to generation Xers? The right answer, although it may seem counterintuitive to you, is not exactly. You have to do more. The familiar “tried-and-proven” strategy won’t have legs during a time when new captains are determined to justify taking the wheel by steering in different directions.

A youth-oriented management doesn’t care about the glories of Ancient Rome or Ancient You — what they care about is whether you can do the work ahead — now and tomorrow.

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