Trying To Move Up In Your Company?

BattleshipI had a question recently come across my desk about some suggestions for someone interviewing for a position within the company that they are already working. This is a slightly different can of worms from interviewing for a new job/company. For this particular situation, the new job would be a promotion into the position of their direct manager (Level 1) … which means that the hiring manager is the direct manager’s… manager (Level 2).

After some thought, I would say that the most important point to get across to the hiring manager is that you are best person for the job while at the same time communicate how you can meet the main job requirements. During the interview, be sure to tie every question back to how you meet those main job requirements.

Remember, fifty percent of any decision about hiring someone is always if they will be a good “fit” for the position. This is just a professional way of saying … “will you get along with and not annoy people in the office?” Here are some other things that I shared with them:

  • Think about the main job requirements for the Level 1 manager (i.e., your potential promoted position) from the prospective of the Level 2 manager. How would this new position for you make things easier on them?
  • How has your current position prepared you for this new position?

What about some tricky questions you could be asked during the interview with the Level 2 manager:

  • Who from our team do you believe to be the best person for the job? Why do you think you are the best person for the job? How could you answer this and also say positive things about your co-workers?
  • Discuss working under the Level 1 manager. How would you have done things different? (depending on the Level 2 manager, they may not like an answer of anything different.  They may just want things to stay the same… maybe they really liked Level 1 who is leaving and wished they weren’t…)

I then shared with them a little light reading. While these two blog posts from The 99% which are geared toward resume writing, I think definitely is a good resource for anyone presenting themselves in an interview:

  • The Resume Is Dead, The Bio Is King
    If you’re a designer, entrepreneur, or creative – you probably haven’t been asked for your resume in a long time. Instead, people Google you – and quickly assess your talents based on your website, portfolio, and social media profiles. Do they resonate with what you’re sharing? Do they identify with your story? Are you even giving them a story to wrap their head around?
  • Present Yourself
    Creative achievements seldom happen in isolation. A big part of making ideas happen is controlling how you come across to others. Of course, the Creative’s tendency is to say, “who gives a crap what other people think.” While there is merit in never compromising oneself for the sake of another’s opinion, creative professionals need to make an effort to be understood. You need to present yourself effectively to engage others and get the support (and the business) you need to push ideas forward.

Something you might also want to keep in mind that that this hiring manager might know your history and or other information about you since you are applying for the position from within…


About DaveHallmon

With experience in web, graphic, and instructional design, Dave maintains a balance between what is efficient and effective in every message. He always focuses on the why and how rather than "just doing it" to get the job done. By day he works at a leading university designing online courses that support 9,000 students in 64 countries. He works directly with faculty to brainstorm, design, and develop their online instruction utilizing the Adobe suite. He also teaches for the university as an adjunct faculty member in the area of web design. By night he is a devoted husband, father, freelancer, and adventurer of the outdoors. His other interests include LifeHacker, Science Fiction and Hayao Miyazaki movies, Settlers of Catan, and coffee with friends. He currently lives in St. Louis and has an M.S. in Instructional Design and aspires to pursue a professional degree in content marketing and strategy. Visit the links below for more information about his interests and design work.
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