How To Get A Job Over An Internal Candidate

It is not unusual for an internal candidate to get a job over an external candidate.  There are a lot of factors for this but here is one: Internal candidates are part of the organizational culture already and they know the company. Part of the responsibilities of an organization to their employees is that they MUST continue to present opportunity for growth to them. If, not, they lose their highly skilled and talented people to competitors because once an employee feels like they are not progressing in their role, they leave for other opportunities.

When a role is advertised on the internal porter, all internal candidates who apply for the role are automatically shortlisted for the interview, even if they would not get it eventually. Internal candidate a lot of times may get the job over an external, this is WHY majority of external candidates don’t get the job. So, be mindful of this and don’t beat yourself up if for any reason, you apply to a job and do not get it. However, organisations are always looking for fresh, dynamic, diverse and new talents to bring on board to their work force, so they try to hire externally to balance their internal and external headcounts. So, there is always hope for you as an external candidate interviewing for the same role as an internal candidate.

As an external candidate, once you get called for the interview, here are a few things to do:

  1. Put your best foot forward at all times – be on time for the interview, be friendly, be yourself.
  2. Give the interview your very best & Sell Your Skills & Experience: Demonstrate WHY you deserve to get the job over anyone else, including the internal applicants.
  3. Ask for the Job: There is a fine line between desperate and hunger. Show that you are hungry to get that job and that you are keen on joining the organization. Knowing the CORE values and some future projects of the organization will help you win here. I am not talking about when the organization was founded – nobody ask that these days. I am talking about what is in the news about the company, what makes their employees love the company etc. Demonstrate WHY you are the one that can help the organisation achieve those goals – on the job and in the company at large.
  4. Don’t get distracted if they think you are too hungry: Focus on WHY you are the ONE for the job. Demonstrate it over and over again.
  5. Ask good questions. I like this one: Ask the Hiring Manager what kind of candidate they are looking for on the role. Let them answer and then YOU DEMONSTRATE 1000% that you are the one the Hiring Manager have just described. Hiring Managers love that. You are basically repeating what they want. While the Recruiter or other Interviewer have some stakes in deciding who gets the job, as an Interviewer and Recruiter who have interviewed 100s of candidates, I know that the Hiring Manager makes the final decision on who gets the job. If you as the candidate can demonstrate the person and job specification to the Hiring Manager, you are likely to get into their head as someone who they want on their team.
  6. Thank them for their time and ask for the job again: it is as simple as, “It was truly a great pleasure to meet you today (mention their name e.g Sandy and Rosy) and it would be a great honour for me to join your team so I can use my skills, and experience to contribute to your team while also building on my skills and experience to achieve the wider business objectives. This WINS all the time.
  7. Finish strong: smile, thank them and exit

The MAGIC for you to win over an internal is for you to demonstrate that you are new, fresh, bringing in new ideas and can help them achieve the PURPOSE of the role. The purpose of each role is listed on the job spec – know it, understand it before you go in for that interview. If you need help with Interview preparation Coaching, contact me on the Career Coaching Page.

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