1. What is a job promotion interview?
  2. How are promotion interviews different from other interviews?
  3. How to stand out in a promotion interview?
    1. Discuss it with your supervisor
    2. Write an email to your management
    3. List the relevant skills
  4. Top 5 promotion interview questions and answers
    1. Why do you want to move out of your current role?
    2. We have received several applications, why should we consider you?
    3. What would be your first course of action in the new role?
    4. What do you like about your current role?
    5. How would you react if you don’t get this promotion?
  5. What to do before, during, and after a promotion interview?
    1. What to do before the promotion interview?
    2. What to do during the promotion interview?
    3. What to do after the promotion interview?

Interview preparation is always important when it comes to finding a job you desire. But what if the position you are looking for is just a promotion away?

A promotion interview, (also called an internal interview) can be your perfect chance to get a raise and advance in your career path while working in the same company.

Promotion interviews may seem similar to general interviews, but the truth is that acing the former requires special preparation.

In this blog, we will talk about how to answer some top promotion interview questions with sample answers, and crucial tips to bag your dream job.

But before we do that, let us understand what a job promotion interview is.

What is a job promotion interview?

Also called an internal interview, a promotion interview occurs when you apply for a job opening that is higher to your current position within the organization.

These interviews can be both beneficial and challenging.

The benefit is that you don’t have to research the company and are already aware of the pros and cons of taking the promotion.

On the other hand, the interviewers already know your strengths and weaknesses, and you will have to go the extra mile to explain what you bring to the table and how you are better than other applicants.

How are promotion interviews different from other interviews?

You may think that a promotion interview is similar to a job interview, but the truth is that they are way different, and here’s why,

  1. Promotion interview preparation requires more effort as you will have to outdo the expectations of your interviewers.
  2. Promotion interview questions are different, more advanced than the basic interview questions.
  3. Your time in the company is a report card of all your achievements and failures that can shape your chances of getting the promotion.

How to stand out in a promotion interview?

Being an employee of the company may give you an upper hand in a promotion interview, but it also adds to the pressure of standing out from internal and external candidates.

Here are the 3 things you can do to stand out in an internal promotion interview.

1. Discuss it with your supervisor

The first thing you must do to prepare for a promotion interview is to inform your supervisor as soon as you intend to apply for the position.

This will keep them in-loop of your plans and will professionally benefit you in either case.

If you get the job, your supervisor could be your potential colleague and it would help build the rapport.

In case you don’t, your supervisor would still appreciate that you made him/her a part of such a crucial decision-making process.

2. Write an email to your management

As you interview for a higher position in the same company, the management would remain the same and your potential interviewers could be your current bosses.

So the first thing you must do to stand out is to draft an impressive email to your higher-ups.

Include your long-term-short-term goals, a list of reasons why you should be considered for the promotion, and your achievements in the current role.

Attach a copy of your updated resume, cover letter, and a detailed report of your contribution to the organization, preferably with numbers.

3. List the relevant skills

Each job opportunity requires a unique skill set and promotion interviews are no exception to this.

To list the skills relevant to the position, thoroughly go through the job description, and note the skills you possess to match it.

Divide these into hard skills and soft skills and discuss them in detail with the interviewers.

Top 5 promotion interview questions and answers

As we said earlier, promotion interview questions are different from the basic interview questions as the former is based on your current performance and experience in the organization.

Here are the top 5 promotion interview questions you must prepare.

1. Why do you want to move out of your current role?

When applying for an internal job opportunity, the one thing you must know is how to answer "why do you want to leave your current position in the company?"

It is a crucial promotion interview question as its answer will also help the interviewers decide if you deserve the promotion.

To answer well,

  • Talk about your achievements in the current role
  • Focus on explaining your plans for the position you are interviewing for
  • Discuss why you feel you deserve the promotion with facts and figures
  • Avoid mentioning any dissatisfaction you may have in your current role
  • Align your answer with your career goals

Sample answer

Having worked as an Assistant Manager for 2 years with your organization, I have learned a lot about this industry.

Last year, I led the annual sales-drive under my manager’s supervision, and we estimated X% revenue growth in a month.

After working on several such projects, I feel I’m ready to take on additional responsibility and contribute more to the company’s goals.

This position also helps me meet my 5-year plan, so that is another reason why I’m keen on getting the promotion.

2. We have received several applications, why should we consider you?

Interviewers ask this promotion interview question to understand how you stand out from other applicants.

With thorough preparation, this can be your golden opportunity to discuss your accomplishments towards the company.

To answer this question,

  • Use your association with the company to your advantage
  • Quantify your achievements with numbers and data to highlight your contributions
  • Discuss your goals for the new position, using your understanding of it in your current position
  • Identify the skills you have that are crucial to this position

Sample answer

After working here for 4 years, I’m well-aligned with our company’s culture and vision.

As an Assistant Project Manager, I was able to diversify my knowledge and contribute to the project, leading to a 4% growth in revenue in the 3rd Quarter.

I feel I can use my data analysis and quick decision-making skills in a senior role and make more valuable contributions in that capacity.

3. What would be your first course of action in the new role?

It is an important promotion interview question asked to gauge how prepared you are to take charge of the new role.

The good news is, unlike the external candidates, you have the internal updates, and know all the red and green flags necessary to draft an answer your interviewers would like.

Talking points to answer effectively can include,

  • Ideas around existing projects that would add to the efficiency
  • Ability to work/manage with the team
  • Any changes you would like to introduce to increase efficiency, employee morale or revenues

Sample answer

The first thing I would like to do is change is the criteria of how we measure the success rate of projects.

I would also shift the focus from organic search and experiment with affiliate marketing.

We have an impressive presence on social media, but our post frequency is low.

I would direct my team’s efforts to put out more engaging content so that people can interact with us and recognize our brand name.

4. What do you like about your current role?

Interviewers ask this question in a promotion interview to understand what makes you want to continue working with the company.

You can use this opportunity to,

  • Showcase your loyalty towards the company
  • Highlight any emotional attachment you may have with your team
  • Toot your own horn about what you do in your job
  • Talk about company objectives, culture and your idea of its potential growth map

Sample answer

I have been associated with this organization for 4 years, since its early days.

My team is like a family, and I would be thrilled at an opportunity that could provide growth here.

As a marketing executive, I have created an optimal brand recognition for our products, making a unique place for ourselves in the market.

I believe in our projects, and it would make me extremely happy to continue working here.

5. How would you react if you don’t get this promotion?

While promotion interviews give internal employees an upper hand, it does not guarantee you the promotion.

Interviewers ask this promotion interview question to understand how you deal with rejection and if it would affect your work in your current position.

To answer effectively,

  • Prepare yourself to take criticism
  • Take ownership of your mistakes and explain your situation (If it comes up)
  • Be understanding of the interviewers
  • Assure the interviewers that it would not affect your work in the current capacity
  • Express gratitude to give you a chance to interview

Sample answer

I would understand if I do not get the promotion, though I sincerely hope I do.

I may have made some mistakes in my tenure, but I have also learned from them to improve myself.

In case I do not get this promotion, I’ll go back to doing my job and wait for the right opportunity.

What to do before, during, and after a promotion interview?

Now that you know the top 5 promotion interview questions, let us take a look at tips on what to do before, during and after the promotion interview.

What to do before the promotion interview?

Up your preparation game with these tips and learn what to do before the promotion interview.

1. Focus on promotion interview preparation

Just because you work in the company does not mean you will get the promotion.

While it is an advantage to be an internal candidate, the interview process may be somewhat more complex for you, since you would be expected to know better and will be tested on a higher standard.

So, talk to your seniors, research the position in-depth, and identify the skills you need to develop.

2. Practice promotion interview questions

Just like other interview questions, you must practice answering promotion interview questions.

The advantage here is that your accomplishments and performance justifies why you would be a good fit for the position, making it easy for you to face the interview.

To prepare well, practice the questions you may be asked in a promotion interview, collect a quantified report of your contribution to the company with data and numbers.

You can also refer to basic interview questions and customize your answers according to your organization.

3. Organize all important documents

As you prepare for your promotion interview, make sure you collect all the important documents and organize them in order.

So, carry your resume, CV, work reports that include your contribution, and other such relevant documents to the promotion interview.

What to do during the promotion interview?

As you appear for the interview, remember these tips to ace it like a pro.

1. Be professional with the interviewers

You may know your interviewers in a personal capacity, but that should not change the way you speak to them.

When in a promotion interview, make sure you talk to people professionally, like you would speak to an interviewer you don’t know.

Avoid being casual and answer to reflect your capability and skills to get the promotion.

2. Display nonverbal communication skills

To make an impression in your promotion interview, you must practice what to say and how.

While what you say is crucial to the interview, how you say it can make all the difference.

So, ace your promotion interview with nonverbal communication skills to make sure you land the promotion.

This includes,

  • Shaking hands on entering the room
  • Maintaining eye contact with the interviewer
  • Answering all questions with grace and smile
  • Maintaining a good body posture

Also read: How to Use Nonverbal Communication in a Job Interview?

3. Ask questions

Since you work in the company, it is normal if you hesitate from asking questions about the new position.

While we suggest you research all about the role before your promotion interview, feel free to ask questions like what the new role offers, how would the transition work, and what new things you can expect, etc.

Also read: Best Questions to Ask in an Interview (And What Not to Ask!)

What to do after the promotion interview?

Follow up is an essential part of promotion interviews. Here is all you need to do post interview.

Show your gratitude with a “Thank You” letter

After the promotion interview, send a thank you letter to your seniors and interviewers to give you a chance at a promotion interview.

Learn how to write a “Thank You” letter here.

Follow up on interview status

After the interview, follow up with the management about your interview’s results.

To do so, write a follow-up email, expressing your eagerness to find out if you landed the promotion, and reiterating your interest in the position.

Don’t hold grudges

While we hope you succeed in your promotion interview, sometimes, things don’t work in our favor.

In case you don’t get the promotion, leave behind any negative feelings, and focus on your work.

Make sure you don’t have any hard feelings or burn any bridges because of one setback.

Tip: You may ask for feedback to understand what went wrong and try to overcome it in the future.

In the end, we hope with all these amazing ideas, questions, and tips, you are now ready to face a promotion interview.

So, go ahead and land the promotion you have so eagerly been waiting for.

All the best!

Interview Advice Career Advice