Hiring is hard work, and most of that work is screening external candidates. Internal job interviews are often done out of courtesy or due to protocol, but they can be a great way to fill positions. Hiring internally doesn’t come without risk — bad interviews can lead to angry employees and a negative impact on your working environment. Here are five tips to help you navigate internal job interviews the right way:
Conducting an interview for an employee you don’t think is qualified can destroy motivation and drive them to search for jobs elsewhere. If a candidate is not a good fit for the position, consider meeting with them and discussing different options in order to advance their career. Think of this as a performance review. Offer feedback, and encourage them to continue doing well in your organization.
Spend more time preparing for an internal interview. Gather as much information on the candidate as you can and have a chat with their current manager, peers and your HR department. You might also want to review performance evaluations and work completed for your company.
Internal applicants should know mission of your company like the back of their hand — after all, they’re already employees. In order to remain compliant, you will need to ask internal candidates the same questions as external candidates, but be sure to find out their long-term goals to determine the best path for career development within your organization.
It can often be more difficult to interview internal candidates depending on your working relationship, but it’s important to remain objective. If you feel you are too close to a particular candidate, ask someone else to take your place interviewing and report back.
Be sure to follow up in a timely manner — whether they got the job or not. If the decision is not a positive one, offer feedback, additional training they could benefit from, and positive comments about their participation in the process.