Hiring is hard work, and most of that work is screening external candidates. Internal interviews are often done out of courtesy or due to protocol, but they can be a great, cost- effective way to fill positions. But hiring internally doesn’t come without risk — bad interviews can lead to disgruntled employees and have an extremely negative impact on your working environment. Here are five tips to help you navigate internal interviews the right way:
Only Interview Serious Candidates.
Conducting an obligatory 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 or skills they can improve in order to advance their career. Think of this as a performance review — offer candid feedback, and encourage them to continue doing well in your organization.
Spend a bit 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 Human Resources department. You might also want to review their performance evaluations and portfolio of prior work completed for your company.
Ask Relevant Questions and Dig Deeper.
Internal applicants should know the ethos and 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 motivation for applying to the particular position and their long-term goals to gauge what may be the best path for career development within your organization.
It can often be more difficult to interview internal candidates depending on your day-to-day working relationship — but it’s imperative 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, and be sure to inform the applicant of your decision — whether they got the job or not. If the decision is not a positive one, offer advice and ways in which they could improve their interviewing style, additional training they could benefit from, and positive comments about their participation in the process.